Bedoba, Saperavi, Kakheti, Georgia
Georgian wines are trending for a reason. Made from the indigenous grape variety Saperavi and partially vinified in traditional qvevri vessels, Bedoba means `Day of Luck’. Winemakers Nugzar Ksovreli and Thierry Fontannaz found inspiration in the history and legacy of the winery’s founders, the Konchosvilli family, whose cellars date back to 1737. The label references the bishop Petre Konchoshvili, a prominent religious and political figure of the 19th century, and honours the long-standing relationship between the family and the church - `koncho` means cross. With an average age of 30 years, the Saperavi vines behind Bedoba are planted in the renowned wine region of Kakheti, near the eastern border with Azerbaijan in the Kvareli and Kindzmarauli appellations along the Duruji River valley. The soils here are rich in black shale, and the southern slopes of the Caucasus Mountains provide altitudes of over 400 metres above sea level, bringing fresh acidity and soft tannins. Sustainable and organic practices are observed, as well as hand- harvesting and careful sorting of the dark-skinned and red-fleshed Saperavi grapes. A small fraction of the fruit is fermented in whole bunches, and a selection of the grapes are left to dry naturally on the vines until November, ensuring a fine balance between the savoury and spicy elements of the grape. Stainless steel tanks and clay qvevri pots are used for fermentation, encapsulating the combination of innovation and tradition employed by Ksovreli and Fontannaz. Second and third fill American oak barrels as well as 5000L wooden vats are employed for ageing, before a further 12 months in bottle contributes to a seamless texture.