Archive for February 2011

Wine Advocate: 09 Santorini “very elegant and graceful”

February 24, 2011

Above: The seared scallops paired gorgeously with Boutari 2009 Santorini at Naha, one of Chicago’s top destinations for fine dining.

The 2009 SANTORINI is a very elegant and graceful Assyrtiko. I always appreciate the balance Boutari shows in these wines. While many love the steely, intense and forbidding Assyrtikos that sometimes come from Santorini—including me—there is something to be said for Boutari’s harmonious style and reasonably priced wines that always show good fruit and texture, not just steel and acidity. This is lovely in its youth, mouthfilling and moderately crisp, with good concentration. It is a pleasure to drink and drinking well now. It should drink best on the younger side. Drink now-2013.

—Mark Squires, Wine Advocate

Greek wine basics: Peloponnese

February 20, 2011

The following post is the first in a series of Greek wine basics. It’s been transcribed from Konstantinos Lazarakis MW’s The Wines of Greece (London, Mitchell Beazley, 2005, currently out of print). While Lazarakis’ book is difficult to find these days, it remains THE number-one resource for information — technical and historical — on the wines of Greece. We highly recommend it.

It is especially difficult to generalize about the climate here. Overall, the area is one of the southernmost parts of Greece, falling between the latitudes of 38.15 and 36.17 degrees — only Crete, Rhodes, and a few other Aegean Islands are further south. The climate can be considered broadly Mediterranean, with mild winters, short springs, hot and dry summers, and prolonged autumns. Nevertheless, the Peloponnese is exposed to all sorts of influences: it is affected by the Meltemia winds of the Aegean, unsheltered from either the cold northern winds or the hote Livas blowing from Africa. Since the rain-bearing clouds travel in an easterly direction, the western part of the district is much more humid than the rest. For example, Pyrgos in Ilia receives an annual average of 920 millimetres of rain (thirty-six inches), Mantinia, in the centre, has 780 millimtres (thirty-one inches), and Nemea, less than fifty kilmetres further east, just 410 millimetres (sixteen inches).

These vast permutations of altitudes, slopes, and exposures, and the presence or absence of the sea’s influence create numerous different mesoclimates. For example, overall Triopoli might receive less rain than Pyrgos, but from June to September, it gets ninety-three millimeters (3.6 inches) while Pyrgos receives about forty per cent less, just fifty-five millimeters (2.2 inches). However, over the same period, the average atmospheric humidity of Tripoli is thirty-five per cent lower than Pyrgos.

The Peloponnese is divided into seven administrative prefectures, six of which are located on the periphery of the region, with Arcadia in the centre. Running clockwise from the north, the prefectures are: Achaia, Corinth, Argolida, Arcadia, Laconia, Messinia, and Ilia.

Girl on Wine meet Boy on Wine

February 15, 2011

Click here to read how one of our favorite wine bloggers, Girl on Wine, went on a third “big fat Greek” date with Boy on Wine at Boutari’s Santorini winery… a fantastic post! (and it kinda reminds us of someone else we know!)


Tasting note: Boutari 2004 VinSanto

February 10, 2011

At a youthful 6 years out, this wine showed the depth and complexity that the appellation in known for, with a gorgeous balance of candied white stone fruit and saltiness. The Assyrtiko grape and its unique expressions, whether vinified as a dry or dried-grape wine, continue to fascinate me and the Boutari Vinsanto is one of my favorites (for the record, it’s actually a blend of Assyrtiko and Aidani, which imparts a wonderful aromatic character to this wine). Tracie P and I have been blown away by how well new oak and small cask aging works with Assyrtiko and in this case, the wood gives a nutty counterpart to the fruit and salt (the label reports that the wine was bottled in 2008, leading me to believe that it spent nearly 4 years in wood). I also love how this wine clocks in with a judicious 12% alcohol, remarkable for the dried-grape category but in line with overarching attitudes among Greek winemakers. Great stuff…

—Jeremy Parzen (blogmaster)

Wine Spectator 91 points for Kallisti 07

February 4, 2011

Score: 91

This is rich and spicy, with good cut to the apple, peach and tangerine. There’s impressive minerality and structure behind it all, with a long, smoky and creamy finish. Drink now through 2014.

—Kim Marcus

%d bloggers like this: