ARCHIL GUNIAVA, OTSKHANURI SAPERE, 6 Bottle Case 75cl
Grape genealogy suggests Otskhanuri Sapere is a transitional variety between a cultivated and a wild vine. Grown throughout the Imereti region of western Georgia, Otskhanuri Sapere ripens in mid to late October. Like Saperavi, this is a teinturier grape, producing wines with a deep, opaque ruby colour. In their youth, the wines are grippy and structured with high tannins and acidity. Exhibiting flavours of forest fruits, red berries, and herbs, these wines have great aging potential. Otskhanuri Sapere is considered Imereti’s best red grape variety.
Archil used to try to make a wine using only the Otskhanuri Sapere. He discovered that (for him) the resulting wine was too strong, so now blends the Otskhanuri Sapere with Tsolikouri, with the proportion being 30/70. Firstly, he presses the Tsolikouri and adds it to a qvevri. Then, in November, he harvests the Otskhanuri Sapere, presses the grapes and adds the juice and chacha to the qvevri. According to Archil, even with the Tsolikouri fermented, it is not a problem to add the Otskhanuri Sapere. The maceration lasts for one month. To finish the wine, he continues to use the same winemaking process that he uses for the other qvevri wines. Even with the Tsolikouri making up the balance, this is a more structured wine with aromas and flavours of blackberry, cherry, dark berries.