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Wine Wednesday: Be Wild, Be Otskhanuri Sapere

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Wine Wednesday: Be Wild, Be Otskhanuri Sapere

By Taste Georgia

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Otskhanuri Sapere might always remain a bit on the obscure side simply because it very name is difficult to pronounce for anglophones. In fact, perhaps I need to start a series on Georgian wine grape pronunciation.

Otskhanuri Sapere is a red wine grape from the west Georgian region of Imereti. According to grape experts, it is a transitional variety, a hybrid if you will, between wild and domesticated varieties. This may account for its often gamey aromas.

This week, my wine of the week is a qvevri made 2013 Lagvinari Otskhanuri Sapere. Lagvinari founder Eko Glonti produced this wine from organic vineyards and then fermented in traditional Imeretian qvevri. I first tried this wine in its infancy, in the spring of 2014, and it was difficult and quite rough with lots of bramble and meaty notes that hadn’t really integrated. I kind of brushed it off and decided I didn’t like this variety. But then I tasted it ever few months and over the past three years, it has be tamed; domesticated if you will.

Deeply hued and inky ruby/garner red. A beautiful, rich, earthy wine that explodes of aromas of black currant and black berry, meaty notes followed by earthy, mushrooms tones and even a hint of smokiness. On the palate it is high octane acidity, balanced by very smooth tannins and soft alcohol. Dry, fresh, well integrated and balanced with many years of life ahead of it. Delicious on its own. Elegant.