Home > Georgian wines, Saperavi, Value Wines, wine recommendations, Wine Tasting > Possibly The Best QPR Wines In The World Today?

Possibly The Best QPR Wines In The World Today?

Colors of the Chelsea MarketToday, I want to talk about wine and value. “Value” has an interesting meaning in the world of wine – may be as subjective as the concept of a “good wine” itself. To me, the value is not an absolute amount of money one paid for the bottle of wine – if you paid $3, but poured the bottle down the drain after half-finished first sip because it tasted terribly – was that still a “value”? Or was that a pure waste of money? By the same token, if the $20 bottle of wine gave you lots of pleasure in every tiniest drop (including the one you licked of the table), would that be a “good value”? Talking about the “value” of the wine, I prefer to use a proverbial term QPR, so happily adapted by the wine lovers – a Quality Price Ratio (this is what QPR stands for) conveys the “value” concept of wine a lot better than the sheer price itself.

One of the easiest and most straightforward ways to classify and analyze thousands and thousands of wines produced today in the world is by region, as wines from the same geographic area would typically have some similarities. Thinking about all the different wine producing regions in the world, which region do you think delivers the best QPR today? I’m really asking here to think about the region as a whole, rather then individual wines. Yes, you can find delicious Napa reds for $10, but this is rather an anomaly, as on average, you need to spend at least $25 – $30 for a good bottle, so we are definitely not talking about Napa here. Thus the question stands – what is your best QPR wine region in the world?

This question might be more difficult than it seems. Wine regions don’t stand still – they are constantly evolving. As the region becomes better known and more demanded, the price increase often accompanies this rise in popularity – which obviously affects the QPR. I used to consider Greek wines as a great QPR – but many Greek wines are now pushing the $30 boundary, while not consistent in quality – this immediately drives QPR down. I used to think of Israeli wines as a great value – but same thing is happening there, with lots of better wines moving north of $30, and wines under $20 been more of “hit and miss”. My next “go to” wines were Portuguese – but even here I now have a problem – wines under $20 are often only randomly tasty; wines at around $30 and up are consistently excellent, rivaling $100+ wines from the other regions, so in relative terms, they still offer a great value – but probably not the best QPR?

“Knowing what I know now”, the region which I think consistently delivers the best QPR at the moment (!) is Georgia – not the state down south in the US, of course, but an independent country. I always loved Georgian wines, but what prompted this broad statement about QPR was a recent Georgian Wine tasting I attended a week ago at Chelsea Market in New York. Wine after wine was delicious, and priced under $20 – that is a QPR I’m definitely happy about.

You don’t have to take my word for it – you should find a bottle of Georgian wine and try it for yourself. I really hope you did just that last Sunday, October 4th, as it was a #GeorgianWineDay in the social media – and if you actually had Georgian wine, I’m curious to know what it was. In any case, let me share the notes for the wines I tasted at the “Discover Georgia in New York” event at the colorful Chelsea Market. Below are the notes, using the “+” ratings. Pay attention to the prices and corresponding ratings – don’t know what you think, but I think the “QPR” is spelled very clearly across the full range of wines I tasted.

2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Rkatsiteli Kakheti, Georgia ($10.99) – +++, very acidic, requires food
2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Mtsvane-Kisi Kondoli Vineyards Kakheti, Georgia ($14.99) – +++, excellent, clean, lemon notes, touch of food

2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Saperavi Kakheti, Georgia ($11.99) – +++, excellent, simple, an everyday wine, red fruit, crushed berries
2009 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Red Kvareli Special Vicultural area, Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – ++++, beautiful, clean, great depth
2012 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Saperavi Kondoli Vineyards Kakheti, Georgia ($18.99, 18 months in oak, starting from fermentation) – ++++, stunning! round and delicious

2007 Telavi Wine Cellar Marani Reserve SAPERAVI block Kondoli vineyards, Kakheti, Georgia ($70) – ++++1/2, off the charts, produced only in the best years, complex, round, delicious. Yes, it is $70, and it might be to expensive for an amazing QPR, but you should taste this wine first…

2006 Wineman Cabernet Sauvignon Kakheti, Georgia ($10.99) – ++++, wow!, pick of maturity, dark notes, concentrated – another wow!
2010 Wineman Ikhalto Red Kakheti, Georgia ($12.99, 50% Saperavi, 50% Cabernet Franc) – ++++, wow!, acidity, beautiful wine
2013 Wineman Kindzmarauli Special Viticultural Area Red Semi-Sweet Kakheti, Georgia (12% ABV, $15.99, 100% Saperavi)  – ++++, beautiful, perfectly balanced sweetness

2011 Shalvino Kardenakhi Special Viticultural Area Kakheti, Georgia (18% ABV, $18.99, Blend of Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi, Goruli and Mtsvane) – ++++, made using Solera method, delicious, Pedro Ximenez like with a delicate balance
2013 Telavi Wine Cellar Satrapezo Rkatsiteli Ice Wine Kakheti, Georgia (10% ABV, $29.99 500ml) – +++1/2, beautiful, perfect balance, not overly sweet

2013 Teliani Valley Tsinandali White Kakheti, Georgia ($12.99) – +++, great acidity
2012 Teliani Valley Special Vicultural area Kakheti, Georgia ($17.99) – +++, great acidity, perfect, food friendly

2013 Schuchmann Rkatsiteli White Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – +++, touch of sweetness, nice balance
2013 Schuchmann Saperavi Red Kakheti, Georgia ($15.99) – +++, perfect, clean, great balance

2012 Vinoterra Kisi Kakheti, Georgia (13% ABV, $NA, Qvevri fermentation, Oak maturation) – +++, complex, very intense, unusual, thought provoking

What do you think? I understand that QPR is subjective and relative term – first, you have to like the wine, and then everyone’s idea of “value” is different – but I was (once again) blown away by the quality and consistency of what I tasted – I didn’t skip a single wine, those are all the wines which were presented in the tasting. This would make it 16 wines out of 16, which I would gladly drink again. I hope it gives you good frame of reference for my experience.

Thinking about the wines of the world, what would be your top region for the best QPR? And if you tasted any of the Georgian wines, what is your opinion about them? Cheers!

  1. October 5, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    Interesting, I don’t think I have ever tasted wine from Georgia. Based on your recommendation I think I need to.

    • talkavino
      October 5, 2015 at 10:36 pm

      You should definitely try! You can use the list I included in the post. Many wine stores in NYC (such as Astor Wines) should carry them

  2. Jessie
    October 6, 2015 at 9:05 am

    great topic! I’m always trying to find wine that’s inexpensive but doesn’t taste gross. Will have to check if Bev Max carries any of these!

  3. October 6, 2015 at 2:30 pm

    I’ve never tasted anything from Georgia. For me the best QPR region is probably Puglia, but that doesn’t mean every wine from there is great.

    • talkavino
      October 7, 2015 at 9:02 am

      By no means I meant that every wine made in Georgia is great – that is not possible, and that doesn’t define QPR. But thinking about “price/performance”, many Georgian wines really deliver, hence my potential designation. Also – I don’t imply “now and forever” – next year I might see it totally differently 🙂

  4. October 6, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Anatoli, you are a great writer and you may force me away from the computer and I may have to compare a wine from Armenia and a wine from Georgia and see what happens, of course I may have a slight bias, even though I have never tried a wine from either country. Thank you, as always for making us think more about our wines.

    • talkavino
      October 7, 2015 at 8:59 am

      John, you are way way way too kind… As you know, I never tried an Armenian wine, so I can’t compare them – however I’m not sure it is necessary 🙂 The wines are meant to be enjoyed, not compared – no matter where the wine is from, what matters is that the person who drinks them gets the pleasure, that’s all. By the way, if you are afraid of bias, it is an easy problem to solve – taste them blind 🙂

  5. October 7, 2015 at 8:41 am

    Sorry I missed Georgia Wine day. I’ll just have to find some and have my own celebration. Thanks for the awesome post. 🙂

    • talkavino
      October 7, 2015 at 9:03 am

      Don’t worry – it is also #DrinkGeorgianWine month 🙂 If you can find a bottle, try it – there is a good chance you will like it 🙂

  6. October 7, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I have been up in the city a ton recently, but was sad to miss this tasting–only so many you can do….

    • talkavino
      October 7, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Yes, absolutely – you can’t do them all, even if you are in the “trade”. This was actually a small event – I attended mush bigger Georgian tasting on Tuesday – it was very interesting.

  7. October 16, 2015 at 12:52 am

    Very good article. I totally agree that Georgia is making wine at a very competitive price. Can ialso suggest, the wines of Austria as well as a source of QPR

    • talkavino
      October 16, 2015 at 9:48 am

      Thank you. Regarding Austria – I have very limited experience with them. Some of the whites are good, but many of them are not that inexpensive. For the reds, from my experience, it is a hit or miss. I agree that you can find some good QPR, but it is more on wine by wine basis versus Austria as a general source. But again, this is strictly based on my limited experience…

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