Archive for July 2012

Boutari Naoussa featured in D Magazine (Dallas) @DMagazine

July 25, 2012

“Today the Boutari Winery in Naoussa still produces some of the most highly regarded and traditional wine from the region,” writes D Magazine wine columnist Hayley Hamilton. “The Boutari Grande Reserve Naoussa is barrel aged for two years (minimum), and then bottle aged for an additional two years (minimum), though Boutari says they age theirs longer. I had a chance to try their 2000 Grande Reserve, and after the first taste it could have easily aged another 5-7 years and was filled with dried red fruit and chocolate with spice and dried tomato notes.”

Click here to read her article on Xinomavro and the wines of Naoussa.

@MarkSquiresW on Boutari Santorini: “it was hard to give up the glass” (@ RobertMParkerJr)

July 18, 2012

Mark Squires reviewed Boutari wines in the June 2012 issue of The Wine Advocate.

Boutari 2011 Santorini

90/100 points

The 2011 SANTORINI is Assyrtiko, and a rather refined and carefully crafted one that slowly evolves and unwinds, demonstrating its persistence and the ability to improve dramatically in the glass. Boutari seems to have a style, emphasizing harmony and balance, if I can add insights from what I see in Naoussa as well. This is always a more forward Santorini, without the pure power some of the others often show. If this starts with subtlety, however, it gradually becomes more impressive this year as it lingers in the glass and unfolds, showing layers, crispness and persistence that I wasn’t initially sure it had. This is a very fine performance if rather low key performance in this vintage, a harmonious, well balanced offering with surprisingly good aromatics, perhaps tinged by a hint of herbaceousness. For Assyrtiko, this has a lot of personality. I didn’t start out impressed, but it was hard to give up the glass. Drink now-2016.

Boutari 2011 Malagouzia Matsa

90/100 points

The 2011 MALAGOUZIA “MATSA” is quite fine this year, persistent and gripping on the finish, solid in the mid-palate and very aromatic. It is tinged with grassy notes, streaked with green, but not in an overwhelming sense. It is otherwise pure, clean and unadorned. This seems like quite a full bodied mouthful this year, with some notable power early in its life, but fear not — the alcohol is still only 13%. It will calm down a bit with a few months of time—not that there is anything wrong with its present, exuberant demeanor — while hopefully retaining its fine persistence for awhile. It should hold decently, but it will drink best now and in the next year or so, I suspect. At the moment, wherever it goes, it seems quite exceptional. Drink now-2015.

Boutari reds score high with @TQThomas & @WineAndSpirits

July 11, 2012

Senior editor and Greek wine expert Tara Thomas has high praise for Boutari Skalani and Naoussa in this month’s issue of Wine & Spirits.

Click here for a PDF version of her article on Malagousia, including an interview with Boutari chief enologist Yannis Voyatzis and winemaker Roxane Matsa.

Boutari 2009 Herakliotikos Skalani

90/100 points

Dark and earthy, this pairs syrah’s plummy bacon-smoke pleasures with the gritty meatiness of kotisfali. That grape’s impressive tannins make for a firm structure rendered approachable by an ample padding of fruit. The wine gets more expressive with air, suggesting it would be even better with another few years in the cellar, not to mention a Cretan meat pie.

Boutari 2007 Naoussa Grand Reserve

93/100 points

One whiff says this is the real thing, a stony, truffley scent like the wet earth beneath a rock in a forest. From the midst of that scent comes a luminous ray of cherry fruit, carried on the wine’s vibrant acidity. Everything, even the oak notes, is all of a piece, and feels like it will stay that way for the next decade at the very least.

Boutari 2008 Naoussa (Best Buy)

91/100 points

This is textbook Naoussa: tart, tight and earthy with sweet-tart pomegranate and tomato paste notes. Iron-hard tannins and an extreme, lively acidity give it many more years to go. If you open it now, decant early and serve with something rich, like a porcini risotto, no holds barred on the Parmigiano.

More on the origins of the name “Vinsanto”

July 3, 2012

Resident Boutari blogger and Boutari Social Media Project webmaster Jeremy Parzen posted this update today on his research regarding the origins of the name Vinsanto.

Some recent discoveries (in a library in Venice) happily led me to what I believe is definitive proof that the Greek wine Vinsanto gets its name not from the Vin Santo of Italy but rather from the toponym Santorini, the island where it is made.

Here’s the link to my original post on the origins of the two enonyms.

Recently, I was able to locate a fascinating 19th-century journal entitled, New Remedies, an illustrated monthly trade journal of Materia Medica, Pharmacy and Therpeutics (New York, William Wood, 1880).

In it (volume 9, page 6), I found the following passage (boldface mine):

Greek Wines.

Greece, and particularly the islands of the Archipelago, produce a great variety of excellent wines, which have lately attracted the attention of eminent therapeutists in Europe. The most favored island is Santorino, the ancient Thera or Kalliste, being the most southern island of the group of the Cyclades, and belonging to Greece. A variety of wines are produced there, both red and white. The best red wine is called Santorin (or Santo, Vino di Baccho), representing a dry fine-tasting claret, with an approach to port. Another fine (white) wine is called Vino di Notte (night wine). There are two varieties of this, one named Kalliste, being stronger and richer; the other, called Elia, somewhat weaker, but both possessing a fine bouquet and equal to the best French wines, particularly for table use. The “king” of Greek wines, however, is the Vino santo, likewise produced in Santorino, occurring in two varieties: dark-red and amber colored. This wine is sweet, rich, very dry, and has a strong stimulating aroma.

Note how the author (Xaver Landerer, a professor of botany at Athens) refers to a wine called “Santo” and he refers to the island as “Santorino” (and not Santorini). Note also how he calls the sweet wine “Vino Santo” and not Vinsanto or Vin Santo (where the o of vino has been naturally elided by the inherent system of Italian prosody).

Together with the above document, I found numerous others from the same era that refer to a “Vino Santo” or “Santo” from “Santorino,” the common name for Santorini in the late 19th century.

I also discovered the following information, which I have translated from the Italian, from the “Summary of previously unreported statistics from the Island of Santorino, sent to the Royal Academy of Science of Turin by Count Giuseppe de Cigalla,” published in the Memorie della Reale Accademia delle Scienze di Torino (proceedings of the Royal Academy of Turin, serie 2, tomo 7, Torino, Stamperia Reale, 1845).

Vineyards produce the [island’s] principal crops, with more than 50 varieties of known vine types. [68]

[In 1841 Santorini produced] Vino santo 2,350 barrels, 1,922 hectoliters, value 63,168 Italian lire [68]

The only product exported from Santorino worth mention is wine. The quanity exported in 73,120 barrels (59,797 hectoliters) was nearly in 1841 but it generally does not exceed on average 45-50,000 barrels per year (from 36 to 40 thousand hectoliters), correspondent to the amount of consumed in Russia. [70]

Evidently, Vinsanto from Santorini was widely popular in Russia, where it was consumed as a tonic (I found other texts that spoke of the wine’s popularity in Russia).

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