The Dorks of York convened to check out recent stuff from Gabe's ancestral homeland.
First out was a 2007 white wine I didn't even bother to get the name of. It's owner was impatient for a drink and popped the cork before everyone else arrived, and didn't seem to either notice or understand that it was pretty heavily oxidized until the rest of us went "euuwww!". The only good thing about it was that people were actually grateful when I whipped out my Retsina. The non-vintage Phtinithe was a clean and crisp curiosity, with top notes of Pine Sol and dust. Pleasant enough to drink a glass of; but nobody wanted seconds.
Janice, a local wine store's wine steward, offered her wine next, a 2011 Skouras white made of 60% Roditis and 40% Moschofilero given to her by a distributor. Drinkable but entirely nondescript, it was a $6 wine quality wise and overpriced at its intended retail of $10. Had me quaking with dread, as I brought a Skouros, too, though a different bottling.
Then came something quite wonderful: burnished brass color, nose of pear and fresh lettuce. On the palate, rich like some Spanish Verdejos with pineapple, quince and grippy underripe banana tannins. Very dry and sophisticated, and overall an excellent experience. It was the 2010 Prioros from Crete, a blend of malvasia and chardonnay.
And now another white. Pale, almost clear, with vibrant notes of honeydew and white pineapple plus a lot of other things I couldn't put a name to. Fruitier than the previous wines and very multi-faceted. Also excellent, the 2010 Thira Assyrtico from Santorini.
Now another white, one I brought. It was the 2010 Skouros Moschofilero and definitely a huge quality step up from the cheapie little blend above, which I was quite relieved about. Very Marsanne-like with rich stone fruit, not unlike some Guigal Cote du Rhone blancs. Good but lacked the excitement and power of the previous two wines. $15 at K & L.
Now it's time for some reds. I brought two and threw both in to make things interesting, as we were short a few of the usual suspects that night and there were no other reds. First out, the 2007 Alpha Estate "Hedgehod Vineyard" Xinomavro. A stewed note up front turned out to be pent-up aggression, not oxidation. Pinot Noir like body with dark red fruit, orange peel, mint and leather. Good but not a game-changer, and without knowing Xinomavro better, we all kind of pegged this one as being at peak without a lot to gain from further cellaring.
And lastly, the 2007 Driopi Agiorgitiko from Nemea, a bigger wine and more cab-like with black fruit, structure and huge acid. I've had this grape before and was confused by it then, rather unable to tell if the wines are deliberately extracted or that's just what comes from the grape. Either way, needs more time to find more grace to go with all this power.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov