|Domaine Porto Carras - Malagouzia 2011
Still feeling the glow and residual effects of tasting the Athenee Importers Greek Wines at the beginning of March. There were truly many outstanding wines worthy of the spotlight. For today, let's talk about Malagouzia.
Chalkidiki, Cotes de Meliton, Macedonia
100% Malagouzia (ancient varietal)
Briny, pale golden yellow in color, this wine expresses the sunshine we're yearning for! Like the lean light of winter moving into a fuller expression of spring and playful ebullience of summer. On the nose, minerality ... limestone, schist. Clean. Sea air. Tropical fruit such as pineapple, white peaches and apricot follow on the palate, fleshy and lean all at once. In time a hint of orange peel, with fennel, herbaceousness and light lime citrus. Excellent balanced acidity and weight give way to a luscious, calcerous, ultimately dry finish. Elegant and smooth. Needless to say, I love this wine! Presently available at RSVP in Portland for $16.99/btl. Also find it at Trattoria Athena in Brunswick.
In northern Greece, Domaine Porto Carras is located in Central Macedonia, on the peninsula of Sithonia, Chalkidkiki in the Cotes de Meliton appellation (see map below). Bordered by the Gulf of Torone in the North Aegean Sea and Mount Meliton to the north, vineyards are planted on steep, terraced slopes covering 1,170 acres of beautiful hillsides with distinct microclimates. The first vineyards were planted in 1967, with the first vintage available in 1972. The winery is certified organic by DIO and is the only winery in this appellation. Noting the particular geography and climate, it's not hard to see where all the minerality and characteristics of this wine come from!
Malagouzia is a varietal that originated in Nafpaktia, central Greece but is mostly grown in Central Macedonia and Attiki. Recently it has been planted in northern Greek regions. It has also been characterized as "the mysterious and elegant Greek lady" ... yes, indeed!
This wine would of course pair gorgeously with any sort of fresh seafood. But I'm thinking this may also prove to be a brilliant choice for your Easter celebration! Ham, asparagas, leeks, spring potato salad, hot crossed buns ... or Greek braided easter bread or phyllo pie!
Available through Athenee Importers, Hempstead, NY and SoPo Wine Co., South Portland, ME.