Thursday, July 16, 2009

What I've Been Drinking

I have been terribly lackadaisical about taking notes on the wines I've been drinking here so far, but fortunately my laziness also extended to not even bothering to put the bottles in the garbage can, so I built up a decent library of empties and summoned the wherewithal to take photos of the labels and post them.

There are two varieties that I've found that I like very much, and which have remained pretty consistent in quality across the range of producers I've tried.

Moscofilero is an aromatic white that is grown primarily on the mainland, and I've noticed varied characteristics dependent upon producer and location that include citrus, apple, floral and tropical fruits, with an emphasis on the first two. Decent acidity, I've found that it accompanies a broad range of lighter foods, white meats and fish.

Agiortiko is a red produced primarily in the Nemea region. The reading I've done on wine from this grape describes it as soft, plummy and low in acidity with occasional rich, spicy fruit. I concur with the soft, rich, spicy fruit, but I don't necessarily find it to be lacking in acidity, although it's certainly not bracing. It reminds me of another grape, and I want to say Tempranillo but it's been so long since I've had any Tempranillo that I don't trust my memory.

The prices on these run from 5 to 13 euros, with 10 being the most common price point.

Also, I just noticed that there's no picture of anything produced by Hatzimichalis, which I've purchased on several occasions and found to be quite good.

As for restaurant wines, since I'm typically eating alone I just get the house wine by the glass, and the quality of these has ranged from perfectly adequate to heinous. Nothing particularly noteworthy, although one taverna I visit for their rabbit stifado has a nice house red that reminds me of a Dolcetto.

So anyway, here are the labels...if anything has stood out for me in my memory I've made a note of it:

This is one of the nicest expressions of Agiortiko I've experienced, nicely balanced and with some complexity. It's produced and bottled by a cooperative, and I've picked up a 2004 from the same cooperative from the VQPRD Diktaios, which I'm anxious to try to see how it compares.

This was obtained directly at the vineyard, given to me as one of the two bottles I took home from the tasting with their eonologist, Kostis.

A beautiful expression of Syrah from a warmer climate - black fruit balanced with earth, leather and spice. I liked it best of all the wines tasted that day, which included several red blends, a single varietal Roussanne, and their rosé which they call Pink and which is made from Grenache.

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