Friday, February 13, 2009

Greek Wines: Katogi-Strofilia

The first Cabernet Sauvignon vines were planted in Greece in the late 1950s by Evangelos Averoff. In the creation of the Katogi red wine, Averoff was the first wine maker to successfully blend international grapes with indigenous Greek ones, initiating a major revolution in the Greek wine industry. In 2001, Katogi-Averoff SA merged with Strofilia SA and no has wineries at Metsovo, Anavyssos and Nemea.

The 2005 Fresco Averoff is from the Peloponnese region and is made from 100% Agiorgitiko. It only spends two months in oak barrels and has an alcohol content of 13%. This is an easy drinking wine, with delicious cherry and raspberry flavors with hints of spice. It is a smooth wine with a decent finish and would pair well with foods from burgers to pizza.

The 2007 Katogi Averoff Rose is a Demi-Sec wine from Macedonia. It is made from 100% Xinomavro, a grape sometimes compared to Pinot Noir. This wine sees only stainless steel and no oak at all. It had a light pink color and an enticing nose of fresh strawberries. It is a crisp, dry wine with bright red fruit flavors and only a hint of sweetness. More of an Old World style rose. I think this wine would have been delicious even without the hint of sweetness. It is really the type of rose I enjoy.

The 2003 Katogi Purple Earth is a blend of 60% Agiorgitiko and 40% Xinomavro. The wine is aged for at least 10 months in oak and then 5 months in bottle. It only has an alcohol content of 12.5%. I found this to be an extremely intriguing wine with a taste that really excited my palate. Its nose brings to mind black cherry and plum with a bit of earthiness. On the palate, there are more black fruit flavors, more earthiness as well as some spicy undertones. There is a thread of some exotic taste that pervades the wine, making it both familiar and different. The name of the wine is actually very evocative of its taste. It had a long finish and moderate tannins which were well balanced. Overall, an excellent wine that is sure to wake up a jaded palate.

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