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2019 Martvilis Marani Aladasturi Red

2019 Martvilis Marani Aladasturi Red

Region: Semegrelo < Georgia

Grapes:  Aladasturi

Vineyard/Cellar Stats:  Organic/biodynamic farming;  fermentation and aging in Qvevri; bottled unfined/unfiltered with no added So2; ZERO-ZERO; 11% ABV

Winemaker: Keto Ninidze & Zaza Gagua

This is a weird but wonderful light red wine from Georgia – the country, NOT the state. Georgia, a classic wine region, you ask? Well, yes. Perhaps the most classic of all, having a history of wine that dates back at least 8000 years – longer than any other place in the world. There was a dark time, during Communist rule, when the good stuff went underground, or stayed within families, as Stalin commandeered most of the top vineyards for the state to make industrial plonk for export to Russia.   Thankfully, the traditions survived and Georgia’s wine culture is thriving. This crazy light red is made in the ancient traditional method, in qvevris (large, buried earthenware amphora) by a husband/wife team in the northwestern Semegrelo Region of Georgia, in the foothills of the Caucus Mountains

In 2015 the journalist and vintner Keto Ninidze and her husband Zaza Gagua packed up their two small daughters and left Tblisi to make wine. Zaza’s great-grandparents built their traditional home, known as an Oda, over one hundred years ago. Like all traditional Odas, it was built from wood, with the whole structure raised off the ground, with a below-ground cellar to store wine for the household. Keto is making wine in the same cellar as her husband’s great-grandmother. The Oda Family Winery’s proximity to the Black Sea means that the air and temperature is ideal for growing vines. Historically Semegrelo was a popular wine making region, but in the 19th century fungal disease attacked the vineyards, and during the Soviet Era the region was completely forgotten. Keto has been instrumental in revitalizing the area and contributing to biodiversity. They use local varietals only, and everything gets the traditional Quevri treatment.

This wine is 100% Aladasturi, an indigenous Georgian grape variety that all but disappeared during the Soviet occupation.  The name of the variety has an interesting story: it comes from the time the region was occupied by the Muslims, and to get around the Mahometan rule against alcohol it was named "approved by Allah'', probably with the agreement of the invaders who liked the drink. Despite being very dark-skinned, Aladasturi typically produces a light, ruby-colored red wine like Keto and Zaza's here: dry, lighter-bodied, and fresh, with tart, wintry red fruit (bilberry, pomegranate, red currant) and super high acid.  Perfect with all the fall flavors.

Regular price $27.00
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