A monthly review of an easily obtainable wine that’s had a recommendation somewhere in a National newspaper. Always posted just before the usual monthly theme, this may be the latest post for only a few days…

Tbilvino Qvevris 2013  –  12½ %   –  (M&S – £9)


This wine hails from Kakheti in Eastern Georgia, where it is made from the Rkatsiteli – the country’s most widely planted grape (It is also widely found in Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria). The wine is aged partly in Qvevri, buried clay amphora, following an 8,000 tradition, which prolongs skin-contact beyond that found usually in white wines… Sometimes wines of this style – with or without amphora – are called “orange” for that reason.

This does have a deep colour and a more open nose than when tasted a month ago (see Feb 29 post) with a slightly powdery perfume hint with a note of over-ripe exotic fruit, mango or passion fruit maybe. The palate has a salty tang, with drying and mineral quality. The wine is warm with a tannic quality and shows high levels of extraction, with a warm salt-caramel finish.

With time pear appears on the nose, and later still the palate, and the caramel hint develops honey and spice turn. With food (a pork with prunes Raymond Blanc recipe) the sweeter and deeper notes are balanced against the food and a quite strong citric line appears – which makes for a reasonable balance.

All in all rather an oddity with depth and grip not often associated with white wine. Decidedly weird!

Ratings: Quality: 13.5/20     Value: 15.5/20