Mtsvane wine grape
A white Georgian grape more properly called Mtsvane Kakhuri, because it comes from the Kakheti region. There are half a dozen Georgian white grapes with Mtsvane in their name, for the same reason that so many Spanish and Italian white grapes have names beginning “Verd…”:
But this is the main one, and the one that will be in the bottle if the label says simply ‘Mtsvane’. It’s the second most planted white variety behind the equally unpronouncable Rkatsiteli, with all the others (and there are hundreds) trailing in the distance. You say it (roughly) “mits-VAR-nay” but the ‘i’ isn’t really there. The ‘m’ and ‘t’ are barely voiced; outsiders hearing the word for the first time could be forgiven for thinking it’s pronounced “svar-nay”, although not by Georgians!
More aromatic, fruitier and fuller-bodied than Rkatsiteli (with which it is often blended), it can attain high sugar levels while retaining good acidity, making it especially suitable for sweet wines. It can also make excellent dry whites provided its tendency to oxidise is controlled. These tend to be crisp, citrussy wines with tree blossom aromas and orchard fruit flavours. Perhaps paradoxically, it’s also a preferred variety for making
whites, which are inherently somewhat oxidised. These tend more towards peaches and nuts.
Decanting Club wines containing: Mtsvane
From Kakheti, Georgia
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