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The Rkatsiteli Grape


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About Rkatsiteli

(Synonyms: Baiyu, Coroliac, Dedali Rcatiteli, Mamali Rcatiteli, Rkatiteli, Rkatziteli, Topoliac.)

Background

Map showing Georgia

Rkatsiteli is a white-wine grape originating in Georgia (which was, till 1995, the Republic of Georgia), a land where, it is thought, wine-making originated thousands of years ago. Indeed, Rkatsiteli grape seeds dating from roughly five thousand years ago have been found in Georgia.

(Pronounce it as: er-KAHT-si-teli.)

During the Russian hegemony, Rkatsiteli was treated as a cheap bulk wine, and the huge amounts made were of poor quality. In recent years, efforts to restore Rkatsiteli to a place of, if not honor, at least acceptance as a decent and pleasing wine have met with reasonable success. Nowadays, Rkatsiteli is also produced in several other former satellite nations—Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Armenia—as well as Australia and, notably, in the burgeoning wine area of the Finger Lakes in New York State.

Rkatsiteli is chiefly characterized by brisk acidity, making it a crisp, refreshing wine. It does not seem to have much of an aroma, but its flavors are often said to be of green apples or quince (or, sometimes, peach). It tends to be high in alcohol, though rarely if ever “hot”. While it’s never going to make the short list of “noble” grapes, it makes an excellent everyday wine for accompanying food or for just plain pleasant sipping.

Factoid: Rkatsiteli is especially valued by winemakers in cold-climate areas owing to its ability to withstand wicked winters.

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Some Descriptions of Rkatsiteli Wines

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Some Rkatsitelis to Try

(About this list.)

Rkatsiteli is yet another under-appreciated—and thus under-available—wine. Nonetheless, what there is available constitutes a pretty decent set of representatives of the variety.


Pheasant’s Tears Rkatsiteli
(Kakheti, Georgian Republic; an “amber”—that is, “orange”—wine.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Orgo Rkatsiteli
(Kakheti, Georgian Republic; an “amber”—that is, “orange”—wine.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Dr. Konstantin Frank Rkatsiteli
(Finger Lakes, New York, USA)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
  (CellarTracker has two separate listings for this wine.)
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks



Stobi Rkatsiteli
(Macedonian Republic)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Tasting Notes” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks

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For a Splurge

We could find no reasonably available Rkatsiteli wines better enough than those listed above as to justify a “splurge” price.

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This page was last modified on Monday, 23 March 2020, at 3:52 pm Pacific Time.