Ballandean Estate Wines Saperavi 2018


From Ballandean Estates signature collection comes their award-winning single vineyard “Strange Bird” 2018 Saperavi.  

A variety native to the country Georgia, with its dark skin and flesh, it is no wonder this grape translates in the local language to “paint or dye”. Most common red grapes have red skins and white flesh so saperavi is known for its deep colour. Known to be a hardy grape variety due to its ability to handle cool climates and high altitude, saperavi has connections to the origins of winemaking with a history dating back over 8000 years.

Ballandean is one of only a few wineries in Australia who make wines from this variety. The region is given greater advantage due to granite soils which encourage swift ripening due to heat reflection as well as cool overnight temperatures which assist with providing increased intensity to the fruit. Saperavi was first planted in 2008 in their Bellevue vineyard and continues to be a sell out every vintage. Saperavi is full-bodied with high tannin and acidity plus good aging potential of around 10 years making it a great choice to add to your cellar.  

I was intrigued by its inky deep opaque violet colour and mocha aromas. It is a variety that is still mysterious to me as I have only indulged in a few; this grape is not easily found at your corner wine store. On the first sip there is a powerful hit of a pepper spice and black fruits that soften like leather into an earthy, oaky finish. I recommend using a decanter or uncorking and allowing the wine to breathe for at least 30 minutes to ripen those blackcurrant, black plum flavours and mellowing out the herbaceous notes to truly experience all the offerings of this black beauty.