Roxani Matsa pronounces Malagousia…
From the November 2014 issue of Wine Spectator (which will include a feature on Greek wines):
Boutari Naoussa 2011
This red shows a sense of refinement to dried raspberry and plum tart flavors, with assertive minerality and notes of white pepper. The finish has accents of sandalwood, dried sage and cream. Drink now through 2020. 10,000 cases made.—Kim Marcus
Above: Broiled Atlantic salmon, served with wild mushroom & feta stuffed calamari and olive salsa (image via the Kellari Tavern Facebook page).
love LOVE the Kellari Taverna Facebook page. Not only is it consistently updated with fun photos of their creative, mostly seafood cooking, it’s also a source of great information about Greek gastronomy and wines.
Here’s a recent post about Assyrtiko:
Assyrtiko is a Greek white wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. It is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini and other Aegean islands, such as Paros. Assyrtiko grape clusters are large, with transparent yellow-gold skin and juicy flesh. Because of the volcanic soil of Santorini, there appear to be some unique characteristics that develop in the wine.
The wine this grape produces pairs well with tomato salads with cucumber and feta, eggplant, olives, fish, shellfish and, believe it or not, herb-crusted lamb or pork.
Kellari features a number of Boutari wines including the Boutari Santorini, made from 100% Assyrktiko grapes.
The answer’s simple…
From the September 2014 issue of Wine Advocate:
Boutari 2004 Vinsanto
The 2004 Vinsanto is a library wine pulled for reevaluation. It has come along brilliantly and serious is in need of an uptick. It may get even better with cellaring. It is a blend of 90% Assyrtiko and 10% Aidani weighing in at 12% alcohol. Bottle aging has greatly helped this wine. It has fleshed out and simply unfolded, becoming more complex along the way and showing layers that it did not initially seem to have. It shows remarkable power and intense grip on the finish, grabbing the entire palate with tension. With some nods to Boutari’s 2009 style, it is a bit on the muscular side and emphasizes the power more than the sugar and zest. Whether due to age, vintage or the lower alcohol level (perhaps all three), this 2004 does that style better, though, at least just now. Finally, these wines do age a long while. It is hard to say when they die and they may outlive a lot of people. Tight and still evolving, this 2004 should have a long life. I tend to be conservative in drinking windows (my normal tendency anyway), as the wines can change in character with extreme age and oxidation. Not everyone may like the older incarnations, given that they will substitute complexity for zest. It is perhaps fairer to acknowledge, here and in general, a much longer window (they may go longer still). Just note that as they age, they may not seem quite the same in character. Drink now-2035.
From the Boutari blog archive…
A Facebook post by the world’s leading Greek wine blogger, Markus Stolz, reminded me the other day of one of the most moving archeological sites I’ve ever visited, the tomb of Philip II of Macedon not far from Thessaloniki.
“During my wine tour, I visited the archaeological site of Aigai,” he wrote, “where the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, is located. This was the most impressive historical sites I have ever seen. Greece has treasures that are truly breathtaking!”
I took the photo above back in June, 2011, when I visited the same site after tasting wines in Naoussa.
Of course, you cannot take photos inside. But it’s simply one of the most elegantly maintained and most moving museums you’ll ever visit — truly stirring as you enter the tomb.