Archive for July 2013

Wine Spectator 90 Points for Naoussa 2009 (September 2013 issue)

July 24, 2013

From the September 2013 issue of Wine Spectator:

90 points Boutari Naoussa 2009

There’s a hint of orange peel to the lively dried raspberry, date and green fig flavors. Hangs together with the support of vibrant acidity and medium-grained tannins. Complex and savory, presenting an alluring finish of sandalwood.

—Kim Marcus

Temperature variation and fog on Santorini

July 17, 2013

Boutari’s Santorini vineyard manager Petros Vamvakousis sent us this amazing photo. It shows Santorini’s surprisingly heavy early-morning, low-lying fog cover.

In the image, he writes, you see “the fog is moving from the Caldera to [the village of] Megalochori and covers the vineyards of the area.”

In the warm climate of the Aegean Sea, you wouldn’t expect to find fog on the island of Santorini. But the island’s famous Caldera — a basin of seawater that covers the mouth of Santorini’s active volcano — heats and causes the water to evaporate and condense into fog.

In this next photo, you can see drops of dew (however faint) on the leaves of the Assyrtiko grapes and you’ll note the presence of the snails who are attracted by the condensation.

This phenomenon is just one of the unique elements in the millennial tradition of viticulture there.

Santorini, a Chicago Greektown landmark

July 10, 2013

Above: Classic horiatiki, “Village Salad” at Santorini, in Greektown Chicago.

138 South Halsted Street
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 829-8820

Freshness and attention to detail are the secrets to the great food at Santorini in Greektown Chicago.

Above: Grilled octopus.

But we’re not the only one who like the food at Santorini.

Above: Owner James “Jimmy” Kontos, third from left, circa 1965.

The Slow Food Guide to Chicago by Kelly Gibson and Portia Belloc Lowndes (Chelsea Green, 2008) had this to say about Santorini and owner James Kontos and his family, who have run this landmark restaurant for more than two decades:

The Kontos family represents the American dream in many ways. Greek immigrant James Kontos worked hard and opened his own eatery, the popular Tempo, which is just west of the John Hancock Building. The elder Kontos put his children to work — his two sons cooked, and his four daughters waited tables. Tempo’s success paved the way for Kontos to realize his vision of bringing Greek food in a fine-dining atmosphere to Chicagoans.

Biting into kalamari laden with olive oil and lemon sauce with fresh oregano, you are swept off your feet, and for good reason. The lemons were hand-squeezed; the pesticide-free olive oil was cold-pressed at the Kontos family’s farm in Greece, which is also where the oregano comes from This attention to detail carries through every dish.

Santorini is known for its seafood. The black sea bass is a rare treat, as is the fish roe spread. But it’s the lamb I love. Try to lamb paidakia, tender, thin-sliced lamb chops by the pound. The avgolemono (egg and lemon soup), which can be bough by the bucketful — no joke! — is to die for.

Amid all this praise for Santorini’s food comes another accolade: its service is impeccable, among the best in the city.

Above: Owner James “Jimmy” Kontos makes and imports his own olive oil from Greece.

Santorini offers a number of wines by Boutari by the glass and by the bottle.

Above: Baklava and Greek coffee for dessert.

Wine Advocate TNs by @MarkSquiresW

July 1, 2013

Boutari 2012 Santorini
89 points
Wine Advocate
June 2013 #207

The 2012 Santorini is all Assyrtiko, tank-aged for five months. Like more than a few 2012s, this has fine depth. On opening, it seems like a big, concentrated wine, more obvious than its elegant 2011 counterpart, but the alcohol level comes in at just 13.5%, fairly routine for the island. This drank a lot better on Day 2, when it shrugged off some early moments of ripeness and began to seem better balanced. It managed to show at least a little finesse to go with the concentration. Overall, it may be about as good as the 2011, in its own style and depending on what you want from Assyrtiko. My pick would still be the 2011, but this is still very unsettled and needs a few months more at least in bottle to come around. There were 5,556 cases produced. Drink now-2019.

—Mark Squires

subsoil santorini

Above: A cross section of soil/sand types on Santorini in the Boutari tasting room, Santorini.

%d bloggers like this: