Dr Konstantin Frank Winery Amber Rkatsiteli
WHY WE LOVE IT
- Rkatsiteli made in the traditional Georgian style. Skin contact and amphora aging. A Georgian grape variety that dates back to 3000 B.C. and the oldest known grape variety in the world. The grape has a very strong resistance to cold winter conditions and retains high acidity even in the hottest summers.
- Dr. Konstantin Frank was the first to plant Rkatsiteli in the Finger Lakes during his experiments in the 1950s and 1960s.
- 10 acres of Rkatsiteli is grown on the Keuka Estate. The soils on Keuka Lake are shallow, Mardin and Volusia silt loam with high shale content, which adds minerality, acidity, and elegance. The vineyard is east-facing ranging from 980 ft to 1200 ft elevation and are at the deepest parts of Keuka Lake.
Varietal Composition: 100% Rkatsiteli
Elaboration: Amphoras allow micro-oxygenation, which concentrates the wine. And since an amphora is shaped like an oval, it keeps the wine and lees constantly moving and in suspension. Unlike a wine barrel, an amphora does not actually impart any flavors to the wine. What an amphora does provide, however, is roundness, mouthfeel and concentration. An amphora softens the flavors of Rkatsiteli as well as its tannins. In summation, most of the flavors in the wine come from the grape itself, but an amphora adds to the flavors’ concentration and complexity.
Whole Cluster. 5 Day Cold Soak on Skins. 11 Day Ferment on Skins. 16 Days Total on Skins. Open-Top vessel. Fermented on Skins. Twice Daily Punchdowns. Aged 6 Months in 2 Amphora, Concrete Eggs, & Steel.
Tasting Notes: This lightly orange style of Rkatsiteli conveys the tradition of amber winemaking with flavors of toasted orange, ginger, rosemary, bitter almond, white flowers, and macerated peaches. This is one meant for food and pair with meals meant for lighter red wines.
2021 – 90 James Suckling
2019 – 91 Wine Enthusiast
Konstantin Frank was born on July 4, 1899, and made his first wine at age 15. In 1930, he earned a Ph.D. in Viticulture from Odessa, Ukraine, and became a leading expert in his field throughout Eastern Europe, experimenting with cold-resistant rootstocks.
Having survived two World Wars and the Russian Revolution, Dr. Frank and his family immigrated to New York in 1951 at age 52 with empty pockets and no knowledge of English. Eventually, he found a special property in the Finger Lakes region, perfect for his vines. With decades of knowledge and experience, Dr. Frank successfully planted the first European grape varieties in the Eastern United States.
In 1962, he founded Vinifera Wine Cellars, which quickly earned a reputation for spectacular Rieslings and sparked an interest in classic European grape varieties. His vision, knowledge, and determination are credited with elevating the New York wine industry to the respectable position it holds today. Many of his original vines are still in production and represent some of the oldest vines in America.
On October 7, 1967, more than two hundred wine enthusiasts gathered at Dr. Frank’s home to organize the American Wine Society (AWS) with Dr. Konstantin Frank as its founder. Today, there are more than 120 chapters.