RKS 2023 Wine: A Georgian Wine Tasting at The Russian Gun Club

Most of my wine tastings have been at estates, chateaus, restaurants, ships and all sorts of event venues. The most memorable have been in various quintas in Portugal’s Douro region where I have been treated on occasion like visiting royalty. Perhaps the strangest venue in a Canadian city years ago was a Georgian wine tasting at a Russian Gun Club. Very creepy being the only guest with what appeared to be cameras rolling somewhat hidden in the wall. Being the only guest, I felt just a bit vulnerable. Were my hosts packing some heat? Despite an invitation to carouse at a Georgia restaurant after our tasting I made a speedy exit. If I had refused the invitation, would I be chief sommelier for the Wagner Group today?

Having recovered from the Russian Gun Club trauma why not try a Georgian Mukuzani red wine! Please ensure your safety is on if you please. Let’s think of that Ray Charles rendition of “Georgia on My Mind” instead of the smell of gun powder!

This red wine is made from the Saperavi grape a dark skinned, pink fleshed, low yielding variety which has good resistance to winter cold. It produces wines high in tannin, color and acidity which require bottle time to soften. Unless it can benefit from late ripening look out for unpleasant acidity. It seems plentiful in Moldova and Georgia and of course in the cellars of certain Russian gun clubs!

Aroma: Perhaps a bit like the Wagner Group the aroma is one that “takes no hostages”. Rich and pervasive black fruit predominates. Very rich black cherry almost has you thinking this is some cousin of Marechal Foch or Baco Noir or perhaps forgetting Ray Charles a bit of Jimmy Hendrix “Foxy Lady”?

Palate: Tannins settle in gradually and they are not harsh. An easy drinking wine with some oomph and not arrgh! It could certainly suit some grilled goat or lamb! Not elegant yet not brutish. Perhaps convincingly assertive? Definitely interesting!

Personality: Like the Ukrainian fighting forces I am no pushover. If handled with skill and care there is no reason you won’t be hearing more of me and my Sapervarian friends. Enjoy me at my reasonable price. Don’t refer to me as a “bargain” please and cheapen my image!

Food match: Not having been to Georgia I am at a loss of some relevant Georgian dish. I would think though a hearty stew.

Cellarbility: I have had a couple of Marechal Foch’s and Baco Noirs from Ontario that age beautifully. I might take a risk and hold this up to 2026.

Price: $16.95 (Ontario).

RKS 2023 Wine Rating: 89/100.

(Rtvelisi Mukuzani 2020 Red Dry Wine, Rtvelisi, Tbilisi, Georgia, 750 mL, 13% Liquor Control Board of Ontario # 18384).

Published by Robert K Stephen (CSW)

Robert K Stephen writes about food ,drink, travel, film, and lifestyle issues. He also has published serialized novels "Life at Megacorp", "Virus # 26, "Reggie the Egyptian Rescue Dog" and "The Penniless Pensioner" Robert was the first associate member of the Wine Writers’ Circle of Canada. He also holds a Mindfulness Certification from the University of Leiden and the University of Toronto. Be it Spanish cured meat, dried fruit, BBQ, or recycled bamboo place mats, Robert endeavours to escape the mundane, which is why he has established this publication. His motto is, "Have Story, Will Write."

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