I recently was presented Greek wines that I found to be an enlightening surprise. Over the years I have sat through a couple of presentations of Greek wines and those experiences were hardly exciting. So I set the stage for this one by telling the salesman I was only interested in tasting wines produced from native Greek grape varieties. I feel that if you want to understand what a new region is doing, see how they work with what they already have. Besides, there is already too much bad Merlot and Chardonnay from domestic wineries, who needs to see more from oversees?
I tasted six wines in this tasting and I can honestly say I was impressed. The following three wines I purchased and they are in stock. So fire up the grill, marinate a nice leg of lamb and dive in, I think you will like these wines too.
2001 ARKAS Mantina ($14)
This wine is produced from a grape called Mosafilero. Despite the age this wine has vibrant fruit and fine vein of acidity that hold the wine in check. It reminds me a lot of Italian Gavi or a light Greco di Tufo (the Greco means it came from Greece.)
2003 GAIA NOTIOS Agiorgitiko ($16)
This wine, which is red, reminded me of a combination of a ripe Rhone wine and a Right Bank Bordeaux. It shows aromas of blueberry, sweet cherries, some herbal notes and a little dust. In the mouth the fruit is forward and there is a little earthiness on the finish.
SAMOS Muscat Doux ($15)
This deep, caramel and candied pineapple dessert wine is absolutely stunning for the price. It has a mouth filling flavor and a long, rich finish. This type of wine is make all over the Mediterranean but rarely is it this balanced.