We’re returning to Lože to the Benčina family tonight because there’s a particular wine that deserves some spotlight. We’re in search of a distinct wine produced with the old Georgian techniques. Yes, a Chardonnay fermented in a large clay vessel and matured in oak barrels, imparting a new dimension.
Grapes for it were hand-harvested from two vineyards aged twenty and twelve years. They are planted in Soudan at South-facing altitudes between 200 and 300 meters above sea level.
Bunches are de-stemmed and placed in a 1,300-litre kvevri, where they ferment spontaneously and stir for a good half a year. The mash is then gently pressed, and the wine is racked into two 500-litre used oak barrels, where it matures for a year. After coarse filtration, it is finally bottled.
Benčina’s Chardonnay Amfora displays a crystal, golden yellow colour and dense texture.
Its bouquet is intense, and we detect ripe peach, apple slices, tepka pear and papaya. They are joined by scents of candied lemon and orange, at the same time yellow roses, and hints of forest honey, vanilla, rosemary, allspice and liquorice.
The wine is dry and snows a soft character with well-incorporated alcohols. It packs with freshness and minerality at the same time counterbalancing it all up. A reasonably persistent, full-bodied and elegant wine that leaves a particularly mineral aftertaste and perceptions of overripe yellow fruit, flowers and sweet spices. A wine with the potential to age for at least the next seven years.
A bottle will cost you approximately 15 Eur, and you can order it by calling the winemaker at +386 41 650 662 or sending an e-mail to vina.benčina@gmail.com.