Dila-o Saperavi 2017

A few years back, some folks came to the Twin Cities hawking wines from Georgia (the republic, not the state). The wines were, by and large, forgettable if not lamentable. Not anymore. Among the excellent new entries in the market is the Dila-o Saperavi 2017 ($18), whose red and black fruit and black-pepper flavors explode on the palate with concentration and intensity. Soon enough, the spot-on tannins kick in, making for a seriously harmonious finish. Maybe this red wine benefits from it being fermented in large clay vessels called qvevri, buried in the ground. Whatever the reason, the result is sublime. Pair it with pasta or pizza with (or without) mushrooms, juicy beef or portobello burgers and roasted winter veggies.

Available at Zipp's, France 44, Stinson, Lake Wine & Spirits and South Lyndale.

Bill Ward