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Greek Wine Selections from Nestor Imports - International Wine Review
The International Wine Review continues its focus on the wines of Greece with these reviews of the wines of Nestor Imports, a leading importer of Greek wines in the United States. Nestor Import’s portfolio includes the wines of Kourtakis winery, one of Greece’s largest wineries as well as those of boutique wineries like Chrisohoou. It also imports an interesting collection of wines from Cyprus. Nestor Imports is owned by Aristides and Kathy Spiliotopoulos and is based in New York.
Earlier this year, Publisher Mike Potashnik reviewed the wines of Domaine Costa Lazaridi which is also imported by Nestor Imports. These reviews may be found in the International Wine Review’s report on the Wines of Northern Greece . For that report, click here .
Chrisohoou 2001 Cava Chrisohoou Noussa ($25) 88
This is an attractive estate blend of Merlot and Xinomavro. Ruby garnet in color, it offers dried cherry aromas on the nose and palate. It is medium weight and reveals slightly dry tannins on the finish.
Chrisohoou 2003 Estate Chrisohoou Noussa ($19) 88
A 100% Xinomavro that displays a light garnet hue and dried dusty cherry and plum aromas and flavors. Although it spends 18 months in oak and two years in bottle before release, this wine is light-bodied and Pinot Noir-like in character with some tannic grip on the finish.
Greek Wine Cellars, D. Kourtakis 2008 Moscofilero Mantinia ($13) 87
This Moscofilero offers pleasant floral aromas with fresh melon and pear flavors on the palate. It is crisp and fresh with high acidity and a soft crisp finish. Easy to drink and enjoy.
Greek Wine Cellars, D. Kourtakis 2007 Kouros Patras Nemea ($12) 90
Pale straw. A lovely 100% Roditis offering sweet melon and white peach fruit on the nose. On the palate it exhibits light melon flavors and crisp acidity, finishing dry with lingering green melon fruit. Serve well chilled. A terrific wine for the price.
Greek Wine Cellars, D. Kourtakis 2005 Kouros Nemea ($12) 90
This 100% Agiorgitiko has a light-medium ruby hue and aromas of dried cherry. It is soft on the attack and silky smooth on the palate with dried cherry and plum flavors, spice, and pepper. Interesting and delicious. Another great wine for the price.
Greek Wine Cellars, D. Kourtakis Mavrodaphne of Patras ($12) 88
A delicious wine light garnet in color with aromas of dried cherry and yellow raisins. On the palate it is sweet and rich tasting with a honeyed mouth feel and touches of chocolate or mocca. Drink this as a desert wine or aperitif. Pair with creamy cheeses or chocolate.
Greek Wine Cellars, D. Kourtakis NV Muscat Samos ($13) 87
This Muscat a petits grains is a specialty of the Aegean island of Samos. Deep yellow gold in color it offers fruity aromas of dried apricot and nuts. It has a honeyed mouth feel with flavors of butterscotch and golden raisins. It is sweet on the finish with moderate acidity.
Panagia NV Alina Cyprus ($13) 86
This pale ...
The Exciting Wines of Northern Greece: Macedonia - International Wine Review
Greece is producing exciting wines that are little known outside its borders and Macedonia is one of its most important wine producing regions. In this report, we alert our readers to some of the leading wineries and wines of Northern Greece (Macedonia) —one of several major regions of high quality wine production in the country. Macedonia is a region in quiet ferment (so to speak) with talented winemakers, improved vineyard and winemaking practices, and many new wines made of indigenous and/or international varieties. Although many wine professionals and enthusiasts are not yet familiar with these wines, is changing as word spreads around about the high quality and reasonable prices of many Greek wines. 1
Macedonia is a large department with northern borders adjacent to Albania, Bulgaria, and former Yugoslavian and a southern border on the Aegean Sea. Driving across Macedonia as I did, one notes the varied topography and different microclimates. Western Macedonia is mountainous with a distinct alpine feel while the north and central areas have rolling hills and flat plains with a temperate and Mediterranean climate. According to some observers it offers “a soothing respite from the drama of southern Greece.” It is also apparent that while agriculture is a major economic activity in Macedonia, and wine has been made in the region for centuries, viticulture is only sporadically visible in some spots. Yet, viticulture in Macedonia is relatively easy, according to Konstantinos Lazarakis MW. Water is generally available and soils are for the most part suitable for grape growing. 2
Like other emerging wine regions, Greece has a generation of modern winemakers, mainly in their who have been trained both within Greece (in Athens and Thessaloniki) and abroad in Bordeaux, Adelaide and UC Davis. Winemakers are experimenting and learning what grows best in which area and how to viinify indigenous grapes. Boutari has done important research over the years on the growing and vinification of Xinomavro while Evangelos Gerovassiliou has focused his attention on while white varieties. Significantly, virtually all of the winemakers whom I met on my visit, large and small, were all in the learning and experimenting mode which is what is needed if the quality of Greek wines is going to steadily improve.
Most Greek wine is consumed within Greece. Unofficial estimates are that 70% of all wine is consumed locally and 30% exported Most exports are to the UK, Germany, Netherlands, Canada and the United States. Larger wineries like Boutari and tiny ones like Katima Karyda export 50% of their wine to the United States. Most Greek wines in the United States are imported by small importers of Greek descent. However, some large producers like Boutari work through large national distributors in the United States.
Winemakers in Northern Greece, as elsewhere in the country, are producing wines from both...