Qvevri wines from Georgia: 69 wines tried

This was a great chance to try 69 different qvevri wines from Georgia, white and red.

Georgia has become famous in the wine world for the vessels it ages some of its wines in, aside from the actual wines themselves. This is one of the countries that occupies a special place in the world of wine because it’s part of the south Caucuses, which is where the grapevine was first domesticated several thousand years ago. Georgia is a special country for wine because it has an unbroken history of winemaking that goes right back to the origins of wine.

And the qvevri is right at the heart of this history. It’s a large clay vessel that is sunk into the ground. The winery with qvevris in the floor is called a marani. The traditional way of working with these vessels is to fill them with bunches of grapes, and then just let them do their thing. For white wines, 6 months on skins is common, and then the qvevri is opened, and the wine removed: the shape of the qvevri helps with the removal of the yeast lees and other gunk, so the wine doesn’t need clarification or filtration. Many qvevri wines would qualify as natural and have no added sulfites, but a qvevri wine is not necessarily a natural wine.

You can read an in depth article about qvevri winemaking here: https://wineanorak.com/2020/01/05/in-georgia-on-the-qvevri-trail-experiencing-the-living-fossil-of-wine/

Qvevri whites: 41 wines

Solomone Tsistka Tsolikouri 2020 Imereti
12.3% alcohol. Detailed stony nose leads to a fresh, dry, linear palate with some grip. Lively with citrus fruit and marmalade notes, showing good focus and a grainy texture. 91/100

Tchrebalo Wine Cellar Tetra 2019 Racha-Lechnumi
12.5% alcohol. The grape variety here is Tsulikidze Tetra. This has a lively fruity nose of apples, pears and some minerals. The palate has juicy apple and pear fruit with nice precision and a hint of white pepper. Distinctive. 89/100

Simon Chkheidze Wine Cellar Obchuri Tsitska-Tsolikouri 2019 Imereti
11.6% alcohol. Earthy, cheesy and lively. This has a nice bright, dry palate with some detail, some fine herbs, minerality and a nice stoniness. 88/100

Simon Chkheidze Wine Cellar Obchuri Tsitska-Krakhuna 2019 Imereti
11% alcohol. Distinctive aromatics with dairy, cheesy hints and some damp earth and wax. The palate is lovely, though, with herb-tinged lemony fruit and some pear, as well as nice fine-grained structure and length. 90/100

Sevsamora Winery Kisi 2019 Kakheti
12.5% alcohol. Amber colour. Wonderful aromatics of grapes, pears, spice and apricot. The palate has an earthy edge with pear, spice and apricot. The palate has an earthy edge to the pear and spice, with detailed, grainy structure. Very fine with lovely fruit, wax, clay, spice and mint. 93/100

Babunidze Wines Kisi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
12% alcohol. Amber colour. This is earthy and spicy with clay aromatics. The palate is dry and structured with lovely notes of wax, earth, spice and compact citrus fruit. Lots of structure here, and quite dry on the finish. 92/100

Georgian Wines Rare Kisi 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Fine with notes of cheese, wax and earth alongside fresh white pepper, mint, and pear and apple fruit. Lovely structure and detail here: very fine. 93/100

Koncho & Company Kisi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Warm, rounded and textured with table grape, pear and citrus notes, showing nice structure and hints of peach and marmalade. Lovely warmth and texture here. 92/100

Kindzmarauli Corporation Duruji Valley Kisi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Fine, fresh and detailed with fresh pear, apple and citrus fruit, as well as a touch of marmalade and apricot. Very pretty and fine, but also has nice structure. 91/100

Winiveria Gurashvili’s Kisi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Savoury, rich, earthy and oily with ripe apple and pear fruit. Shows nice structure and has a grippy finish. Nice intensity and warmth here. 89/100

Art Mtevani Artevani Kisi 2017 Kakheti
12% alcohol. Lively, textural, detailed and fine with some clay/earth notes, fresh citrus, marmalade and pear. Very fine pear and peach fruit. Structured, but with layers. 93/100

Odjaleshe Tsolikouri Salkhino Terroir of Legale 2020 Samegrelo
13% alcohol. Deep amber in colour, this has baked apple aromatics and a lively palate with apples and lemons, as well as some orange peel. Firm tannins and good acidity: a distinctive wine. 90/100

Ketevan Ninidze Oda Family Marani 2019 Semegrelo
14% alcohol. This is a varietal Tsolikouri. Powerful, grapey, rich and spicy, with lively lemony fruit with some table grape richness. There’s some structure here, and also some sweetness. 87/100

Gurginedze Family Vineyards Itsis Marani Bimbili 2019 Imereti
13.5% alcohol. This is varietal Tsolikouri. Bright and lively with crisp, pure citrus fruit and a touch of pear. Modern and fruity with nice acidity. 90/100

Vazi+ Binekhi Tsolikauri Qvevri 2018 Imereti
13.5% alcohol. Refined, fresh and appealing with pure fruit, some pear and a touch of melon. There’s nice citrus with freshness and detail. Refined. 91/100

Zaalis Marani Zaal Liluashivili’s Wine Cellar Tsolikouri 2018 Imereti
12% alcohol. This is varietal Tsolikouri. Sweetly aromatic with warm slightly earthy peach and marmalade notes. Grainy palate with pears and liqourice as well as some earthy notes. 89/100

George Wolski Andrias Gvino Chinuri 2019
12% alcohol. This is a varietal Chinuri. Mint, apple and pear with some earthy hints. Very stony and mineral, showing lovely freshness and purity. Has good acid and a bit of tannic grip. 92/100

Naberauli Wines Rachuli Mstvane 2020 Racha-Lechkhumi
13% alcohol. Mstvane is the variety. Fresh and bright with nice structure. Has some pear and spice character with nice balance. Lovely grip here: delicate and fine with nice fruit. 92/100

Nareklishvili & Sons Qvevri Wine Cellar Mtsvivani Kakhuri Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Rounded and sweetly fruited with marmalade and apricot, some nectarine and lovely depth of fruit, showing fine structure. Such an appealing wine. 93/100

Beka Jimsheladze Vellino Mtsvane 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Lovely aromatics of pear, peach and spice. The palate is textured and fine with sweet pear and ripe apple notes. Nice structure too: fine-grained and expressive. 94/100

Bolero & Company Sabado Grand Mtsvane Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Stony and earthy with hints of mint, pear and apple, as well as some spice. There’s a tint hint of mustiness in the background, and a dry earthy finish. 86/100

Chona’s Marani Mtsvane/Rkatsiteli 2019 Kakheti
14.5% alcohol. Deeply coloured. Rich, fruity and textural with earth, spice, tea and minerals. Shows nice ripe pear and peach fruit. Quite dense with some warmth and good structure. 92/100

Nareklishvili & Sons Qvevri Wine Cellar Khikhvi Ovevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Lovely marmalade, mandarin and pear fruit with good acidity and structure. This has spice and ripe apple with good texture and depth. Fine and intense. 94/100

George Wolski Andrias Gvino Rkatsiteli 2020 Kakheti
13.7% alcohol. Finely aromatic with pear, peach and mandarin. Nice spicy notes with good structure, and flavours of apple, lemon and mandarin. Very lively and detailed. 93/100

Anapea Village Udabno Side Rkatsiteli 2019 Kakheti
12% alcohol. Very fresh with notes of mint and earth on the nose. Supple and fresh in the mouth with pear, apple and lemon, as well as some pithy notes, good structure and a stony earthy edge. 93/100

Askaneli Brothers Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
Supple with appealing mandarin and pear fruit. Fresh and clean with good acidity and fine-grained structure. Good weight with nice balance – this is expressive, juicy and fine, showing good balance. 94/100

Marbano Goruli Mtsvane Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13.5% alcohol. Rounded and textural with pear, peach and table grape notes as well as subtle earthy hints. Finely spiced with good fruit. 92/100

Babunidze Wines Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
12.5% alcohol. Earth, spice, wax and smoke on the nose. Fresh, structured palate with waxy pear fruit and some lemony notes. 88/100

Chona’s Marani Rkatsiteli 2019 Kakheti
14.5% alcohol. Some waxy clay notes on the nose but the theme here is sweet textured fruit: pears, apples, lemons and spice. This has some warmth with lovely ripe fruit. 93/100

Corporation Georgian Wine Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Deeply coloured. Very lively bright apple and marmalade notes with sweet spiciness. Oxidative in style with high acidity under the appley fruit. Has firm structure. 87/100

Georgian Wines Rare Rkatsiteli 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. This has a nutty edge to the   nose which shows waxy citrus fruit. The palate is textured and detailed with lovely apple, peach and melon fruit, as well as a bit of structure. Some cherry, too. 91/100

Beka Jimsheladze Vellino Rkatsiteli 2018 Kakheti
Highly aromatic table grape and nectarine. Rounded, smooth, showing supple pear and peach fruit with soft texture. So pretty and detailed. 93/100

Rusudan Zerakidze Zenishi Rkatsiteli 2018 Kakheti
13.5% alcohol. Appley pear fruit with some mint and clay notes. It has a distinct savoury edge with some nutty, earthy notes. 85/100

Vazi+ Binekhi Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2017 Kakheti
13.5% alcohol. Stony and restrained. A bit earthy with nice weight and some fleshy pear fruit on the palate, as well as a hint of aniseed. Nice weight. 92/100

Kindzmarauli Marani Krakhuna Qvevri 2019
12% alcohol. Minty medicinal edge to the sweet pear and apple fruit. This has some structure and a bit of stoniness. 88/100

Gurian Wines by Amiran Dolidze Krakhuna 2019 Guria
12% alcohol. Rounded and open, with grapey notes as well as appealing pear and mandarin fruit. Good acidity and a bit of structure here. Lively and bright. 90/100

Sanavardo Estate Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
12.5% alcohol. Sony and fresh with supple pear and citrus fruit, as well as ripe apple. Quite fruit driven. Lively with just a bit of structure. 89/100

Wine Company Orshymo Anbani Rkatsiteli 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Supple and rounded with pear, apple and spice as well as a touch of clay/earth. Nice detail and acidity with real finesse. 92/100

Marbano Rkatsiteli Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
14.5% alcohol. This is very fine with a structured palate and lovely grainy notes, showing subtle spice and earth under the pear fruit. So refined with a slight salinity and good balance. 95/100

Vartsikhe Marani Krakhuna Qvevri 2018 Imereit
30% skin fermented. Fresh, supple and fine showing juicy citrus fruit, some marmalade and a bit of grip. There’s an earthy, buscuitty edge to the palate. Vivid style. 89/100  

Ketevan Ninidze Oda Family Marani Qvevri Nature Rosé 2019 Samegrelo
A qvevri rosé. Fine and textured with a grainy, stony edge to the fresh citrus and pear fruit. Lovely elegance with some cherry and raspberry notes. Bright and layered. 92/100

Qvevri reds: 28 wines

Solomone Dzelshavi 2020 Imereti
11.5% alcohol. Fresh, supple and elegant with nice fine spicy notes, good acidity and stony cherry fruit. Has fine grained structure. 93/100

Gurian Wines of Amiran Dolidze Ckhaveri Qvevri 2018 Guria
13.3% alcohol. Very pale red. Supple, stony and elegant. Fine and expressive with some appealing stony hints, showing real finesse with red cherries and spice. 93/100

Vartsikhe Marani Aladasturi 2019 Imereti
11.5% alcohol. Pale red in colour, this is silky, stony and fine with elegant red cherry and raspberry fruit, with real finesse and purity, and astonishing elegance. 95/100

Ketevan Ninidze Oda Family Marani 2019 Samegrelo
11.5% alcohol. Cherry red colour. Fine, pure and sappy on the nose. Bright, lively and vivid in the mouth with some cheesy hints, and a bit of mousiness. 75/100

Odjaleshe Odjaleche Salkhino 2018 Samagrelo
13% alcohol. Rich, ripe and textured with bold sweet berry fruits. Sweetly fruited with great depth of fruit and some richness. Very expressive in a ripe style. 93/100

Itsis Marani Bimbili 2019 Racha-Lechkhumi
14% alcohol. Fresh and vibrant with lovely aromatics. Ripe, sweet, rounded cherry and berry fruits with freshness and purity. 90/100

Tsulukidze Wine Yards Aleksandrouli 2019 Racha-Lechkhumi
13.5% alcohol. Fresh, lively and juicy with some firm tannic structure and fresh black fruits. 87/100

Simon Chkheidze Wine Cellar Otskhanuri Sapere 2017 Racha-Lechkhumi
11% alcohol. Cheese, earth, spice and herbs. Stony and detailed with firm grippy structure. 88/100

Anapea Village Saperavi Kvareli Side 2019 Kakheti
14% alcohol. Stony, slightly cheesy nose. Finely textured palate with good acid and firm structure. So juicy and intense with a distinctive personality. 90/100

Winiveria Saperavi 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Deep colour. Floral and fresh with a sappy nose and juicy cherry fruit. Such texture here: lovely supple fruit. Warm, rich and rounded with bright fruit and nice freshness. 93/100

Sevsamora Winery Saperavi 2019 Kakheti
14.5% alcohol. Fresh and concentrated, grainy and structured. Grippy and firm with appealing raspberry and cherry fruit with nice acidity and structure, showing finesse. 92/100

Beka Jimsheladze Vellino Saperavi 2018 Kakheti
13.7% alcohol. Powerful, ripe and lively with spicy cherries and some earth. Slightly baked fruit with nice intensity and a bit of grip. Vivid fruit. 90/100

Babunidze Wines Saperavi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Sweetly aromatic with rapsberries and plums and red cherries. The palate is fresh and nicely structured with a clay/earth edge to it and sweet red fruits. Pretty and detailed. 92/100

Manzulas Marani Saperavi 2019 Kakheti
Slightly stinky nose. Earthy, spicy and vivid with black cherries and spice. The palate is sappy and earthy. 86/100

Nareklishvili & Sons Qvevri Wine Cellar Saperavi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13.5% alcohol. Intensely coloured. Floral and fresh with really fine, intense cherry and raspberry fruit. Shows purity, freshness and structure. Thrilling and very fine. 95/100

Bolero & Company Sabado Saperavi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Supple, structured and spicy with sweet cherry and berry fruits. Has a really finely wrought structure under the fleshy fruit. 93/100

Corporation Kindzmarauli Duruji Valley Saperavi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
13.5% alcohol. Savoury, stony and juicy with a slight cedary, spicy edge to the cherry and berry fruits. Nice focus here. 88/100

Georgian Wines Zanguara Saperavi 2018 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Supple, fresh and bight with rounded raspberry and cherry fruit, showing good acidity. Lively with fine spicy notes. 89/100

Vazi+ Binekhi Saperavi Reserve Qvevri 2017 Kakheti
14.1% alcohol. Fleshy, ripe and smooth with pure blackberry and black cherry fruit. Has a slight stony edge. Ripe and seductive with smooth rich fruit. 92/100

Sanavardo Estate Shiraz Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Earthy, stony edge to the sweet supple cherry and berry fruit. Medium bodied and fleshy. 87/100

Khareba Winery Lipartiani Wine House Saperavi 2016 Kakheti
Powerful and dense with nice grip, and sweet fruit. Lively and bold with good structure and acidity. 90/100

Corporation Georgian Wine Akido Saperavi Qvevri 2020 Kakheti
12.5% alcohol. Fresh, vivid. Raspberry and cherry fruit with nice brightness and good acidity. So supple and fine with good purity. 93/100

Chona’s Marani Saperavi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
15% alcohol. Intense and dense with dusty, spicy notes. Some warmth to the baked black fruits. Textured and very rich. Grippy and intense. 90/100

Marbano Saperavi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
15% alcohol. Very powerful but still fresh with bold black fruits. Intensely concentrated with fine spiciness and hints of stone and earth. Has some flesh, too. Seductive and ripe but lovely. 93/100

George Wolski Andrias Gvino Saperavi Khashmi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
14.2% alcohol. Grippy and firm with intense structured blackberry fruit. Has some lushness, but also intense structure. Ripe but fresh. 92/100

Wine Company Orshymo Anbani Saperavi Qvevri 2019 Kakheti
13% alcohol. Bright, dark and firm with good structure and intensity. Cherries and plums with nice brightness. Grippy and intense. 90/100

Art Mtevani Artevani Saperavi Qvevri 2018 Kakheti
15% alcohol. Very ripe and sweetly fruited with juicy, lush, intense fruit. Grippy and bold with sleek lush black fruits and a seductive style. 90/100

Find these wines with wine-searcher.com