Columnist, Food
Recommendations

★ ★ ★Exceptional  ★ ★Excellent ★Very Good

Availability information is based on distributor records. Wines might not be in stock at every listed store and might be sold at additional stores. Prices are approximate. Check Winesearcher.com to verify availability, or ask a favorite wine store to order through a distributor.


(Scott Suchman/For The Washington Post)

Here are some wines from Georgia to seek out, including a stunningly good saperavi red and some delightfully good values. Taste a little history while enjoying something new.

Jakeli Saperavi Unfiltered Dry Red 2012

★ ★ ★

Kakheti, Georgia, $38

Rich and intense, this smoky, beefy red benefits from decanting several hours in advance of dinner – and it’s pretty darn good the day after opening, too, when it takes on a silky texture. Jakeli shows saperavi’s potential as a top-tier wine. Alcohol by volume: 14.5 percent.

Georgian Wine House in the District and Maryland, Dionysus in Virginia: Available in the District at Batch 13, Potomac Wines & Spirits, Rodman’s.

Orgo Saperavi 2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Kakheti, Georgia, $22

Gogi Dakishvili, the head winemaker at Schuchmann/Vinoterra winery, is the rock star of Georgian wine. Orgo is the label he produces in partnership with his son Temur. Fermented in qvevri, this savory red wine offers tart cherry and tobacco leaf flavors. In texture and flavor it resembles an old-style Loire Valley red from a ripe vintage. It’s intriguing and delicious. ABV: 13.5 percent.

Georgian Wine House in the District and Maryland, Dionysus in Virginia: Available in the District at Batch 13, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Potomac Wines & Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Compass Rose, Iron Gate. Available in Maryland at Annebeth’s in Annapolis.

Teliani Valley Tsinandali 2013

★ ★ 1 / 2

Kakheti, Georgia, $13

A crisp white made in the modern style — fermented and aged in stainless-steel tanks — this is delightful and refreshing, with flavors of white flowers and herbs. It is excellent by itself or with lighter foods. Teliani also makes delicious tsolikouri (a grape that translates as “my wife’s wine”) and saperavi, both at very reasonable prices. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Georgian Wine House in the District and Maryland, Dionysus in Virginia: Available in the District at Batch 13, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Potomac Wines & Spirits, Rodman’s, Schneider’s of Capitol Hill; on the list at Russia House. Available in Maryland at Annebeth’s in Annapolis. Available in Virginia at Total Wine & More (various locations).

Orgo Kisi 2013

★ ★

Kakheti, Georgia, $23

This amber wine is made with kisi, a native Georgian grape variety, from vineyards averaging 50 years of age; it is fermented and aged on its skins. It offers smoky bacon notes with citrus and peach, seasoned with pine and wood spice to give it a slight tannic kick. ABV: 12.5 percent.

Georgian Wine House in the District and Maryland: Available in the District at Batch 13, Cleveland Park Wine and Spirits, Potomac Wines & Spirits, Rodman’s; on the list at Compass Rose, Red Hen.

Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli 2013

★ ★

Kakheti, Georgia, $20

A qvevri-fermented amber-style wine, it manages to capture the crisp fruit flavors of the grape, perhaps with a bruise, as though the fruit were about to tip over the edge of over-ripeness. Yet its acidity and structure give it a fascinating edge that will help it pair with robust dishes. ABV: 12.25 percent.

Williams Corner: Available in the District at Circle Wine & Liquor, MacArthur Beverages, Weygandt Wines; on the list at Red Hen.