This versatile red variety makes the majority of Georgian reds. Powerful, full-bodied, fruity, smoky and savoury, Saperavi wine can be compared to Syrah and has tremendous ageing potential.
Saperavi is one of the most ancient Georgian varieties and is the flagship of Georgian wine, largely responsible for its international fame. Often referred to as Georgia’s hero grape, it makes some of the country’s best reds, both dry and sweet, which consistently win prestigious international awards and receive accolades from the critics. These wines are incredibly rich and powerful, with grippy tannins, lively acidity and an extensive range of flavours.
Saperavi wine is notoriously dark and opaque due to the high level of pigments found both in the skin and in the pulp. This is quite a unique feature as most of the world’s black grapes have dark skin and white flesh Even the name ‘Saperavi’ translates as ‘dye’. Saperavi’s home is Kakheti, Georgia’s famous wine region in the south-eastern part of the country.
Aromas And Styles
If you like big bold reds, then Saperavi is definitely your wine. Grill some meat (these tannins are begging for a steak!), pour yourself a glass of Saperavi and get ready to be blown away by a myriad of flavours: blackcurrants, blackberries, plums, smoke, tobacco, chocolate, liquorice, spices… and the list goes on.
Saperavi wine is often aged in oak which smoothens the tannins and further enhances the aromatics. In fact, it does incredibly well with both barrel and bottle ageing, as with time it obtains a luxurious silky texture.
In Georgia, Saperavi wine is made in a variety of styles: it can be dry, semi-sweet or sweet. Some of the best dry examples of Saperavi come from the Mukuzani appellation in Kakheti. In addition, Saperavi is sometimes fermented in qvevri, the traditional Georgian clay amphorae. The resulting wines are fruit-forward, rich and textured.