It's all Greek to me? bring it on!

Here’s serendipity: We were on vacation in Greece, and the owners of our small hotel* had scheduled a wine-tasting with their friend (and now mine) George Skouras, owner of a very modern winery in Nemea, in the hills of eastern Peloponnese; we’d driven through the vineyard area, but didn’t stop. Next time, we will. We attended the tasting as a courtesy, and were extremely glad we did.
       George is a heartily affable fellow, but several of the wines were even more eloquent. He explained that most of his vineyards are more than 400 meters above sea level, with one just over 1,000—“the mountains are the refrigerators of our land,” he said, collaborating with the sea breezes (often brisk) to insure ripeness at the right times. Some of his wines are Rhône varieties (Syrah and Viognier), but George was pouring the Greek varieties, which made an excellent case for themselves as well as for the terroir:
       Moscofilero is bottled under its varietal name, a dark pink grape that makes an aromatic, crisp white wine—wildflowers and the merest hint of lime (he called it “joyful acidity,” and he had a good point there); Grand Cuvee Nemea 2007 is red,100 percent Aghiorghitiko, firm and slightly tart (red as opposed to black, cherry), undoubtedly benefitting from being grown at 970 meters altitude; Megas Oenos 2008 is the same grape, blended with 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, fermented and aged in new French oak but not overtly or intrusively oaky—both the oak and the Cabernet are smoothly integrated; Synoro 2008 is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, and Aghiorghitiko, beautifully balanced and deliciously complex (cassis, a bit of mint, vanilla), silky and rich, finesse itself, and a nicely lingering aftertaste—a really lovely wine, and well worth seeking out.
          During the week we were there, we drank the local wine, from the Peloponnese, often simply from carafes, impressed and very happy to be. Greece has gone far beyond the old Retsina days, well into modern times, but in its own delightful way. . . Another reason to go back.
        *The lovely hotel, in Karadamili, is at: www.anniska-liakoto.com
copyright 2010-2015 by Brian St. Pierre