Alaverdi Monastery Cellar

Rkatsiteli

2010 · €37.00

This Rkatsiteli is a pure wine made like two thousands years ago; the community of Alaverdi uses this wine for the Mass and to support themselves.   In particular, the label "1011" shown here, vintage 2010, is a limited production to celebrate 1000 years of Alaverdi Monastery, founded exactly in 1011.

The strict observance of the production process, in the vineyard as in the winery, is respecting the naturality, and follows an ancient protocol guarded through priestly tradition. No use of synthetic chemical compounds in the vineyard or in the winery, no forcing the wine, no process that does not comply with this traditional and ancient method handed down over centuries.   This is the wine that the monks of Alaverdi were producing a thousand years ago, and this is the wine they are still making today.

A glass of Alaverdi is like a peephole through witch we can see the history of man; unique color, unusual bouquet that requires a monastic silence during the tasting. This is one of those wines that only a monodic poet of ancient Greece, an Alcaeus or Anacreon, could find the words and the ease to describe it.

Pressed at the end of September without being destemmed, then placed in the qvevri (the typical Georgian vessel of clay) to ferment.  
The qvevri was covered with a cloth to stop flies or other insects from entering, and left open. The marcs are continuously floating and two or three times a day they are pushed down using a stick ending with a circle.  This continues until December, when the marcs sink to the bottom having lost all the CO2 coming from the fermentation processes.
At the end of December, the qvevri is closed with a wooden lid and beeswax. Generally, they are opened in late April and until then the marcs remain immersed.

Tasting
The 13.5% of alcohol content gives an incredible lace of tears and small arches in a glass that seems of gold with a glowing amber heart. The scents have surprising notes: glazed, ethereal, of copal, and furniture polish. Walnut, hazelnut, honey, molasses, dark chocolate, and capers add to the fascination.
Wonderful oxidative notes, but not maderized in a wine that is still young and has a great aging potential (easily up to 30 years).
The mouth tastes something new, and the tasting parameters are not enough; the tannins stands out but they don't leave a bitter aftertaste, indicating youth and extreme longevity, thanks to acidity and tannins being anti-oxidants five times more powerful than sulfur dioxide.

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