In the major Georgian winemaking region of Kakheti sits the town of Sagarejo, some 50 minutes by highway east of the nation’s capital, Tbilisi. Here in the important eponymous capital of the Sagarejo district on the outer edges of the Kakheti region, the climate and topography become extremely varied, with brilliant shifts in elevation combined with by turns lush greenery and semi-desert arid conditions – its landscape is dramatic and knee-wobblingly beautiful. In this historically important municipality, two Frenchmen are making traditional Georgian wines (with several cuvées taking on a little of a French twist – making sparkling wines as part of their range). Vincent Jullien and Guillaume Gouerou were both directors before they were vignerons whose meeting at a mid-2010s film festival in Tbilisi was a bit of good fortune and coincidence. In any case, they’ve made a life out of their winemaking adventure, and have created their own marani in which they ferment their wines in traditional beeswax-lined Qvevri from several major and minor Georgian grape varieties. Fascinating wines with a bit of flair!
Vinification: 100% Rkatsiteli. The grapes are organically farmed, hand-harvested and fermented using carbonic maceration. The fermentation takes place in beeswax-lined Qvevri and is bottled unfined, unfiltered with no SO2.
Tasting: Amber-hued in the glass with a light-bodied pour. On the nose: black tea, fennel and apricot preserves. On the palate: black tea, Mott's apple juice and a subtle heat like a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Light tannins on the finish make this a perfect fireside white. Serve just below room temperature.