NIKALAS MARANI 2018
JESUS AND WINE
Georgia, the oldest wine-producing region on earth, could possibly be ground zero where God, on day one created Adam and Eve from Adam’s rib. But contextually, this area could more accurately be where Jesus converted water into wine at a wedding. Damn, even Jesus knew it’s a faux pa to run out of alcohol at parties, especially at weddings! He’s definitely filled with countless blessings. But aside from that notion, I’m reviewing for you this wine that was produced within the Republic of Georgia who has been producing wine since B.C. What appears to continue being christened with blessings over several millennia, the wines are now finally having a voice with a fresh new face.
ORIGIN OF WINE
The Republic of Georgia looks like a nucleus on Google Earth, compared to everyone else on the globe. Giving you clarity where this country is located is complicated but does set the mood as to why you should be drinking this wine: For one, It’s a part of the Caucasus region, simplifying, it’s a traditional line of demarcation between the continents of Europe and Asia. Secondly, it’s surrounded to the west by the Black Sea, then to the northeast by Russia, cradled to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and ultimately blanketed to the southeast by Azerbaijan ( Azerbaijan sounds like Disney came up with this name. No worries, to sum that all up for you it’s basically the Middle East.
This is a wine “Uncrafted” by Nikalas Marani, PURELY taking you back thousands of years of how the real wine was made. In a personal opinion to my readers, I would have desired to see the house of Nikalas Marani stand alone and represent their wines based on their winemaking convictions. Unfortunately, the producers have fallen prey to market their wines under the umbrella “NEW AGE RAW WINE MOVEMENT” bandwagon parade. There is not a lawfully clearly defined category “yet” for those of you who have been smitten by the labels that bear it. Guys this how wine was made since the inception of time and fortunately, Nikalas Marani is as close as you will get that exclusively defines what a real raw wine is.
CLICK HERE TO READ MY ARTICLE “ORANGE WINES FAVORING ALL THE RIGHT SEASONS” REFERENCING MORE ON “NATURAL WINES”
THE DONKEY EXPRESS
Hop on their Donkey Express train (no I’m not making that up, yes, Jesus did ride through towns on a donkey, but maybe it’s Georgia’s cheesy touristic throwback), toward the best-known Georgian wine region, Kakheti. For whatever reason, if you find yourself in THIS most ambiguous part of the Middle East, no need to confess your reason, just enjoy it for all its virtues. Viticulture and the scent of antiquity in Kakheti are synonymous. Here wine production is the way of life and NIKALAS MARANI is the image of Georgian winemaking tradition.
DRINKING IN GREEN PASTURES ALONG WITH THE DONKEY EXPRESS
There’s no way to decipher what you’re drinking unless you know what’s in the bottle. Mtsvane or Mtavani means “green Kakheti,” It’s older than the most widely planted native variety Rkatsiteli. Mtsvane Kakhuri’s five-lobed leaves are dark green and funneled; the medium-sized bunches can be quite dense, sometimes with one shoulder and medium-sized berries. The variety’s searing acid integrates fine with Mtsvani’s fruity flavor and perfumed bouquet and finishes with a pleasant hint of salinity, (someone gives me a plate of bar food NOW! yum!).
Traditionally Mtsvane is made with skin contact and blended with the most popular variety Rkatsiteli. Zurab refers to a fresh, aromatic style; this wine is all free run with no skin contact. It’s so virgin that it is fermented and aged in qvevri and where it evolves its aloof biological flavors and complexities. The grapes are grown just shy of 2 acres and farmed. The result of this wine echoes its fruit, floral personality, and robust acidity. The free run style and low yields show their concentration and resolve into a voluptuous texture.
Zurab is also the president of the “Natural Wine Association of Georgia”. The fair hosts an annual natural wine event called, “Zero Compromise”. They may not be compromising on their timeless winemaking traditions, but have compromised on fashionable international titles that yet to have merit. To be fair (no pun intended), Georgia has never had a respectable presence on the global wine market. Thankfully, oxidized, quaffable, alcoholic grape juice are days of the past. Today, introspective, quality talented winemakers are now driven to utilize their heritage raw materials to craft extraordinary wines of character NIKALAS MARANI 2018 drinks like a lager beer, full-bodied wine, and sparkling wine… truly approachable, alluring, and fun!
ENTER THE FUNK ZONE
Unfined, unfiltered, no temperature control (no refrigeration in B.C.), fermented spontaneously with ambient yeast, aged in clay pots called qvevri, and yes, finally buried underground to age! You want RAW WINE, here’s your sign! Nikalas Winery was founded by Nikalas Mgvdlashvili in 1928. It comes specifically from the village of Kardenakhi Gurjaani originating from the STONE AGES! within the popular winegrowing region of Kakheti. And you thought Greek Wines are hard to figure out. Well, “raw wine” or not, Nikalas Marani is a true testament that ancient winemaking traditions can be relevant today.
JOHN 2: 1-11
“They have no wine,” and Jesus replied, “Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come.” His mother then said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” Jesus ordered the servants to fill containers with water and to draw out some and take it to the chief steward. After tasting it, without knowing where it came from, the steward remarked to the bridegroom that he had departed from the custom of serving the best wine first. The steward then remarked, “This is by far the best wine yet!” Jesus did this as one of the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee to reveal his glory; and his disciples then believed in him. What ancient wine are you drinking now that’s relevant today??????
Watch this video to appreciate this beautiful label
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