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Saperavi is a truly remarkable and unique wine and a friend to all. The gorgeous color and lively acidity have made it one of the most popular wines used for blending and bringing vibrancy to less lively wines. Saperavi is one of Georgia’s most famous wines and is grown in the area straddled by the Caspian and the Black Sea.
Saperavi is the Georgian word for ‘dye,’ but it doesn’t just end there. The robust tannins and acidity play a strong supportive role in a host of different wines, from the rosé wines all the way through to the semi-sweet, sweet and fortified wines.
The most comfortable position for the Saperavi wine is undoubtedly in the realm of the big-time full-bodied dry red genre with loads of dark fruits, blackberries, and lovely black plums.
The French also have this wine down as a ‘dyer’ but slightly more encompassing.
Saperavi is one of the very few wines that has red flesh. Teinturier is the term used to describe wines with red flesh like Alicante Bouschet and Dunkelfelder.
Traditionally, Saperavi wine was used to blend with other wines. Still, the natural beauty of the wine has encouraged the production of one-hundred percent Saperavi wines that are typically aged for up to ten years.
Let’s look at the top Saperavi wines and begin with one from Georgia, the Winiveria Saperavi 2019.
Winiveria Saperavi 2019
This is a young wine with a lot of growth potential. The rounded and firm tannins coupled with the dark fruit and plum produce a fresh and full-bodied wine. The wine will benefit from resting in the cellar for ten years or so and should be decanted for a short while before drinking.
George Piradashivili has combined both the traditional winemaking processes using Qvevris to ferment and macerate the wine, followed by aging in oak barrels. The introduction of wood aging helps to create a well-rounded wine.
The Winiveria Winery produces limited quantities of quality wines, and the Saperavi 2019 is a classic example of great organic wine from this winery. A wine to pair with rich meat dishes and game.
Lagvinari Saperavi 2020
Around ten years ago, Eko Glonti started the Lagvinari Winery in the prime wine area of Kakheti. After harvest, the grapes are left in underground qvevri containers for eight months. The first three months are spent with the skins.
The resultant wine has a powerful, balanced combination of rich tannins and dark fruit flavors that pair beautifully with rich game flavors and duck.
The Lagvinari Saperavi is a wine that will develop further left in the cellar for up to ten years.
Danieli Saperavi 2019
A lovely organic wine from the tiny region of Argokhy region famous for wines made with the Kisi grapes. Eka Chviritidza and Olaf Malver produce limited quantities of this one-hundred percent Saperavi wine.
The wine is produced using a combination of traditional and modern techniques, resulting in a wine rich in rounded tannins and lushes dark fruit. The rich dark color combines with the enticing aromas of red cherries and sweet violets to make an irresistible wine.
The wine will benefit from a leisurely sojourn of up to ten years in the cellar, and decanting the wine for an hour will enhance the tasting experience.
Solomnishvili Saperavi 1984
On this family-run estate, Georgy Solomnishvili produces superb wines that benefit from his intimate knowledge of the terroir of the Kakheti region in Georgia.
The thirty-five-year-old vines are grown at an altitude of five hundred a fifty meters in a rich combination of limestone, gravel, and clay.
The wine enjoys a combination of traditional and modern fermentation techniques. After spending time fermenting in the ancient qvevri pots, the wine is aged in French Oak for a further eighteen months. The result is a wine of deep, intense color with a concentration of dark fruits and smooth tannins and a delicious lingering aftertaste.
After decanting for an hour or so, the wine is a perfect partner to substantial red meat dishes, venison, and strong cheeses.
The superb quality of this wine allows it to be cellared for up to fifteen years.
Chateau Purcari Acaemia Saperavi 2019
This is a wine from the southeastern corner of Modolvia in the region close to the Black Sea. The prestigious winery produces this Saperavi wine in limited quantities, and only six thousand bottles are made.
The bouquet is of prunes and rich dark fruit. The deep and luscious color presents an invitation to enjoy the beautifully smooth and velvety tannins coupled with the dark textured fruit and ending with a long, satisfying aftertaste.
Enjoy this beautifully crafted wine with pork and veal dishes.
The heritage involved in producing the Saperavi wines deserves to be appreciated with enthusiasm. Here is an ancient wine lovingly produced in combination with modern techniques resulting in a truly exceptional full-bodied, and long-lasting wine. Enjoy.