“Harmonic chaos” is how John Wurdeman describes this blend of 417 indigenous Georgian grapes.
Polyphony or Poliphonia is a vineyard with 1-10 vines of each of the 417 varieties. This micro-vineyard is harvested in 3-4 sweeps, as the grapes all ripen at different times, so one ends up with white, golden greenish, blue, purple, grey-pink grapes at various level of ripeness that eventually finish co-fermenting together!
90% destemmed 10% whole bunch, everything is naturally fermented in buried qvevri, after a five-day maceration the must is pressed.
The wine itself is delicious, more like a dark rose than a red, with sappy fruit and a nice herbal twist. The idea behind it is lovely – this is, of course, about conserving and promoting autochthonous grapes, providing a raison (raisin?) d’être for them to be replanted. The wine also riffs energetically on the idea of Georgian folk song; different voices at different pitches and interval coming together in tonal fusion. With wine as with music you have to surrender to it to cultivate the message. Georgian wine seems atonal if we can extend that metaphor; oddly coloured and oddly shaped texturally, and then with the food and the occasion it makes perfect sense, as if you were shaping around the wine.