Gogi Dakishivli: Current Releases from Georgia’s Master Winemaker


Gogi Dakishivli [credit DWinkler]

On our recent visit to the Kakheti region of Georgia, we visited and tasted with one of Georgia’s preeminent winemakers, Giorgi (Gogi) Dakishivili.  He makes Dakishvili Family wines with his son Temur as well as those of Orgo, his own label. He also makes wines at Schuchman and previously made the wines at Teliani Valley. His winemaking skills are legendary, and his wines show it.  They’re flavorful, elegant, and his qvevri wines show none of the off-putting characteristics of some natural wines.

We started the tasting with Gogi’s pet-nats, sparkling wines made by bottle-fermenting before the initial fermentation is complete.  Georgians love their pet-nats, and not many of them escape the country.  Fortunately, the Georgia Wine House brings in a couple of Gogi’s pet-nats.  These wines are fun, flavorful, and surprisingly refined. We review them below.

We also tasted several Dakishivili Family and Orgo wines made with some of Georgia’s best known indigenous varietals: Kisi, Rkatsiteli, and Saperavi.  Gogi makes the Kisi and Rkatsiteli both in qvevri and stainless steel, so we were able to see how the character of the grapes differs with vinification method. In general, the stainless steel, or European method, of fermenting produced clean, fruity wines perfect on their own, while the qvevri method resulted in more complex, savory, and tannic wines best paired with food.

The grapes for these wines were all sourced from vineyards near the Dakishvili winery in Village Kiskhevi outside Telavi in the Kakheti region.  Some came from old vineyards planted in Soviet times.

The US importer is the Georgian Wine House

Dakishvili FamilyWines

Dakishvili Family 2022 Chardonnay Pet-Nat Kakheti 92 Medium yellow gold. Shows notes of kiwi, gooseberries and green apple on the nose. Beautiful fine mousse with a round, full mouth feel and bright acidity. Gogi says this pet-nat is not as popular as the Kisi in Georgia because Georgians prefers wines of lower acidity.

Dakishvili Family 2022 Kisi Pet-Nat Kakheti 91 Medium yellow. Tropical nose of pineapple and guava. Fine effervescence and round in the mouth and dry finish with good length. Orgo says he harvests the fruit a bit later than usual to obtain the tropical character he seeks. Marketed in the US, UK and Sweden, but most pet-nat is sold in Georgia.

Kisi Made in Qvevri and Stainless Steel [Credit DWinkler]

Dakishvili Family 2022 Kisi Kakheti Tsinandali Kisivevi Village 91 This Kisi is fermented in stainless steel in order to obtain freshness and preserve the primary fruit character. It shows aromas and flavors of grapefruit and other citrus along with a hint of apple. Round and full on the palate, it has good concentration and acidity. Sourced from a vineyard in Kisivevi village and fermented and aged in stainless steel with no malo.

Dakishvili Family 2021 Kisi Amber Kakheti 93 Medium gold. Hint of orange marmalade with a light caramel accent on the nose. Firm on the attack and full and balanced in the mouth. Excellent acidity, light, round tannins on finish. One does not often use refinement to describe qvevri wines, but this one certainly is. Outstanding. 13% alc.

Dakishvili Family 2020 Rkatsiteli Kakheti 92 Medium yellow. Made in the modern style, this Rkatsiteli is crisp with a bright citrus like nose and a hint of beeswax. The mouthfeel is lush and round with concentrated flavors and superb balance. Made with battonage and long (24 months) lees contact. 14% alc.

Orgo Wines

Orgo 2021 Rkatsiteli Kakheti 93  Light-medium amber color. Multifaceted bouquet of dried and fresh peach with a light butterscotch note. Very creamy mouthfeel with flavors mirroring the bouquet. Nicely balanced. Sourced from an old vineyard (50+ years on average) with a terroir similar to that of the Dakishvili Rkatsiteli.

Orgo 2022 Saperavi Kakheti Telavi 94 Dark ruby. Fermented and partly aged in qvevri, this is a fresh, young wine revealing huckleberry with notes of blueberry and currant along with savory notes. Silky mouth feel with round, firm tannins. Gogi says this wine can age up to a decade. Made from 50-70 year old vines planted in Soviet times in Kurdgelauri and Tsinandali villages. Fermented 3-4 weeks in qvevri with the skins, then skins removed and matured another 2 months in qvevri until malo is completed followed by a couple more months in qvevri and racking to stainless steel for final aging. 13% alc.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/01/31/gogi-dakishivli-current-releases-from-georgias-master-winemaker/