Fringe Wine, a wine blogger based in Quincy MA, was pleasantly surprised to taste Boutari 2004 Vinsanto for the first time when his wife innocently bought a bottle thinking it was Italian Vin Santo. Here’s his tasting note.
Greek vinsanto is made from grapes that are allowed to raisin on the vine (as opposed to mat-drying as is done in Italy). The blend that I picked up was made from 50% Assyrtiko and 50% Aidani, another native Greek varietal found only on the Cyclades islands in the Aegean which is used almost exclusively in blends due to its lowish acid content. This wine was aged for four years prior to release. In the glass, the wine had a tawny, dark amber/reddish brown coloring. The nose was full of roasted hazelnuts and almonds, raisins and maple syrup. On the palate, the wine was medium bodied with surprisingly high acidity. There were flavors of honey and maple, golden raisins and dried red fruits along with toasted almonds and a kind of spicy orange twist. This wine was sweet, it’s definitely a dessert wine, but not syrupy thanks, I think, to the high acid provided by the Assyrtiko grapes. That acid really kept this lively and interesting in the mouth for me. I’ve had a lot of sweet wines that taste amazing at first but which get old really fast because your palate gets beaten into submission by the relentless sugar assault. The nice acid here keeps this interesting and alive in the glass. This is a wine I will not hesitate to purchase again and I would be very anxious to try it with my southern-style pecan pie.