Sparkling: Karanika Brut Cuvee Speciale, Karanika Brut Cuvee Prestige, Karanika Brut Rose
White: Ktima Gerovassiliou Malagousia 2014, Boutari Malagousia 2015, Domaine Zafeirakis Malagousia 2015, Domaine Costa Lazaridis Semillon 2014
Red: Domaine Economou Sitia (2006, 1999), Domaine Porto Carras Chateau Porto Carras (2006, 1990, 1993, 1989, 2001, 1994, 1985, 1981).
All of the wines were sourced from the author's private collection.
This post will cover the sparkling and white wines with the reds being covered in a subsequent post. I solicited the perspectives of attendees post the event and use their voices herein.
I have previously recounted my initial exposure to this wine as well as its growing conditions and production process.
John Siudut (Proprietor, Vintage Vino): "Sparkling is always a great way to begin any tasting and I was glad to share a toast at the beginning (Prior to the actual tasting, I had opened a few bottles of Chartogne-Taillet to serve as ice-breakers). The first three wines in the sparkling lineup were all outstanding, but my favorite was the Rosé which held me riveted with its complex, fresh red fruit flavors and its beautiful length."
Jill Kathryn Davis (former Head Sommelier at Capa Grill at the Four Seasons and Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse): "I have only ever tasted Xinamavro as a red still wine. Karanika’s Brut surprised me. Who knew anyone was even making sparkling wine in Greece, let alone méthode traditionelle with organic Xinamavro grapes in Amyndeon." She thought that the Karanika wines "showed incredibly well" and that "the relatively new project has lots of potential."
All participants were amazed at the price point of these wines and clearly saw them, especially the Cuvees, as extremely good value for money.
This flight consisted of three Malagousias and one Semillon, the latter of which had been gifted to me by Yiannis Karakasis on my most recent trip to Athens. I have covered the potential origins of Malagousia as well as the Ktima Gerovassiliou operations in prior posts.
John thought that this flight was pleasant but a slight step down in quality from the Sparkling wines. According to John, "I enjoyed the diverse profiles of all the wines and, although none of them reached outstanding, all three were in the good to very good range. I enjoyed the Domaine Zafeirakis Malagousia 2015 a great deal and was impressed by the balanced acidity. I would love to try it with some white fish to see how well it would pair with food. The Semillon was a hard read at first, but the richness and the fruit flavors opened up in the glass.
Malagousia is not a varietal with which Jill was very familiar. She felt that the selection of versions from different producers and regions allows one to see the varietal for itself. She found the varietal aromatic and not overly acidic. Her personal favorite of the flight was the Domaine Zafeirakis.
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