2016 Lapati ‘Super Ravi’
Region: Kakheti < Georgia (the country!)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming, fermented whole cluster in quevri, then removed, destemmed and basket-pressed. The remaining juice is returned to the quevri for 6 months and then bottled.
Winemaker: Vincent Julien
Saperavi as an aperitif? Wouldn’t normally go there, but this is by far the most approachable Georgian red we’ve come across. So it isn’t surprising that it is an unlikely pairing of Frenchmen who are making some very unlikely wine. Vincent, the winemaker, and Guillaume, the artist, met at an art gallery in Georgia and decided that their interests matched up enough that they should form a partnership and start a winery. Lapati was born in 2015 and currently their production is only 300 cases – enough to fill 4 quevri, the clay vessels traditionally used in Georgia to ferment and age wine. ‘Ravi’ means happy in French, hence the (again, unlikely) name ‘Super Ravi’, but it is completely appropriate. The wine is bright and fresh, and we love how the carbonic action during fermentation softens this otherwise astringent and chewy grape. Here it practically dances on the tongue, with juicy red berry fruit and a hint of the Saperavi leather-y qualities in the background. Drink it before dinner while cooking (like we do), then open another bottle with your pizza, pasta and other red sauces. This one is great on its own, or wants something with lots of herbs, maybe some black olives.