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Five Greek Wines

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A few months ago John, at MacArthur Beverages, recommended several Greek wines for me to try at a Greek-inspired lunch held at my mom’s house.  John’s taste for pure expressions of indigenous grapes always provides new experiences for my palate.  Apparently, they satisfied my extended family as well.  While I manned the grill the 2018 Troupis Winery, Hoof & Lur, Moschofilero Wild Ferment and 2018 Domaine Zefeirakis, Rose Limniona, Tyrnavos were almost drunk to completion.  I only managed two short notes.  The former is substantial Moschofilero, in no way strange, and utterly drinkable.  The later is a floral and chalky rose with some attractive racy body.

Of the red wines, the 2016 Argatia Winery, Haroula red, Macedonia is a light and juicy, floral wine for the near term.  My favorite wine is the 2013 Domaine Glinavos, Vlahiko, Ioannina.  Served blind, the old-school mature flavors would confuse most as would the blend being Vlahiko and Bekari.  I really enjoyed the surprise.  Finally, the 2010 Taralas Family Winery, Mavro, Naoussa also offers plenty of mature, dry flavors yet still retains fruit.

2018 Troupis Winery, Hoof & Lur, Moschofilero Wild Ferment – $20
Selected by DNS Wines. Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  A dried rose tinge.  Skin contact fruit on the nose.  A round wine full of flavor in the mouth but with fresh acidity.  *** Now.

2018 Domaine Zefeirakis, Rose Limniona, Tyrnavos – $16
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 12%.  Of pink rose petals.  An acidity driven start with clean and fresh flavors that are a little tart and chalky.  With some warmth, dry pastille flavors with a touch of racy body in the finish.  *** Now.

2016 Argatia Winery, Haroula red, Macedonia – $16
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is a blend of 50% Xinomavro with 50% Negoska and Mavrodaphne.  Alcohol 13%.  Firm flavors of cherry and floral pastilles.  Black fruit supports the wine from the middle with a very, dry, yet appropriate structure.  Overall, pretty and floral, light and juicy.  **(*) Now – 2022.

2013 Domaine Glinavos, Vlahiko, Ioannina – $26
Imported by T. Elenteny. This wine is a blend of Vlahiko and Bekari. Alcohol 12%.  Old-school on the nose with some high-toned celery.  Old school in the mouth, maturing, with tart red fruity and a dry finish.  Completely surprising and I like if for that reason.  *** Now but will last.

2010 Taralas Family Winery, Mavro, Naoussa – 
Imported by Verity Wine Partners. This wine is 100% Xinomavro. Alcohol 13%.    A focused core of fruit, dry black flavors, leather, and a dry finish are all perfectly integrated with the structure.  The wine is in its second phase, already full of bottle-aged complexity.  It finishes dry.  *** Now – 2024.

A solid Greek trio

I brought a trio of Greek wines to my brother-in-law’s house a week ago. The two red wines were recommended to me by John Fitter but the 2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina  was a random grab.  Not knowing what a “Traditional Semi-sparkling Orange Wine” from Greece would taste like, I just could not resist my curiosity.  It is surprisingly round and complex at first.  I would almost swear it is an infusion herbs and flowers with wine.  It is quite drinkable but is frustrating short in the mouth.  The 2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa smells great and will tempt any fan of maturing Southern Rhone wines.  It is firm in the mouth and did not give up the level of mature flavors promised by the nose.  Still, it is a wine to try and if you do so I would try double-decanting it.  Finally, the 2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea is a bright, lively blend of red and blue fruit with some oak hints.  It is a wine that should please many. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

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2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina – $13 (500mL)
Alcohol 10.5%. Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  It is a cloudy, tawny orange color.  There is surprising roundness to the sweet, moderately sparkling start.  The flavors are immediately complex blending cardamom, sweet orange juice, and floral notes.  There is even a mineral bit.  Unfortunately the finish is very short.  ** Now.

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2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa – $17
Imported by Oenos.  The light volume of maturing aromas are attractive but do not prepare one for the firm red and black fruit in the mouth.  There is good flavor, almost like a rather firm Southern Rhone wine.  It wraps up with polished wood notes and focused ripe flavors.  ** Now – 2020.

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2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea – $17
Imported by Diamond Wine Imports.  This wine is 100% Agiorgitiko aged for 12 months in used oak.   Alcohol 13.5%.  The good nose offers up red and blue fruits with a hint of vanilla.  In the mouth is a bright, linear delivery of flavor driven by nearly lively acidity.  The structure imposes the linearity but it drinks well right now.  ** Now – 2020.