Originally from the Caucaus Mountains in Georgia (the country not the state) on the border of Armenia and Turkey, Rkatsiteli has found a home in the Finger Lakes of New York. Rkatsiteli has an ability to reach good sugar levels in cooler climates and has a natural high acidity making it perfect for the growing conditions in the Finger Lakes. I received the 2006 Dr. Franks Rkatsiteli from fellow blogger and friend Lenn Thompson of LENNDEVOURS at the Wine Bloggers Conference in Sonoma last year.
Fun “Varietal Character” poem from Ken Kulp at Appellation America –
“Since you haven’t made the scene in Western Europe, some people think you’re just a babushka from the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. Others suspect you’re the old tart who seduced Noah when he came down from Ararat. The way you spread your spice from Eastern Europe all the way to China shows that despite your age, you’ve still got it. While you’re relatively unknown in the Americas your stellar tongue dance performance with Dr. Frank’s Traveling Vinifera Show in New York’s Finger Lakes has earned you some gigs in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. And is that brandy I tasted on those Armenian lips? “
Winemaking information from Dr Franks –
Harvest: Mid October
Fermentation: Stainless Steel, stopped after 4 weeks leaving a small amount of residual sugar (1.5%)
Filtration: racking, filtering and cold stabilization were done prior to bottling
Nose: floral, lychee nut, honey, apple skins, cooked corn
Taste: slate, honeydew, apricot, lychee nut, pear
Mouthfeel: medium body, very crisp
Finish: medium length with a clean refreshing taste
Although the wine was fermented slightly off dry at 1.5% residual sugar, the high acidity made the sweetness barely detectable. Resembling an aroma and flavor profile that is a mix of Gewurztraminer and Riesling, the natural acidity is excitingly crisp and wonderfully refreshing. Dr Franks is famous for his Rkatsiteli and the 2006 shows me why and how great the varietal can be. I have had only one other Rkatsiteli produced here in Virgina and I thought it was quaff able but it was done in an overly sweet style. (IMHO) At $17.99 it isn’t cheap but is in the same price range as quality Rieslings and offers the same depth and layers of flavors. If you are looking for a new food worthy wine to try and one with an unusually funny name, give the Rkatsiteli a try.