Icewine is expensive. Consider what’s involved before those rare few drops are squeezed into the bottle: grapes have to survive the summer, fall and into the winter, fighting off pests, the elements and birds; it needs to be picked and pressed in the middle of the night at temperatures well below zero; and, since the juice is so concentrated, it takes four to five times as many grapes to make the wine.
The result is often magical, a true nectar, an explosion of sweet concentrated fruit flavors. I’ve tried many that have hit the mark, Telavi Wine Cellar’s Satrapezo, a winery in the eastern Georgian Lakheti region, among them.
Telavi Cellar’s Satrapezo Icewine is 100% Rkatsiteli, harvested in early December at a chilly -9°C, quickly sorted by hand, pressed, then fermented for two montsh in stainless steel tanks. Next, it was kept in tanks just above freezing for another six months, filtered and bottled-aged for another six months prior to release.
Shimmering gold in appearance, dense, with layers of candied pear and honeyed raisins. Zesty orange on the lingering finish. Very, very nice.