Showing posts with label moschofilero. Show all posts
Showing posts with label moschofilero. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

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  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Boutari Wine Tasting and Dinner at ONE Restaurant



Boutari Wine Tasting & Dinner at ONE Restaurant
In mid-October, I was invited to a very special and exclusive tasting of the fine wines from the Boutari portfolio. These Greek wines were paired with gourmet fare at Mark McEwan's ONE Restaurant in Yorkville, downtown Toronto.

The guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Yannis Voyatzis, CEO & General Manager at Boutari, and one of the leading Oenologists in Greece. He was joined by Christina Boutari, a 5th generation member of the Boutari family who kicked off the evening with an overview and some history about the winery.

The Boutari Company was established in 1879 by Ioannis Boutaris and currently owns many wineries and vineyards throughout Greece (and Europe). The 6 wineries owned by the company in Greece are situated in the country's most important winemaking regions - the AOCs of Naoussa, Goumenissa, Crete, Santorini, Mantinia, and Attica.

Heirloom Carrot Salad paired with MoschofileroChristina Boutari and Dr. Yannis Voyatzis

Dr. Voyatzis took us through all 8 wines over the course of the evening as they were paired with the 4-course meal that was crafted specially for this intimate event. The first course was an Heirloom Carrot Salad with pomegranate yoghurt, avocado, orange, pistachios, raisin chutney and cilantro vinaigrette which was paired with a pair of white wines. Both wines were made with 100% Moschofilero - a rose/grey coloured grape that is larger than Gewürztraminer. Most fascinating was the fact that each wine was made in a completely different style, but each paired quite well with the salad. The Moschofilero is quite versatile in that it can be served as a sipper or with lighter fare such as salads, while the Oropedio is more of a food wine and really accentuated the citrus flavours in the salad. Full tasting notes of these and other wines tasted on this night are provided below.

The second course was specially crafted for me because I don't eat octopus. Instead, I enjoyed a pair of falafels on a bed of risotto and topped with greens and a side of green mint chutney. It was paired with two wines that were quite different from each other - the light, ripe-fruited Agioritiko and the big, full-bodied Skalani that offered more floral notes. In this case, the Agioritiko was the better pairing with the falafel as it wasn't too heavy and offered freshness to balance out the chickpea-based falafel. For me, the Skalani is a wine I would have on its own or pair it with the main course on this night.

Falafel with Agioritiko and Boutari SkalaniLamb Chops with Xinomavro

Lamb chops with sides of tzatziki, herb roasted potatoes, and a Santorini salad that was topped with a lemon garlic vinaigrette. Food-wise, this was my highlight of the night! Lamb with a big, Greek red wine is a match made in heaven. What made this course even more special were the wines we paired the lamb with - the 2010 Grande Reserve Xinomavro which has been a favourite of mine a few years now, the 1879 Legacy 2007 which is an excellent wine, and last but definitely not the least, we had the opportunity to taste a 1992 Grande Reserve Xinomavro. All three wines were fabulous, with the 2010 G.R. Xinomavro and the Legacy pairing better with the lamb as this protein requires tannins for a balanced experienced. Furthermore, the Skalani tasted in the second course also paired really with the lamb. As for the 1992 G.R. Xinomavro, this is a great, mature wine to sip and enjoy on its own as it's not often one gets to taste a wine that's more than 20 years old.

Greek Vinsanto with Baklava and Halva

For dessert, we paired a Vinsanto that had some age on it with traditional Greek desserts baklava and halva made by Serano Bakery. Historical evidence suggests that Vinsanto's place of origin is Santorini, where late-harvested grapes are dried in the sun, otherwise known as the passito style. These fine, rich desserts were very sweet and paired beautifully with a 2008 Vinsanto that was also very sweet, but balanced by good acidity and has many years of enjoyment remaining.

Thank you to Kolonaki Group, Dr. Yiannis Voyatzis, Christina Boutari, and the staff at ONE Restaurant for your gracious hospitality. It was a very enjoyable and memorable evening!

Wine reviews of each wine tasted on this night are provided below. Unless otherwise noted, all of these wines can be found at the Destination Greece Specialty LCBO store at 200 Danforth Avenue. Moreover, some of these wines can also be found at other regular LCBO outlets - click on the wine's six-digit product code for more info. You can also contact the Agent to Kolonaki Group for more information or shop the Boutari collection online at ShopGreekWine.com.

Tasting Notes:

BOUTARI MOSCHOFILERO 2015 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (#172387) (D) - $13.10
Medium+ intensity aromatics offers fresh lemon, herbs, tropical fruits and floral aromas. The palate is medium-bodied and fleshy with crisp, juicy acids. Herbally and lemon pith flavours. The finish length is very good. Really appreciated this being served at the right temperature. Good for the patio or with salads. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Moschofilero 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Oropedio 2014 (88+ pts)

BOUTARI OROPEDIO 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Greece (XD) - $17.95
100% Moschofilero from oropedio (meaning "high plateau"), at 650 metres, altitude, and partially barrel-fermented, this has a medium-intensity nose featuring herbally, fennel, and mild oak nuances. It's also has some pine aromas, reminding me of a Retsina. The medium-bodied palate is dry and nicely textured, with softened acids due to oak, and pithy flavours. Medium-long finish. The 2016 vintage of this wine arrives on our shores this April. Score: 88+ pts

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2015 - PDO Nemea, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $13.10
Aromas of medium+ intensity and offering ripe red fruits, earthy, cherry, red licorice, plum and some clove - quite complex. The palate is light-to-medium bodied with cherry, cough medicine, subtle oak spice, clove and cinnamon flavours. Lightly tannic with fresh, juicy acids. Medium finish length. Score: 88 pts

Boutari Agiorgitiko 2015 (88 pts)Boutari Skalani 2011 (91 pts)

BOUTARI SKALANI 2011 - PGI Heraklion, Greece (XD) - $29.95
A 50/50 blend of Kotsifali & Syrah, this has medium-high intensity aromas that are meaty and perfumed with purple fruits and sweet oak. It's full-bodied and juicy with blackberry, violet, floral, black plum and sweet oak flavours. It has refined tannins, very good acidity and excellent length on the finish. Drinakable now, but can age another 10 years. This is really fine! Score: 91 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 2010 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#140111) (D) - $18.95
Tasted a few times now, and on this occasion I get lovely medium-high intensity aromas of cherry, clove, sweet floral and oak spice, and hints of olive and black pepper. Olive notes become more prominent with air. Medium-full bodied with still bright acids, nice black cherry, floral, some savoury notes, and hints of dried floral & fruit. Very good finish length. Approachable now, but can age another 3-5 years. Maturing well. Score: 90+ pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 2010 (90+ pts)Boutari 1879 Legacy 2007 (92 pts)

BOUTARI 1879 LEGACY 2007 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (#675081) (XD) - $49.60
First tasted in May, and delighted to be tasting again. This single vineyard Xinomavro has medium-high aromatics of great complexity - floral, cherry, clove, black berry, black pepper, black olive and oak and should open up further with decanting. The palate is full-bodied and complex led by an appealing floral note. There's good concentration of fruit balanced by mouth-watering acids. Finish length is excellent. A big wine that is drinking well now, but will age for decades. Score: 92 pts

BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE XINOMAVRO 1992 - PDO Naoussa, Greece (XD) - $100
The treat of the night. This offers a medium-high intensity nose, very mature in profile with rose, cherry, dried fruit, umami, and just a touch of raisin/prune aromas. It's medium+ bodied with nice cherry-driven aroma replays. Still has very good acidity. Tannins are resolved, very smooth, velvety mouthfeel. Long finishing. Drink soon. Availability of this wonderful wine in Ontario is TBD. Score: 92 pts

Boutari Grande Reserve Xinomavro 1992 (92 pts)Boutari Vinsanto 2008 (92 pts)

BOUTARI VINSANTO 2008 - PDO Santorini, Greece (S) (500 mL) - $32
Made with sun-dried grapes consisting of 90% Assyrtiko and the rest mainly Aidani. This has an inviting nose of burnt caramel, sugar, and dried apricots of medium-high intensity. The palate is medium-full bodied with a grainy texture due to the wine being unfiltered. Very sweet flavours of dried apricot, honey, citrus, all-spice, Christmas cake are balanced by very good acidity. Long finish. Currently not available in Ontario. Score: 92 pts


Sunday, May 31, 2015

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  • Sunday, May 31, 2015

Greek Wine Party at iYellow Wine Club

On , I had the pleasure of attending a Greek Wine Tasting Party hosted at the iYellow Wine Cave. The evening was filled with Greek fare such as olives, cheese, dessert, and other traditional Greek foods that were served alongside more than 30 Greek wines.

In attendance were principals of the wineries, including winemakers, who made the trek all the way from Greece. One such gentleman was Yiannis Flerianos, winemaker at Panagiotopoulos Wines.

Panagiotopoulos Wines is located in Messinia, in the southwestern part of Peloponnese. They farm organically indigenous and international grape varieties at an altitude of 400 metres above sea level. One of the 4 wines that Mr. Flerianos brought with him was made using the local Malagousia grape - a wine that was my favourite white wine of the night. Yiannis also brought an organic 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon that showed minimal greenness and fine maturity. Both of these wines are reviewed below.

Yiannis Flerianos - Winemaker at Panagiotopoulos Wines
When I met Mr. Flerianos earlier this month, he mentioned that they did not have representation in our market. For any Agents looking to add a Greek winery that produces yummy wines, some of which are organic, to their portfolio, take a look at Panagiotopoulos Wines.

After having enjoyed the Cavino Grande Reserve during my Greek Wine series back in April, I was curious to see what else Cavino had to offer. On this night, in addition to the Grande Reserve, they also had their Reserve bottling and the premium Mega Spileo Grand Cave Red. Wine reviews of both of these delicious wines are found below, and can be purchased via their agent United Stars.

Chocolate covered baklava

Most of the wines available for tasting on this night were available on Consignment, while a few could be found in the LCBO General List and VINTAGES sections. A couple of easy drinking wines that could be found in LCBO General List in 1 Litre or 1.5 Litre bottles were the Apelia Moschofilero (white wine, #239863) and Apelia Agiorgitiko (red wine, #239871). Both of the wines are available quite cheaply at $10.55 (1 Litre) and $13.95 (1.5 Litre) and make for good every day or party wines.

Overall, my impression of Greek wines is good value for money when using local grape varieties. And I hope they continue to produce these delicious wines and that the LCBO continuously brings them to Ontario. A recent initiative by the LCBO to launch regional specialty wine shops will certainly go a long way to help this cause. The first such store is located on the Danforth and features roughly 90 Greek wines.

Below, you will find wine reviews of some of the wines I enjoyed at this tasting.

And lastly, thank you to Angela Aiello and the iYellow team for the invite, and Ariel Andres for providing some of these photos.

Ya sou!

Tasting Notes:

PANAGIOTOPOULOS MALAGOUSIA 2014 - PGI Peloponnese, Greece (XD) - $????
Medium-high aromatics featuring orange, citrus, and wild herb notes. It's dry on the palate with balanced acids and herb, limestone, hay flavour profile. Excellent length on the finish. Score: 89 pts

Panagiotopoulos Malagousia 2014 from PGI Peloponnese, Greece (89 pts)

PANAGIOTOPOULOS MERLOT 2009 - PGI Trifilia, Greece (XD) - $????
Aromas of medium-to-high intensity showing plum, milk chocolate, wet earth and cedar. Palate is medium+ bodied with very nice aroma replays and some mint, herbal notes for complexity. It has refined tannins, balanced acids and a long finish. Well done! Score: 89 pts

Panagiotopoulos Merlot 2009 from PGI Trifilia, Greece (89 pts)Panagiotopoulos Cabernet Sauvignon BIO 2008 from PGI Trifilia, Greece (90+ pts)

PANAGIOTOPOULOS CABERNET SAUVIGNON BIO 2008 - PGI Trifilia, Greece (XD) - $????
Made with organic grapes. Elegant medium+ aromas of cassis, dried fruit, fig, dark berry and whiffs of green pepper. The palate is medium-to-full bodied with very nice aroma replays. It has refined tannins and a very long finish. Score: 90+ pts

DOMAINE MERCOURI 2010 - PGI Letrini, Greece (XD) - $19.95
Red wine blend of 85% Refosco and 15% Mavrodaphne. Medium intensity nose with currant, vanilla, oak, bretty and smoke. Medium-bodied palate with fresh acids and a balanced flavour profile consisting of red fruit and leather. It's dry with somewhat firm, yet integrated tannins and medium-long finish with steely aftertaste. Score: 87 pts

DOMAINE LANTIDES LITTLE ARK 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (XD) - $????
White wine blend that is equal parts Assyrtiko and Malagousia showing medium+ intensity aromas of crisp citrus, floral, mineral and herbally notes with floral and herbal flavours emerging on the palate. It's medium-bodied and feels plumpy in the mouth. Dry (i.e. not sweet) and lengthy finish. Score: 87 pts

CAVINO NEMEA RESERVE 2009 - PDO Nemea, Greece (XD) - $14.95
100% Agiorgitiko. Perfumed floral aromas of medium+ intensity, red berry, plum and sweet spices. Palate has low tannins with nice aroma replays, and good freshness from the acidity. Finish is medium-long. Score: 88 pts
Cavino Nemea Reserve 2009 from PDO Nemea, Greece (88 pts)Cavino Domain Mega Spileo Grand Cave Red 2008 from PGI Achaia, Peloponnese, Greece (90 pts)

CAVINO DOMAIN MEGA SPILEO GRAND CAVE RED 2008 - PGI Achaia, Peloponnese, Greece (XD) - $24.95
Blend of 60% Mavrodafne and 40% Mavro Kalavritino. Medium-to-high intensity aromatics featuring black fruits, earthy, dark cherries, barnyard and dried flowers. It's full-bodied with smooth, integrated tannins and pleasing aroma replays. It also has mouth-watering acids and a very long finish. Score: 90 pts

TSELEPOS CLASSIC MOSCHOFILERO 2014 - PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (#724583) (XD) - $14.95
Medium+ intensity nose with herbal, lemon and white peach aromas. The palate is dry with fresh, bright acids and very nice aroma replays with predominantly herbal notes. It has a slightly chalky mineral texture and a medium-long finish. I would expect this vintage to show up in LCBO VINTAGES at some point this year. Score: 88+ pts

Tselepos Classic Moschofilero 2014 from PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (88 pts)


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

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  • Tuesday, April 14, 2015

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero (Greece) - Wine Review

Opened up this fragrant beauty of a wine on in my continuuing series on wines from Peloponnese (part 1, part 2), Greece.

Grapes for this wine were sourced within Mantinia PDO, from selected vineyards within the communes of Rizes, Lithovounia and Agiorgitika in Arcadia. The region is known for producing wines of distinct aromatic and flavour profiles using the grapes Moschofilero and Asproudes (a term often used to refer to unknown varietals.) This white wine is a classic, textbook example of Moschofilero with its fragrant qualities and naturally fresh acidity.

The wine was featured among my wine picks in the December 6th LCBO VINTAGES release at $17.95, but has now come down in price by $3 - excellent value at this price point! Small quantities are available throughout the province, so you should be able to find this bottle at your local LCBO outlet.


TSELEPOS CLASSIC MOSCHOFILERO 2013 - PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (#724583) (XD) - $14.95

2013 Tselepos Classic Moschofilero from PDO Mantinia, Peloponnese, Greece (89 pts)
Tasting Note:
100% Moschofilero. Light orange-pinkish hue. Perfumed nose of orange, peach, blossom flowers, very Muscat-like. Palate is medium-bodied and dry (not sweet) with orange peel, citrus and floral notes, vibrant acidity. Quite warm mouthfeel with 13% alcohol. Excellent length on the finish. Recommended buy. Score: 89 pts


Sunday, April 5, 2015

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  • Sunday, April 5, 2015

Wines from Peloponnese, Greece

Wines of Peloponnese
This is the first post in a series that will feature the wines of Peloponnese to celebrate (April 12th) this year. In addition to the wines, I also received some very nice Greek products that I will be tweeting about over the coming days.

The Peloponnese wine region is located in the southern peninsula of Greece and is (mostly) separated from mainland Greece by the Gulf of Corinth. It is also the largest winemaking area in Greece. This region is home to ancient Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games, and has been producing wine for at least 4,000 years. Popular native grape varieties grown within the Peloponnese are Agiorgitiko, Moschofilero and Mavrodaphne.

Moschofilero (MOH-skoh-FEE-leh-roh) is a fragrant white grape with gray/pink/purple skin that exhibits floral, spice and perfumed characteristics. The wine reviewed below comes from Arcadia, in central Peloponnese, and shows very good typicity for the grape.

Agiorgitiko (ah-yohr-YEE-tee-koh) has to be one of the most difficult-to-pronounce grapes around. Fortunately, it also goes by the name 'St. George'. This black-skinned grape produces red wines that are quite fruity, as in the version below, similar to the Italian Barbera. Agiorgitiko is the second most widely planted red grape in all of Greece.

The last wine reviewed below is a blend using the Mavrodaphne and Black Korinthiaki grapes. The Mavrodaphne varietal is a black wine grape native to the Achaea region in Northern Peloponnese. It is typically used to produce fortified wine, as the Kourtaki is below. It is also typically blended using the solera method, which then produces a non-vintage wine.

The 2013 vintage of the Greek harvest is being hailed as one of the best in recent years, especially for white grapes. It showed in the Moschofilero. All the three wines reviewed below were quite easy drinking, have good crowd-appeal, and come at attractive price points at the LCBO.

Stay with me as I find kefi while taking you through the three remaining wines (two of which are from the 2013 vintage) to celebrate Easter and the wines of Peloponnese.

Tasting Notes:
TROUPIS FTERI MOSCHOFILERO 2013 - IGP Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece (#392936) (XD) - $15.20
Very pale yellow colour, almost clear white. Fragrant aromatics that show floral, citrus, peach and some lychee and herbal notes as it warms up. The palate is medium-bodied and creamy with balanced acids. Flavour profile consists of floral, white peach and hints of orange. Initial kiss of sweetness tapers off into the dry spectrum. Decent length on the finish. A very good introduction to the grape. Readily available as it's LCBO General List. Score: 87 pts

2013 Troupis Fteri Moschofilero from IGP Arcadia, Peloponnese, Greece (87 pts)

BOUTARI AGIORGITIKO 2013 - PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (#172148) (XD) - $11.85
Plum and prune aromas from the cork. Medium intensity nose with red cherry, red currant and soft floral aromas. Palate is medium-bodied and dry, with soft, rounded tannins, balanced acids and red currant, cherry and mild spice flavours. Average length finish. Simple, easy drinking red. Readily available as it's LCBO General List. Score: 86 pts

2013 Boutari Agiorgitiko from PDO Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece (86 pts)

KOURTAKI MAVRODAPHNE OF PATRAS - PDO, Peloponnese, Greece (#208413) (S) - $14.95
Blend of Mavrodaphne and Black Korinthiaki. Prune and raisin aromas from the cork. Medium intensity aroams of raisins, dried figs, caramel and dates with medium sweet aroma replays on the palate. Smooth, slightly creamy texture, light-to-mid weight body with good acids. Medium length finish that has notes of semi-sweet milk chocolate from a hot fudge sundae. Serve well-chilled. This fortified wine was recently released into VINTAGES on March 21 and has good inventory levels. Score: 86 pts

Kourtaki Mavrodaphne of Patras from PDO, Peloponnese, Greece (86 pts)


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