Thursday, September 9, 2010

WHY NOT BUY "GREEK WINES"? (TSANTALI WINES) by Philip S. Kampe


Recently, I was invited to a tasting of Greek Wines.

What I know is that the names of the grapes and most Greek wines are hard to remember and pronounce.

What I didn't realize is how WONDERFUL the wines are.

YES, we are all buying the VALUE wines from Chile, Argentina, New Zealand, Spain and even Brazil. What we are missing in our Home Wine Portfolio for everyday and special occasion use are Wines from GREECE.

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I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST A FEW REASONABLY PRICED GREEK WINES:
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MARONIA VINEYARD "KANENAS" White 2008

+All Greek wines have a story...this is the story of KANENAS, which means "No-one".
The Cyclops Polyphemus trapped Odysseus in his cave in ancient Maronia. To escape, Odysseus offered him the most popular Maconian wine. Polyphemus became enchanted by the wine, giving Odysseus the chance to escape by blinding him. When escaping, the Cyclops asked Odysseus name, and he answered: "KANENAS" (No-one)

+Well the MARONIA Vineyard KANEMAS White 2008 is someone. The vineyards extend across southwest locations on the low hills of Maronia, in Thrace, giving the impression of a gigantic amphitheater that overlooks the Aegean Sea. The climate is mild, with rainy winters and a mild spring. In the summer, the north winds cool down the property.+

KANENAS White 2008 is made up of the grapes, Chardonnay and Muscat of Alexandria. Classified as a regional wine of Ismaros, this exceptional $19.99 bottle of wine has golden hues with deep aromas followed by a crisp, minerality highlighted by peach and green apple. KANENAS is a wine that compliments chicken, veal, frilled and fried fish,as well as fruit and light cow's milk cheese. 89 PSK
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METOXI CHROMITSA White 2009
+ A monastic wine from the cloister of METOXI CHROMITSA, this 50% ASSYRTIKO and 50%
SAUVIGNON BLANC wine continues the notable winemaking tradion of Mount Athos. The slopes of Mount Athos harbors great natural beauty. The monastic community is dedicated to the perpetual glorification of the Mother of God. It is a place of devotion, prayer, obedience and meditation. From the early settlements, the Monks have cultivated the vines that have lasted centuries.+

+ At $13.99 a bottle, this dual varietal, Mount Athos regional wine is intense and complex with a floral, fruity nose and a vivid yellow hue. Crisp, with minerality, this juicy wine goes well with seafood and Mediterranean cuisine 88PSK
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METOXI CHROMITSA Red 2005
+The vineyards are in a similar Mount Athos location as Metoxi Chromitsa White 2009.
The grapes used in this blend include: Cabernat Sauvignon and the indigenous Limnio and Xinomavro grapes. Aged in oak barrels for 10-12 months, this limited edition wine is pungent with aromas of dark cherry and bluberries. On the palate, a spicy, dark fruit flavor dominates the floral, tannic, complex backbone that makes up this special wine. The complexity of the wine matches well with carmelized duck breast, steak au poivre and full-flavored cheese.
At $19.99 a bottle, this wine is a steal!! 90 PSK
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RAPSANI RESERVE 1996
+The vineyards of RAPSANI lie on the southern slopes of Mount Olympus, the Mountain of Gods. Specific vineyard sites are located in the driest and warmest parts of the slopes. The free draining gravel soil mixed with warm temperatures naturally encourage low yields. Due to the micro-climate conditions and cultivation techniques, RASPANI, has been able to grow Superior grapes. The 30 year old vines that make up this indigenous wine include Xinomavro (33%), Krassato (33%) and Stravroto (33%). Aged in oak barrels for three years, RAPSANI RESERVE 1996, is a complex, elegant wine that is deep purple-red in color. This velvety, lush wine has hints of blackcurrants and licorice echoing nicely on it's graceful finish.

This is a wine for Special Occasions. 93 PSK

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++Ask your local wine merchant to carry these wines, if he is not doing so.++
++Please tell your Retailer that FANTIS Imports is a great resource for Greek Wines http://www.fantisfoods.com/ ++

PHILIP S. KAMPE
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