Monday, February 21, 2011

Vinoterra Mtsvane Khakheti 2005

20$ at K&L--sold out now. I was talking about orange wines, and walked out with this. It's interesting for more than one reason. Firstly, this wine is orange, meaning that the white wine grapes have skin contact (much like a red wine). Secondly, this wine is from Georgia, which used to be part of the Soviet Union (and you can imagine what that did for quality). Thirdly, this wine is fermented in amphorae, much like wine was made "back in the day." Anyways...this is super weird and funky. Surprisingly tannic, and at first, really shut down. Stylistically, the nose reminds me of port, with lots of dried fruits and a certain nuttiness. None of this really surprised me since orange wine is oxidative. There is also a suggestion of spices. Eventually, I thought that it tasted a lot like oranges as well as more Porty type of flavors (although it certainly does not have the sweetness of Port). Finishes with some bitter notes. Definitely an interesting wine...although I have to say, I much prefer the Coenobium from Paolo Bea and the Nuns. I would pick up another bottle of this, just because it was interesting. Not my favorite, although it's well made and certainly has structure too. C+/B- One last unanswered question--what to pair with this wine? I naively forgot that this was orange until I opened it...and it wasn't a very good match for squid, or for the roasted romanesco cauliflower that I made. I saw a suggestion to pair the Coenobium with Spaghetti alla Carbonara--which is brilliant--and I think this wine would do well with that too. When I open up the bottle of Coenobium, that's what I'm making. Carbonara (which is one of my favorite things on the planet to eat).

2 comments:

Joshiemac said...

Wow, an orange wine from Georgia. That's about as esoteric and out there as it gets. You'd be king for the night if you walked into a party of wine nerds with that bottle.

Have you ever tried Radikon or any other of the orange wines coming out of Italy besides the Coenobium. I loved that and want to try more.

Jeff said...

I don't know if King of the Wine Nerds is a good thing...haha...

Anyways, yeah I've heard of Radikon, but never seen his stuff. I would like to try them for sure; I just haven't ever seen them and I am fairly impulse driven for most wines (meaning I don't seek out a wine online or something and order it). Orange wines are really interesting. I almost don't know what to make of them. Apparently, a lot of white wines used to be made that way in Italy in particular, but once they started doing things that weren't oxidative to whites and learned about quality, a lot of them stopped getting made.