Jakeli Wines, Khashmi, Tbilisi, Georgia
Brothers Zaza and Malkhaz Jakeli are pioneers of organic wine making in Georgia (Caukascert certification since 2009). They use green manure, copper and sulphur for plant protection. Vineyards: 5.5 ha, 12 years old, alluvial soils 760 m asl on the South-West foothill of the Tsiv Gombori mountain range. No oak barrels. No filtering.
The ancient Georgian village of Khashmi in Kakheti is famous for its Saperavi grape variety. The Jakeli family started their vineyard in 2001. It is set up near the village in the Iori valley teaming with field flowers, blackberry, sweetbrier and sea-buckthorn bushes and bordering forestry mountains. The vineyards are managed organically, never irrigated and sprayed maximum 5 times in May-July. The soil is not cultivated to allow a soil food web to develop and improve its structure. Grass is scythed several times per season and used for mulching. The harvest is usually carried out in the middle of October. Grapes are hand-picked, sorted and processed immediately. Vinification is made naturally, without any addition of synthetic chemicals to alter the process. Sulphites are used in the smallest amounts and only after the Malo-Lactic fermentation. The wine is aged for at least 30 months and not filtered.
Georgia is considered to be the source of the world's first cultivated grapevines and neolithic wine production, over 8,000 years ago. Modern Georgia still cultivate many indigenous grape varieties. The Saperavi (meaning "dye") grape originated in Kakheti and is one of the most interesting of these old grape varieties. Kakheti in eastern Georgia borders to the Caucasus mountain range and 65% of Georgia’s vineyards are located here. The climate is sub-tropical. Khashmi in the Kakheti region is one of the regions that produces the best Saperavi wines. The grape is deeply coloured and shows an astonishingly energetic force in the mouth. A great Saperavi is shockingly good: no other words will do. The complexity and elegance of Jakeli's Saperavi is mind blowing. The nose is overflowing with currant, plum, mint, tobacco and beautiful spice aromatics. It has a luscious mouth-feel with plenty of blackberry, plum and raspberry flavours. The acidity is perfect, finishing long with raspberry, mineral and spice. These are absolutely outstanding wines with a very good potential for ageing.