2009 Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia
Aromatic, with notes of black tea leaves, sandalwood and incense, this smoky Georgian amber wine boasts delicate orange rind and blossom flavors, swathed in bristling, chestnutskin-like tannins. There's a wonderful textural richness attributable to the wine's prolonged maceration in traditional Georgian qvevri.
This white is golden amber in the glass with a nose of honey, but dry and unexpectedly full-bodied in the mouth with notes of walnut and apricot. Rkatsiteli will stand up well with roasted chicken or more exotic fowl like duck or quail, but won't overpower lighter fare. Unique and utterly delicious. In keeping with Georgian tradition, Pheasant's Tears ferments and ages all their wines in "qvevri", unique Georgina wine vessels that are made out of clay and lined with beeswax. These vessels are buried under the ground where the temperature stays even throughout the year, allowing the wines to ferment in the natural coolness of the earth. They were the first vessels ever to be used for wine fermentation, with archaeological finds dating back to 6000 BC. Pheasant's Tears qvevri vary in age but, some date back to the mid 19th century. This winemaking process imparts distinctive nutty and savory aromas and flavors to the wine, adding layers of complexity. It also promotes the development of roundness and viscosity in the mouth, but keeps acidity fresh. 12.5 abv.