This delicious Shalauri Khikhvi is made from the Khikhvi grape of the same name that is grown in the 37-year-old 2.5 ha vineyard in the Akhmeta zone. The soil consists of limestone clay.
The wine is natural and made according to the traditional Qvevri method. It is fermented with naturally occurring native wild yeast and no artificial additives have been added. The only additive used is sulfur in an amount consistent with natural winemaking standards. The maceration time for this Khikhvi is 7 months.
Before these amber-colored wines are marketed, they must have matured for at least 2.5 years with at least 12 months of aging in the Qvevri.
The winery has implemented a double grape control during the harvest which is picked by hand. The first check takes place at the vineyard where quality grapes have been carefully selected and the rest have been rejected. The grapes are then checked at a sorting table, where the dubious grapes are then rejected or adjusted with special scissors. The destemmed and partially crushed grapes are then poured into a Qvevri. During the fermentation, the must is stirred with traditional wooden devices. As the wine fermented, the Qvevri form promoted circulation and clears the wine. The wine is fermented for 14-16 days using naturally occurring native wild yeasts. After the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation is over, qvevri is closed and sealed and the wine matures with skin contact for another 7 months.
And it’s this long-lasting skin contact during maceration that gives amber wines that iconic amber color and more tannins than conventionally made white wine. In the spring, right after the Georgian Orthodox Easter, the shells and seeds are removed from the wine, Qvevri is refilled and the wine left in the Qvevri to mature for another 6 months. After the completion of wine maturation in the Qvevri, the wine is bottled and then stored for bottled aging in an underground cellar.
Delicious aromas of fruit and wild flowers, apple, apricot and dried fruit are complemented by firm yet elegant natural tannins.
This wine goes well with white meat, game birds, pork and rich fish dishes. But above all, the wine combines well with (goat) cheese.
Decanting before serving is recommended.