The Greek Sampler tasting was a largely disappointing group of less than $20 bottles from Greece. Not tasted blind (like most of our gatherings), we simply pulled corks on three whites, one rosé, and two reds, and tasted them with dinner at Ali & Andy's.
Surely, six bottles of wine do not constitute a vast representation, but we were left wanting more focus, clarity, and volume of flavor in this group. We felt that maybe our palates weren't used to these unusual grapes, or that the winemaking techniques weren't very modern. Perhaps the best value Greek wines stay in Greece?
Fortunately, Ali & Andy provided some outstanding appetizers and some delicious grilled chicken to distract us.
Wines are described in the order tasted, and no points were given.
Greek Wine Cellars Kourtakis Kouros 2009 (Patras). Oily nose, with notions of minerals (granite?), white peaches, and flowers. Joyce was reminded of "fruity olive oil". A little briny in the mouth, with limestone, white grapefruit, and peach notes. Aluminum on the finish. Ali felt that "the finish really pisses me off". Just ok. Made from the Rhoditis grape. About $10.
Cambas Moschofilero 2009 (Mantinia). Very clear. Not unlike a Sauvignon Blanc, with scents of grass, fresh herbs, and lemons. David felt that it was "quiet". Tasters found flavors of Meyer lemon, and an overall fresh, clean, and pleasant character. Ali noted that it "reminds me of an older lady". David felt that it was great with food. About $12.
Argyros Atlantis 2009 (Santorini). Offering a nose of oil and putty, Joyce felt that it "smells like a Riesling to me", while David noted a "subtle spiciness". Acidic, but also salt water notes, with an interesting texture. Medium body, but also a sprightliness. Joyce thought it was "much sharper than I expected", and that "you have to work harder to like it". About $18.
Gaia Wines Rosé 14-18h 2009 (Peloponnisos). Garnet colored, and made from Agiorgitiko. Tasters noted scents of grape juice, watermelon, cinnamon, brown sugar, cranberry, and dust . Ali was reminded of a "brown plaid couch". Fruity in the mouth (cherries, plums), with an overt style. Andy noted that "I feel like I'm drinking a cranberry vodka drink". David described it as "not endearing". About $15.
Cambas Reserve 2006 (Nemea). Made from Agiorgitiko. Prunes, hints of mint, dust, cedar, and roses on the nose. Savory palate that included blueberries and dark herbs. A dark profile, and medium-bodied. About $14.
Tetramythos Black of Kalavryta 2008 (Achaia). Showing aromas of rubber cement, black cherries, and raisins followed by a juicy attack, with cherries, soap, and coffee flavors. Starts off vibrant and fun, but has weak finish, hinting at eucalyptus. About $16.
Cantina del Bovale Sustantzia 2009 (Monica di Sardegna). Black coffee, licorice, blackberry, dust, plum notes. David felt that it "has a rustic quality", while Kristin found "candy on the outside, licorice in the center". Green on the attack, then moved to prunes and ink. From Ali & Andy's cellar. About $12.