I was going to call this one, "What Would Otzi Drink?" Otzi was the Neolithic Hunter found preserved in Alpen ice along Italian-Austrian border in 1991.
Colleagues in archeology have recently dated the earliest wine-making to the early part of the Neolithic age. And by 'recently', I'm referring to geological time: The discovery was five years ago. When residue of fermented grape juice was found in what's now the Republic of Georgia from a vintage that's 8,000 years old. That's also recent if you're a geologist.
In a continuation of our amphora wine studies, we recently opened a bottle of Georgian wine: Vinoterra Mtsvane, 2005. Mtsvane is an indigenous, white Georgian grape, "well known" according to the back label. Like our Julius Caesar wines, this is fermented in ancient terra cotta pots (the Georgians call them, kvevri) then aged in oak barrels.
Wine made with neolithic technology on the site of the possible origins of wine-making itself... what's not to like about that?
The wine in the glass is orange, like liquid rust. The nose is super funky, oxidized and aromatic. Orange rind, nutty caramel, quince past and something like sherry/vin jaune. In the mouth, the fruit jumps, and the acid too. There's a faint sherry quality. And a coppery metallic element (reminds me of Joly's terroir signature in the Coulée de Serrant vineyard). The finish is hazelnut and river stones.
I thought this was really interesting. But was it good? I brought a bottle home from the Lab for the wife to put her super-palate on.
Her note was succinct:
Undrinkable camel piss.
Drink at your own risk, I guess.