The slowly growing importance of Georgian wines on the global wine scene is a surprise not just to us Indians. And why wouldn’t it be so? India has awakened to wines only recently and the world is also still only distantly flirting with Georgian produce. But Georgia is no newbie. In fact, it is one of among the first to have made wine, almost 7000 years ago. Recently one wine brand from Georgia made a shy entry into India, Tbilvino Wines. All thanks to Mumbai-based imported Mr. Kartik SHARMA from Tabuni Gvino.
Tbilvino Wines were born in 1962 as the biggest wine factory in the Soviet Union. They produced one out of every ten bottles of wine consumed domestically, as well as exported elsewhere. But it was only in the 1990s that they became a separate entity and released their first controlled harvest in the year 1999.
Bye 2002 they were ready with their first Reserve Range featuring Saperavi. To add more stars to the range they also released Tsinandali and Mukuzani in 2004. Today they sell their multiple award-winning wines under four ranges, namely, Tbilvino, Georgian Valleys, Iveriuli, and Special Reserves, each showcasing a definitive winestyle from the country. Today, the Margvelashvili brothers handle operations. While Zura Margvelashvili involves himself mainly in the winemaking operations, Giorgi heads the management of the company as the president of the board.
Talking of their international acclaim, these wines have been featuring in a number of international wine awards and have been making their country proud by continuously adding charm to their produce. International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC), London, Decanter World Wine Awards (DWWA), London, Concours Mondial de Bruxelles, France, The Berlin Wine Trophy, Berlin, and Mundus Vini, Germany, are some of their critically acclaimed possessions.
Wi-Not team was curious to taste these hitherto unknown bottled beauties and this is what we thought of them:
2009 Tbilvino Rkatsiteli – White
Young pale appearance with a green touch. Very attractive nose with notes of grass, white and green fruits, lime, hints of smoke, fresh floral notes, and touch of green tea. Very fresh and clean mouthfeel. Minerally and grainy palate with notes of cut white fruits, pear, green apple, asparagus, and some sweet spices. With low acidity, acidity, and body, the wine seems to have a rather impressive well-balanced gripping palate. Can replace any Semillon + Sauvignon Blanc blend. For what it comes in India (INR600) it’s a great value-for-money. A must try!
2009 Tbilvino Tsinandali – White
Young pale straw colour. Matured nose with notes of earth, green fruits, rocket leaves, asparagus, grass, and spices. Clean dry palate with dominant fruitiness, mainly green apples, rock melon, pears, kiwi, lemon, and lime zest, and typical grainy mouthfeel. Not an aged wine but surely shows some nuttiness. Light bodied, very fresh and tart acidity, low alcohol. A serious wine that’ll taste better with food.
2009 Tbilvino Saperavi – Red
Medium ruby colour showing signs of easy extraction. Youthful nose with jammy, sweet red fruits aromas, floral, and violet notes. Dusty mouthfeel with young intense and powdery tannins, touch of peppery spices, blackberries, jammy black fruits, eucalyptus, earth, and vanilla. Acidity, alcohol, and body are in balance. Has a peculiar underaged aftertaste. The wine will not evolve and needs food to be enjoyed best.
Of all said and awed at, it is only fair to taste these wines yourself and analyse the distinguishing wine-style of the country. It’s time we Indian connoisseurs develop a palate for such unique drops as it is only the beginning of a shift towards the unexplored vinious lands.