Saturday we’re tasting some distinct and indigenous wines from Greece. The grapes Vidiano, Assyrtikos, Agiorgitiko, Moscofilero & Xinomavro aren’t household names here but they are there. The wines hail from the islands of Crete, & Santorini as well as Nemea & Naoussa on the mainland. Come taste with us. Sorry, we won’t be pouring Retsina.
2013 Alexakis, Vidiano $15
Alexakis –a family-owned-and-run winery– is the largest winery on the island of Crete. Their mono-varietal of the indigenous white grape Vidiano has aromas of tropical fruits, pear and notes of citrus fruit. A velvety, unctuous aftertaste, prevails in the palate, supported by the volume and length of high acidity.
2013 Santo, Santorini Assyrtkos $17
Santo is a cooperative winery on the island of Santorini, built on the edge of the caldera ,that operates by gravity flow. Their Assyrtikos shows white flowers, citrus fruits aromas and intense minerality. Vivid, with full, well balanced body and distinctive long after taste.
2014 Domaine Skouras, Zoe Rose $12
70% Agiorgitiko, 30% Moscofilero
Skouras is located in the Northeastern Peloponnese within Nemea. Their rose has vibrant aromas of ripe cherries, and raspberries coupled with hints of sweet spices and floral, rose petal notes. On the palate it has a medium body, moderately-high acidity and the slightest suggestion of very ripe tannins.
2012 Domaine Skouras, Saint George $18
Agiorgitiko an indigenous grape that also goes by the name St. George. The wine has fine grained tannins, intense raspberry fruit and sweet spices. The color is bright, deep crimson. The nose reveals aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and ripe strawberries with just a touch of anise and spices such as clove and cinnamon. It is medium bodied with a graceful texture, balanced acidity and very ripe elegant tannins. The finish is moderately long, full of red fruits with a touch of sweet vanilla and black pepper.
2011 Domaine Karydas, Xinomavro $28
The Karydas family grows Xinomavro on a tiny holding just south of the town of Naoussa in the center of the appellation in Macedonia. The vineyard is a sandy, clay hillside while the winery thoughtfully sits right in the middle. The philosophy is simple yet painstaking; grow nothing but the absolute best fruit nature can allow and then have a minimalist winemaking style. They make an old school, traditional Xinomavro; no new wood, very little intervention. The wine has fantastic spicy fruit with middle texture and power with integrated but firm tannins.
Madrona Wine Merchants offers free wine tastings featuring 4-5 selections on a theme every Saturday from 2 until the bottles run out and on Sunday we offer a mini-tasting of two wines all day from 11-5.