Several weeks ago, I attended a wine lunch and tasting at New York’s Marea Restaurant that featured a number of Greek wines being imported by the excellent firm Cava Spiliades. And like too many people, my experience with the wines of Greece had been limited mainly to the occasional bottle Moschofilero, but beyond that, not much.
However, it very quickly became apparent at this lunch that I’d been missing out: The wines--reds and whites in equal measure--were fantastic: Well-crafted from high-quality fruit, balanced, and supremely food-friendly.
Then yesterday, I had the chance to taste more excellent wine, this time with the legendary Greek winemaker Evangelos Gerovassiliou, and George Spiliadis, the importer and passionate advocate of the artisanal wines and foods of Greece. Lunch this time was at the spectacular Milos, which George and his family own. Both the wine and the food were remarkable.
I’ll be reporting on all of the wines, as well as the food, in more detail in the coming weeks, but for now, I wanted to share the tasting note for one of the single best Viogniers I’ve tasted all year: The Domaine Gerovassiliou 2008, which is not only a spectacular bottle of wine, but also is representative of the remarkable, exciting changes that are happening in the Greek wine world. I cannot possibly recommend these wines highly enough.
This particular bottling starts out notably spicy on the nose, with aromas of charred peaches, smoke, nuts, and the unmistakable perfume of ginger providing lift. The texture, all chewy and glycerine, is balanced out by a fresh acidity that is far too often missing from other Viogniers. (That acid balance, in fact, seems to be a hallmark of the wines brought in by Cava Spiliadis.) Mango and peach, as well as more spice and smoke, define the palate, and the finish remains fresh and mouthwatering, allowing the impression of the wine to linger beautifully.
Over the course of two lunches and some tasting on my own at my home office, I have, rather quickly, become a very big believer in the wines of Greece, especially when they’re made with as much care and attention to detail as this one. What utterly gorgeous wine.