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Details for Badagoni Saperavi


CountryGeorgia
Region
Grape
Year2016
Producer
ABV13.5%


Kakheti

Kakheti is by far the most important of Georgia's eight wine regions, home to more than two-thirds of the nation’s vineyards.  Because almost all the big wineries are based there, it produces 80% of Georgia’s wine.  But these official figures are misleading, because they only reflect commercial production.
 
Most Georgian wine is made and drunk at home.  In the countryside almost every family has a row or two of vines from which they make their own wine.  Few of these private vineyards are counted in the official figures, and none of the home production.  Even in the cities, where most live in Soviet-era highrise blocks, people make their own wine on their balconies and in the communal basements.  Probably less than a tenth of Georgian wine gets bottled and sold commercially.
 
So Kakheti’s apparent dominance is in many ways an illusion; it just happens to be where all the export-oriented wineries are.  That said, their wines are the only ones non-Georgians have the opportunity to try!
 
Kakheti itself lies at Georgia’s eastern end, along the valley of the Alazani River which flows south-east to north-west paralleling the mighty Caucasus mountain range to the north (the border with Russia).  Being far from the moderating influence of the Black Sea the climate is quite continental, with average temperatures close to freezing in January and around 25°C in July with 30°C days common.  There’s reasonable amounts of rainfall year-round, peaking in May/June.  It’s quite similar to inland southern France, though with hotter summers and colder winters, and eminently suitable for fine wine provided the varieties grown are sufficiently frost-hardy.


Badagoni

Badagoni winery is named after a pagan goddess of winemaking and fertility in pre-Christian Georgia.  Badagoni doesn’t just predate Christ; she predates Dionysus and Bacchus.  A tiny statue of her, now in Geogia’s National Museum, is around 8000 years old.  Georgians have been growing grapes and making wine for at least that long.
 
Founded in 2002 in the Kakhetian village of Zemo Khodasheni, the company was initially known as Knight of Winemaking and was something of a hobby project for its founders, who all had day jobs in other industries.  The name change happened in 2006, when they recruited famed Italian oenologist Donato Lanati, constructed a new, state-of-the-art winery, and embarked upon a major expansion drive.  Today they’re the largest exporter of Georgian wine.
 
Along the way they formed a partnership with the monks of historic Alaverdi Monastery to reconstruct the monastery’s huge 11th Century wine cellar and its 40 qvevris.  Their Alaverdi Tradition red and white are made there (the latter in qvevri), and have achieved international acclaim.  The red featured on Decanter magazine’s list of the top 100 wines they tasted in 2012.
 
Today Badagoni have almost 400 hectares of vineyards spread across eight villages in Khaketi.  They produce around four million bottles a year which are almost all exported, largely to Russia, Ukraine and other ex-USSR states, but also to the USA and China.  Their extensive range covers all four colours (including orange) and a variety of sweetness levels, including the traditional semi-sweet reds popular in the old Soviet Union.  They also offer a wide selection of sparkling wines.  All are made entirely from local grape varieties.

about this wine About this wine


Made entirely from Saperavi, this dry red comes from vineyards scattered across five of Khaketi’s top wine villages: Akasheni, Mukuzani, Kvareli, Alaverdi and Giorgitsminda.  It was fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steel with cultured yeasts at Badagoni’s state-of-the-art winery in Zemo Khodasheni in the heart of the Kakheti region, just a few kilometres from the famous Alaverdi Monastery.
 
It matured in large, mostly used French oak barrels for almost a year before being bottled in September 2017.  This softens the wine and allows its flavours to integrate without contributing the obvious oak flavours produced by small new barrels.


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