Monday, May 1, 2017
Georgian Wine, Lefroy Brooks, Taps & Showerheads
--Christo Lefroy Brooks
On the wall in the photo above are various faucets and showerheads while there is a toilet on the floor! What does any of that have to do with Georgian wine?
Lefroy Brooks produces a wide range of bathroom fixtures and they have a showroom in New York City, in the Chelsea neighborhood. They host a number of events as part of their LB Salon, including last week's Wine & Design Pairing. At this event, Adam Japko, the founder & CEO of Esteem Media as well as the author of WineZag, and I led a presentation on wine, design and Georgian wine. In addition, four Georgian wines were poured for the attendees and each wine was paired with a specific bathroom fixture from one of Lefroy Brook's collections.
Have you ever tried to pair a wine with a faucet or showerhead? It was lots of fun.
Ten Reasons To Drink Georgian Wine, explaining why everyone should seek out these worthy wines. The audience was very receptive, fascinated by this intriguing region as few had any experience with these wines. The audience asked numerous questions, and one of their initial questions was actually where they could purchase these wines. It doesn't get much more positive than that, and it was a success that we convinced people to seek out Georgian wines.
NV Bagrationi 1882 Classic Brut (about $12). The winery was founded in 1937 and is the primary producer of sparkling wines in Georgia. They have vineyards in the Kartli, Imereti and Kakheti regions of Georgia. The Classic Brut is a blend of three indigenous grapes, Chinebuli, Mtsvane, and Tsitska, which is made in the Charmat method. It is crisp and clean, with plenty of citrus and melon flavors. A good value at this price, it is a nice entry-level sparkling wine to show the promise of Georgia.
2015 Pheasant's Tears Mtsvane ($20-$25), which is from a relatively new winery. The medium-sized winery, that produces about 60,000 bottles annually, is located in the Imereti region. The name of the wine derives from an ancient Georgian legend about a wine so delicious that it could make a pheasant cry. Their wines are organic, and all of them are also fermented and aged in qvevri. The Mtsvane grapes for this wine are from 70+ year old vines.
This wine is exotic and intriguing, a lightly amber wine with a delicious melange of spices, herbs, nuts and fruit. In some respects it brings to mind a dry Amontillado Sherry. There is an intense concentration of flavors, a lengthy finish and lots of complexity. And it is also simply delicious. There is a clean taste to it which differs from a number of "orange" wines produced in other countries. Highly recommended.
2011 Artevani Qvevri Aged Rkatsiteli ($30-$35), which was my favorite Georgian wine at the Boston Wine Expo as well as my second favorite wine of the entire Expo. The Rkatsiteli is from seventy-year old vines, and it is fermented in qvevri for about 24 days and then aged in qvevri for another 8-12 months. With a rich amber color, the wine presents with a fascinating aroma, an alluring mix of herbs, spices, and dried fruits. On the palate, you'll find a complex and intriguing melange of flavors, which can be difficult to describe everything happening in your mouth. It's full bodied, with nice acidity, and a lengthy and satisfying finish. This is the type of wine you slowly savor, enjoying the new and surprising flavors you encounter with each sip. Highly recommended.
Wines of Georgia, Bagrationi 1882, Teliani Valley, Artevani, Pheasant's Tears and Deussen Global Communications for all of their assistance, as well as for providing all of the Georgian wines for the event. And thanks to all the attendees whose enthusiasm and curiosity helped make this such an enjoyable evening.