2010 Alaverdi Monastery Cellar Rkatsiteli Republic of Georgia
*Top 100 Wines of 2013, Editors' Choice* From itís musky, perfumed to nose to itís intensely honeyed, dried-peachand apricot-flavored palate, everything about this wine is mysterious and ethereal. Crafted by monks in an ancient Georgian monastery, this amber-hued wine is made from white grapes that were fermented and aged in clay vessels (qvevri) and that underwent extended skin contact, which resulted in a wine with puckering tannins and a richly textural mouthfeel.
There are said to be more than 500 grape varieties grown in the Republic of Georgia--one of the world's oldest wine producing regions--but when it comes to white wine, the most important one to learn about is Rkatsiteli. Made in the authentic Georgian style, in clay fermentation vessels called Qvevri, at the 1,000+-year-old Alaverdi Monastery in the Kakheti region in eastern Georgia, this unusual white is a wine geek's dream. This is indeed a truly cool wine to have and I'm really excited to have it on our shelves. The nose is filled with super cool aromatics of dried white plums and peaches along with exotic baking spices that jump from the glass. Rich and dry on the palate this has a tight power racing through the middle and a really cool tannin structure - just a few of the characteristics that make this wine so unique. Absolutely fantastic with all types of roasted white meats and grilled fish but, can even stand up to hearty red meats without even a bat of the eye. (Eric Story, K&L Georgian Wine Buyer)