Even wine lovers not versed in Georgian grape varieties will most likely have heard of Saperavi. As ancient as Georgia itself, Saperavi has done more for the profile of Georgian wine than any other grape.
Saperavi originates from Kakheti, the central wine making hub in Eastern Georgia. It’s not only the most widely planted red grape in the country, but is also now found in the vineyards of Australia and USA, as well as in a number of emerging wine regions including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Bulgaria, Moldova and Russia. If you’ve not tried Saperavi then imagine a combination of inky, fruit-filled Blaufrankisch and spicy Syrah.
So what makes Saperavi so special?
- It’s a ‘tenturier’ variety
- That means it is one of only a handful of grapes worldwide have highly-pigmented pink flesh as well as skins. The name Saperavi translates as ‘to dye’ and – be warned! – the juice will stain everything! It makes for extremely inky, almost opaque wines
- It ages really well
- The tannic structure of the grape means it ages very well both in bottle and qvevri
- It’s versatility is inspiring
- It’s combination of chewy tannin, mouthwatering acidity and wonderful flavour profile it is incredibly versatile, making rosé, dry, semi-sweet, sweet, and fortified wines – not to mention playing an active role in many delicious blends
- It’s aromas are terroir-sensitive
- cooler mountain sites give red berry aromatics and elegance; warmer regions, with darker soils, have more black fruit and meaty notes, with higher alcohol levels