Shavi K’ravi Mtsvane Amber Wine
Out of stock
Region: Signagi, Georgia
Grape varieties: 100% Mtsvane
Shavi K’ravi Mtsvane Amber Wine smells sweet, of marmalade, tea, and spice, but the taste is in fact dry and rather tannic. 6-month maceration in kvevri.
Song: I’m Only Sleeping by The Beatles
Out of stock
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About Shavi K’ravi Mtsvane Amber Wine
Shavi K’ravi Mtsvane Amber Wine has a brilliant copper hue and the wine behaves in the glass like a loose honeybee. The wine smells sweet, of marmalade, tea and spice, but the taste is in fact dry and rather tannic. Not tannic like a big red wine; tannic like you ate a raisin with a seed in it. It is very much the flavor of the fruit. Made in buried terracotta kvevri from grapes grown in a single vineyard in the Signagi area on the right bank of the Alazani River. Mtsvane (“green”) is among the genetically oldest known vinifera varieties. The grape is naturally aromatic when fresh, reminiscent of Gewürztraminer, but after extended skin contact and a long oxidative vinification in terracotta it emerges transformed. In Georgia this style of wine complements the tapestry of flavors that make up the Georgian table. The longest and most indulgent parties will be hosted with a massive quantity of a single wine in this style.
About Shavi K’ravi
Shavi K’ravi means black lamb in the Georgian language and refers to a great importer we work with, Black Lamb Wine. The heart of Georgian wine culture beats underground in wood-fired terracotta vessels called kvevri. Their use for fermenting and aging wine predates the nation by millennia. Production of wine in these massive handmade jars is laborious and unwieldy. Due to their unique dimensions and varied porosity, each jar has its own personality, and its own animus, rarely giving the same wine twice. Inconsistent, difficult to scale up, prone to unexpected developments during vinification – kvevri are defined by what modern winemaking seeks to minimize.
Black Lamb Wine found a producer with a sizable collection of kvevri containing excellent wines originally destined for local restaurants. The Covid pandemic’s devastating effect on tourism left this producer with extra wine but anticipating the eventual return of visitors they were not very interested in export. So our importer suggested they buy the wine the winemaker had, and if next time there is none that is OK. They agreed and helped Black Lamb to bottle the wine at a nearby cellar. Four very different wines were selected. Two from Kakheti, Georgia’s largest growing region, famous for tannic amber wines and toothsome Saperavi; two from Shida Kartli, a rather cool locality known for nearly opposite wines.
Mtsvane (or “Mtsvani”, meaning “green”) is a name given to half a dozen light-skinned grape varieties native to the Georgian Republic. Each has a unique genetic profile. Each variety is commonly appended with the region they are from. Mtsvane Kakhuri and Goruli Mtsvane are the most common and wines clearly identified as such are listed on those pages.
Broadly speaking, Mtsvani makes crisp, citrus-tinged wines with some pineapple and pear characters and a floral aroma. However, the varieties are often blended with other varieties such as Rkatsiteli and Aligoté. Aging of these wines in a qvevri (earthenware amphora) tends to add more texture and herbal chaarcters.
There is some evidence to suggest that some or all of these varieties are very ancient. Indeed, Georgia’s wine history is thought to be the oldest in the world, with evidence of winemaking dating back some 6,000 years. Unfortunately, the ambiguity of the Mtsvane name means that any mention of the grape in historical documents could refer to something completely different.