Vinoterra Saperavi 2003

This is a beautiful wine to look at, all rich damson murkiness disappearing into the glass. The nose is wildly complex, offering up suggestions of Marmite, drippings, cola, and dried herbs. To be absolutely honest, I can’t tell at first whether or not it smells good; it seems to exist in a strange herbal-yeasty funk zone that isn’t clear about whether or not it’s supposed to smell like that. On the other hand, I appear to be salivating, so I suppose it’s not all bad.Drinking some of this comes as a shock: I wasn’t expecting something as austere as this. With that wildly massive nose, I was expecting a New World fruit bomb, and what I got instead was an elegant, restrained display of finesse. The tannins are the first thing I notice, somewhat drying, very firm; then, the chalky acidity mixes in with very herbal, dried fruits reminiscent of dried cherries and air-dried meat (think Bündnerfleisch, perhaps). It’s absolutely gorgeous, more like a ripe Burgundy than anything else I can think of, especially given the elegant, mineral, chalky mouthfeel juxtaposed against solid tannins – and yet there’s no greenness here, just lovely fruit set to great effect against that solid tannic-acidic background.Vinoterra
Price: $24
Closure: Cork
Source: Retail

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