2014 Mtsvane by Okro

While we were in Sighnaghi KMac and I made a point to find the Okro winery and restaurant one evening. When we arrived one of the family members showed us around their cellar and answered our exhaustive questions. Of course we then stayed for a tasting and to have dinner. To accompany the excellent food we ordered my favorite bottle from the tasting: the 2014 Mtsvane by Okro.

Mtsvane by Okro

Mtsvane, which means “green” in Georgian, has six different, genetically unique, variations. The two most common of which are Mtsvane Kakhuri and Goruli Mtsvane. I am not positive which of the two Okro used. I know she told us told but unfortunately I misplaced my notes! My guess is that it is probably the Mtsvane Kakhuri. It grows well on the calcareous soils in Kakheti where Okro is located.

When made European-style (fermented and aged in stainless steal) Mtsvane Kakhuri makes light, dry wines with white peach, floral, citrus and tropical aromas, with a light mineral undertone. When made in qvevri it darkens into an amber wine with flavors that are more like apricot and other stone fruits.

Mtsvane by Okro

Goruli Mtsvane, on the other hand, is mostly planted in the alluvial soils along the Mtkvari River and in the Ateni Valley. Goruli Mtsvane is very light and best drunk when young and fresh, when its floral, lime, and subtle honeyed notes are crisp and most vibrant.

Mtsvane, be it Kakhuri or Goruli, is one of my favorite Georgian grapes and this Mtsvane by Okro is one of the nicest I’ve had. I’m so happy I managed to convince them to sell me a bottle! It seems that when KMac and I were there they were down to their last few bottles of the 2014 and were keeping them back for the restaurant.

Mtsvane by Okro

2014 Mtsvane by Okro

First of all, this is a qvevri wine fermented and aged in one of the traditional, Georgian clay vessels. Also unfiltered so it’s quite cloudy.

The nose was apricots and peaches and honey with a hint of something green. From the aromas in the nose I half-way expected it to be slightly sweet even though I knew it was a dry wine. In fact it was rather sharp with some lemon, a lot of minerality, and thyme.

I enjoyed all the Okro’s wines we tried but this was my favorite. I hope that the next time I visit Kakheti I’ll be able to visit Okro’s vineyards as well.

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