Wines of the Historic Vazisubani Estate in Kakheti

Lado Uzunashvili

In 1891 Sulkhan Chavchavadze established this estate with 20 ha of vineyards. He and his family were murdered during the Soviet Russia invasion of 1921, and the palace and winery were destroyed.  During Soviet occupation, the estate became part of the Research Institute of Viticulture and Winemaking and was then privatized after the collapse of the USSR. The property had deteriorated dramatically from its former pre-Soviet grandeur. Starting in 2013, Lado Uzunashvili, Mamuka Khazaradze and Badri Japaridze restored the property with 35 ha of vineyards and a boutique hotel. Vazisubani is located at 500m elevation south of the Alazani River. All wines are made from grapes grown by the estate, including Kakhuri Mtsvane, Saperavi, Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi, and Kisi. Both traditional qvevri and modern European style wines are produced.  Current production is about 16 thousand cases with capacity to produce about 29 thousand.  The wines were tasted with the winemaking team at the winery in Kakheti and at our offices in Washington DC.

Lado Uzunashvili (shown here) is the lead winemaker at Vazisubani. Born and raised in Mukuzani, Lado holds a degree in enology from Moscow All-Union Food Industry University and is an international wine researcher and winemaker with experience in Australia, France, Morocco, Italy and Japan.  He worked at Australia’s Wine Research Institute, and he introduced Australian McLaren Vale winemaker Hugh Hamilton to the Saperavi grape.

US Importer: Ghvinos Wine Group  [www.ghvinos.com]

The Wines

Vazisubani Estate

Vazisubani 2020 Estate Collection Mtsvane Kakheti (Gurjaani) ($28) 91 Pale yellow straw.  A very appealing, fresh and full white wine made from the Mtsvane variety. Melon and white peach show on the nose, and it has a perfumed palate of citrus and melon with a light, fresh herbal note, finishing very long.  Sourced from estate vineyards on the right side of the Alazani River at 400-500? elevation. Fermented in stainless steel in a European style with lees stirring. 13.5% alc.

Vazisubani 2020 Estate Collection Khikhvi Kakheti (Gurjaani) 90 Pale yellow straw. This wine made in the European style from Khikhvi grapes reveals clean citrus on the nose. It’s crisp on the attack with good flavor concentration of melon, pear and herbs. An easy drinking wine. 14% alc.

Vazisubani 2020 Kakhuri Mtsvane Qvevri Dry Amber Kakheti (Vazisubani) ($28) 92  Amber-orange color. This wine is dry but balanced. The floral-like bouquet reveals scents of orange and lemon peel, marmalade and a hint of basil. Full in the mouth, almost viscous, with deep flavors of dried stone fruit and orange concentrate with notes of white pepper and herbs. Overall, delicious, especially if paired with the right food. 12.5% alc.

Vazisubani 2020 Kisi Qvevri Dry Amber Kakheti (Vazisubani) 91 Orange-tinged amber color. Complex perfumed nose of honeycomb, dried orange and apricot scents. Clean, savory and broad palate with notes of orange, almond, and baking spice. Very dry character requires food to show its best. 12.5% alc.

Vazisubani 2020 Saperavi Dry Red ($28) 92  Dark ruby. Tobacco leaf, dark purple berries and a hint of dark chocolate on the nose. Soft, velvety attack with good flavor concentration, showing both fruit and savory notes. Needs a bit of cellar time to soften the tannins, but very high potential. 13.5% alc.

Vazisubani 2021 Estate Collection Mukuzani Saperavi Kakheti (Gurjaani) 93 This Saperavi based wine from the Mukuzani PDO opens with a sweet, dark red berry nose. It’s judiciously oaked and shows a creamy texture on the attack, clean flavors and firm, semi-astringent tannins. Matured in oak for 8 months. Better than the 2020 vintage, which we also tasted. 13.5% alc.

Source : https://i-winereview.com/blog/index.php/2024/04/17/wines-of-the-historic-vazisubani-estate-in-kakheti/