Wine Century Club, are you in?
The Wine Century Club is open to any adventurous soul, just get started here.
It’s such an easy thing to do, and it’s a never ending journey… Once you hit that first Century, you find yourself on your way to your second Century. It’s never ending, because there are so many varietal grapes available for us all to taste. When I began, I thought it would be a piece of cake. I hit a brick wall in the “sixty” category. Seems like it’s easy to name Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Petite Sirah, Merlot, etc. The usual suspect French varieties are the first to check off. Next come the Italians… After that we’re off to Spain. Now, you’re most likely like me… Portuguese wines, really? Well, I can thank Enoforum Wines for turning me onto Portuguese wines, giving me a two year opportunity to study a lot more about Portugal and her wines.
In Portugal alone, there are over 500 varieties… Italy is about the same, so hitting 100 isn’t that farfetched. In fact, that’s how I got to my first 100 wine varieties tasted.
So now, let’s take another curve segue and walk on the truly wild side… Going back to ancient times with ancient grapes. this is when the fun really begins.
Greek Wines, two recent ones… with one of them right in front of me as I write and sip…
First of all… National Geographics and images of the Greece and the Greek Isles, who doesn’t a-d-o-r-e those images?
if you want to get an uptick in your wine varieties, why not make it with some truly remarkable names as well as truly remarkable wines?
The one I’m enjoying right now is a light bodied red… Lots and lots of strawberry flavors for me, versus the bramble berries that the wine bottle suggests. This is okay for me, because the people who have written the tasting notes are probably not hugely involved with Petite Sirah, and the guts and glory of that variety. Having enjoyed so much of this variety, it makes sense to me that most palates don’t have this intense point of reference. This wine is a beautifully crafted wine as a food companion, pairing well with many food cuisines. I can only imagine how well it would go with goat cheeses… Seems like a perfect fit!
2010 Staphylus from Chatzivariti, red dry wine: The blend is 30 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, on everyone’s list already; but, I’m betting that the 70 percent of Xinomavro is on very few people’s lists of “What I’ve enjoyed.” It’s now on mine! This delicious red wine is going to be a great complement to the barbequed chicken legs that Jose’s cooking right now. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this wine, and could enjoy it every single day for the rest of my life… It’s not heavy and cloying. It’s light and fruity with a lingering finish. The story behind this wine, and of course it would have to do with ancient Greek mythology, is fun and endearing:
According to an Ancient Greek myth, the humble shepherd Staphylus was intrigued by a giddy goat in his herd that consistently lingered behind the rest. Determined to discover the source of her pleasure, Staphylus spied her eating from a vine, discovering the grape and all its potential, and so his very name means “grape” in Greek. The vivid Greek grape Xinomavro (literally “acid-black”) gives acidity and nerve, tamed by the rich and voluminous Cabernet Sauvignon. Intensely red with flashes of carmine, complexly fragranced by bramble fruits and vanilla spice, it is full-bodied to the palate and aromatic with soft tannins and a round aftertaste.
Find it and give it a try. I’m betting you’ll be pleased.
2008 Oenosophist, another dry, red wine: The blend is 50 percent Merlot and 50 percent Xinomavro, I’m now deeply enjoying Xinomavro and will be looking for it in the outside world. Why? Because it was made to go with food… Another medium bodied wine with perfect balance and lively acidity, it’s just perfect for food. Honestly, when a bottle’s been opened in a restaurant, I only want to spend a few minutes tasting and enjoying the wine, then a few minutes for the food flavors and perhaps how the paring is going. After that, I’ve got a life and move on to the goings-on of the day… what did I learn, what did I enjoy… Another wine I’d HIGHLY RECOMMEND….
BACK LABEL: Ancient Greek writer Athenaeus definitely details the gastronomy of Greece in his great work Deipnosophistae, which loosely translates to “dinner philosopher,” the wisest guest at the table. Oenosophist plays on this, means “wine-wise.” and teaches the philosophy of superlative Greek winemaking. Xinomavro (literally “acid-black”) is the most notably dominant red variety in Greece, perfectly tamed by Merlot birthing a commanding red with spectacular aromatic intensity…
Okay, this back label copy has me dizzy. I remember writing like this in those poetic days gone by, and so I’m just going to give you this image and let you turn your computer around to discover the rest of their copy. I do understand and appreciate it, and need those days gone by to return for a few minutes more… with lots of down time and tons of aha moments.
Bottom line for me… delicious wine. I’m all over Xionmavro as a new variety.
Thank you Eklektikon Wines for another great wine experience! “Dinner’s ready,” said he from the grill.