Archive for May 2011

Friend of Boutari Roozbeh Farahanipour in Los Angeles

May 30, 2011

Friend of Boutari, Iranian freedom fighter Roozbeh Farahanipour, owner of Delphi Greek restaurant in Westwood (Los Angeles), recently shared the above photo of his stand at the West Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce annual wine tasting earlier this month.

Thanks Roozbeh! You rock! 🙂

Preview TNs from 5 decades of Boutari grand tasting

May 25, 2011

You can imagine how excited we are to see tasting notes and reviews from the grand tasting of “five decades of Boutari” held on Monday in Greece.

We still haven’t seen any bona fide TNs but we have had a few previews on the Twitter:

Stay tuned: top Greek wine blogger Markus Stolz of Elloinos has promised a complete set of tasting notes for next week. Markus, you’ve got us on the edge of our seat! And GREEN with envy! 😉

Greek wine basics: Naoussa I

May 19, 2011

The following post is the fourth 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. You’ll find an archive for our Greek Wine Basics series in the right-hand navigation of our home page.

Naoussa overlooks the plain of central Macedonia, at altitudes ranging from 150 to 400 metres (492 to 1,312 feet). There are nine villages in the appellation, including Naoussa, and the soils are a patchwork of limestone, loam, sand, and clay. The climate is cooler than the lower areas of Imathia but not as cold as Florina. Northern wines can be an inhibiting factor, not because of their severity but because of their chilling effect, sometimes resulting in spring forsts. The prefecture of Thessaloniki has stronger winds in comparison, but in Naoussa the highest winds happen during April and May, when vine growth is young, while further east the most intense winds are during the summer months. Growers tyr to select sheltered sites, usually with a southeasterly aspect.

Naoussa is a mono-varietal appellation, dedicated entirely to Xinomavro. This is the region where the variety excels, producing some of its best wines. Clonal selection is important, with most Naoussa stock delivering more tannin and fruit than, for example, the early maturing clone of Velvendos. In Naoussa, harvest starts at the end of September, but the complete harvest across all parts of the region spans around three weeks. October has three times as much rain as September, making late-ripening vintages a problem.

Best poolside wine? I think I found it…

May 17, 2011

Low in alcohol (at about 11%) and light in body with bright citrus fruit and crisp acidity… I can’t think of a better “poolside” wine than Boutari Moschofilero…

Tasting note: 2007 Naoussa by Fringe Wine

May 13, 2011

Here’s what Fringe Wine had to say about the 2007 Naoussa, which he recently tasted and posted on this week:

The wine had a light ruby color in the glass and and a generous nose of crushed red berries, stewed cherries, rich raspberry and some redcurrant with kind of a leafy, herbal edge. There was kind of a chocolate note in it too, like a chocolate covered dried cherry. The texture was a little thin and the wine had a very high acidity and very grippy tannins. I’ve seen a lot of comparisons between Xinomavro and Pinot Noir, but I definitely agree more with Konstantinos Lazarakis (in his The Wines of Greece) in that I think the more appropriate comparison is with Nebbiolo based wines from the Piedmont. This wine demands food (think meats and pretty much anything you’d serve with a Barolo) and has the structure to age for awhile yet.

Click here to read the entire post and his excellent backgrounder on Xinomavro and where it sits in the panorama of the world of wine today. Great post, Fringe Wine!

“Santorini Beyond Greece” at W&S Top of the List

May 11, 2011

Above: Oysters from the Grand Central Oyster Bar were paired with wines from Santorini in the “Santorini Beyond Greece” seminar led by Wine & Spirits Magazine senior editor Tara Thomas yesterday at the publication’s annual Top of the List event, featuring wines favored by U.S. sommeliers and wine professionals (photo by A Wine Story).

Two of Boutari’s white wines — Santorini and Kallisti (barrique-aged Santorini) — were selected yesterday by Wine & Spirits Magazine senior editor Tara Thomas for her Santorini Beyond Greece seminar in Manhattan.

Boutari’s Santorini was recently included in the Wine & Spirits 22nd Annual Restaurant Poll, marking the first time that Greek wine has made an appearance in the publication’s taste-making list of the top 50 wine brands in the U.S. today.

Greece is a “somm’s favorite pick,” says top San Diego sommelier Brian Donegan

May 6, 2011

Above: Top San Diego sommelier Brian Donegan (Market, Del Mar) recently shared some of the secrets of his success with the San Diego Union-Tribune.

“Greece is kind of a somm’s favorite pick for an up-and-coming region. There’s this real renaissance going on with grape producers. And they’re doing it more on indigenous varietals rather than ripping up all these amazing old vineyards and replanting more international varietals like Cabernet and Chardonnay and Pinot Noir that have more mass commercial appeal. One varietal (there) is Assyrtiko, mainly grown on the island of Santorini. It’s just this amazing aromatic varietal, one of the few varietals for whites that can be both medium-plus to high alcohol and also medium-plus to high acidity. You don’t find that too much.”

Above: Market’s famous “Market Salad,” sourced from Southern California’s legendary Chino Farms farmer’s market.

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