Friday 19 May 2017

'Khikhvi' 2015, Georgian Vine Foundation

To be honest I wanted red. Something French and red and not Georgian and orange but that’s not what they drink in Georgia and we were still in Georgia and SURPRISE in a wine bar even though I’m pretty sure my waking words had been ‘Today no wine’ same as every day since about the second day but it was our last day so it was to be an amber ok breathing now.      

We were at G.Vino picking over the list with notebooks and half memories like hyenas over bones and our waiter, initially I think relieved to be talking to tourists who’d even tried a local wine, was I think beginning to find it an itsy bitsy bit of a challenge to recommend something we’d not tried: something I say by the way not to sound like a dick but because after drinking about 40 different wines in 6 days was true.

Until he did and it was a 2015 Khikhvi by Ramaz Nikoladze (Imereti) and a project of 11 of his drinking buddies (not necessarily Imereti) working with rare grapes that they’re calling “Georgian Vine Foundation” and what I’m calling the closest I’ve come to drinking a net bag stuffed full of bright sun blaze mandarins cold fresh pressed, squish, swish-decanted, pits, pith, leaf, stem, skins and all to make juice clouded flouro orange in the glass, sweet damp hay and citrus breeze running fresh through your kumquat ok, tangerine dreams and all the while sparkling diamond laser cutting mechanic clean and like I say, M A N D A R I N E S.


"Khikhvi" 2015 (170 bottles)
Georgian Vine Foundation
Chortauli, Georgia

Correction: When I published this I wrote that the Georgian Vine Foundation was a project between Ramaz and Niki Antadze and that 'Chortauli' was a grape, not an area. Yeah, so both wrong, and I had to go back to Georgia to find out. It's July, we're in Ramaz's cellar. I ask whether he had any of that Khikhvi-Chortauli blend he was making. 

Ramaz: ''Someone showed me this article on the internet that says I'm working with Niki. They also thought Chortauli was a grape". 

Me: "Oh. So that was me".

Apologies to all 12 of you. Your Khihkvi definitely-not-'Chortauli' is the b.e.s.t and I'd love a bottle now as I wait in the Aer Lingus lounge.

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