This is the good stuff, Iberieli seriously blew my socks off. Dark fruits, savoury, but fresh too. Not too weighty, easy to drink and therefore a wine you need to try. Easily the best Saperavi I have tasted. A wine I would drink now and service with some game meats or charcuterie.
Iberieli is a family winery. They have 7.5 ha of vineyards in the Guria Region of West Georgia and 5.5 ha in the Kakheti Region of East Georgia. The name Iberieli refers to the ancient people in Caucasus believed to be the inventors of Qvevri winemaking. The family’s aim is to maintain an authentic tradition of Qvevri winemaking in Georgia, producing unique natural wines from native grapes and to set standards and true examples for their counterparts and friends.
First of all, this is one of the oldest wine regions in the world. 8000 years ago the world’s first cultivated grapevines and wine production was in the South Caucasus Georgian wine regions of note including Kakheti, Kartli, Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and Abkhazia. Of particular note in Georgian wine is the extensive use of native varieties and the use of Kvevri.
While the wines of Georgia require a re-calibration of your palate and thinking. But the rewards a great for those with an open mind.
Qvevri or Kvevri
Also known as churi. Large egg-shaped, handleless earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. They are either buried below ground or set into the floors of large wine cellars. Volumes range from 20 litres to a rather large 10,000 with 800 being the typical size.
A bold, tannic and astringent red wine variety. Probably the most familiar for wine drinkers resembling something like a Shiraz/Cabernet blend. Able to age in the bottle. There are some notable examples in Australia.