Remarkable Saperavi from Georgia: Satrapezo

This is astonishingly good: a thoroughly modern, but restrained and quite elegant, expression of the Saperavi grape variety. It’s made by Telavi in Kakheti, the largest of the country’s wine regions, in the east, sandwiched between Azerbaijan and Russia. Aussie David Morrison consults here. This is their top wine, fermented in quveri (clay amphorae) buried in the ground, and then with malolactic in new French oak.

Telavi Satrapezo Saperavi 2006 Kakheti, Georgia
13.5% alcohol. Fermented in clay amphorae and then aged in new French oak; 6000 bottles made. This is wonderful stuff. Elegant yet rich cherry and berry fruit with a smooth texture and a subtle creaminess from the new oak. It’s a concentrated, dense wine that’s very sophisticated and modern, yet avoids being anonymous and ‘international’, with the oak playing a supporting role to the intense, focused fruit. Fresh and structured with lovely purity, this will probably age very well, although it is delicious now. A serious wine. 93/100 (£21.99 Georgian Wine Society)

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

11 comments to Remarkable Saperavi from Georgia: Satrapezo

  • Paavo Kotoneva

    Hallo
    I like Georgien wine too
    Here is an other one to taste
    Badagoni also Saperavi grape
    Badagoni LLC
    Village Zemo Khodasheni 0910, Akhmeta District,
    Georgia
    /Paavo

  • Those clay amphorae are actually called kvevri or qvevri (sorry to correct you).
    Not sure about now but in 2006 I think Telavi had a French winemaker, whose Bdx background is quite obvious in this wine (and a few other from Telavi including a Sauternes-like sweet).
    Knowing your tastes for ‘natural’ wines Jamie I would recommend you also try the white Satrapezo, a 100% Rkatsiteli called 10 Kvevri. First made in 2007 it’s a wonderfully odd and interesting wine.

  • nerval, thanks for the correction – and for the recommendation

  • andyincayman

    Interesting. I have tried the 2004 which although enjoyable I felt lacked concentration. Could be vintage variation I guess but must admit I know v little about Georgian wine.

    Will revisit!

  • Michael

    Satrapezo is the great line of wines from TWC! Can’t wait to try the next wintage of Saperavi.

  • Teinosuke

    I take it you’ve tried the Orovela wines? Their 2004 Saperavi was excellent (and written up very favourably by Jancis Robinson), but I also really liked their white Mtsvane / Rkatsiteli blend – a fine off-dry wine which pairs very well with the sweet/sour flavours of Caucasian and Middle Eastern food.

    The first Georgian wine I ever drank was marketed as “Talisman” in the Baltic States, but doesn’t seem to be imported to Britain. I very much enjoyed it at the time, over a barbecue in Nida, Lithuania; I’d now like to drink it again to find out if it was just the mood of the moment or if it was really good wine.

  • Katreen

    Dear Teinosuke, you really do have another chance to feel the same pleasure as it was in Baltics, tasting Talisman wine. The wines under “Talisman” brand are produced by Telavi Wine Cellar. You will surely find the wines in the UK, produced by TWC, but under MARANI brand. Their unique taste is absolutely identical with wines under Talisman brand.
    Enjoy your life:)

  • Anna

    Just try also Bakoni brand Saperavi in US, Dallas and Plano Central mArkets. It is fantastic. Saperavi(red dry), Kindzmarauli(red semi-sweet), Alazani Valley(red semi-sweet) and Pirosmani(red semi-dry) wines got last and this years gold/ silver medals in Dallas Inter Food Wine Fest.
    Try and enjoy them.

  • John Brooks

    Many thanks Jamie, for your article on Georgian wines. I teach Wine Appreciation in the East Midlands. These wines are fascinating.

    John.

  • Hope to taste this and many more at a Georgian wine tasting in Harrogate with Caroline Gilby MW and on a wine tour to Georgia in September.

  • Mzia

    Thank you, jamie! this makes me very proud. I’m originaly from georgia, living in the USA. Wine is my great passoin and I’m starting to import it and have wine tours to georgia. It is very nice to know that our wine is becoming popular, more people know about it and they love it. I want to go even farther with it. Thanks again!

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