Wednesday, September 5, 2007

2000 Lidakis Archanes

Despite the fact that wine has been made in Greece for thousands of years, Greek wine still is hard to find in the U.S. and many wine lovers know little about it. Yet this is a tragedy as there are many excellent Greek wines that people would love to drink. It is worth taking a little extra effort to seek out Greek wines.

An excellent resource on Greek wines is Greek Wine Makers, a site created by Nick Cobb. I have met Nick numerous times at wine tastings and he is passionate about wine. His site is filled with tons of information on Greek wines and is well worth checking out.

Nick also works for a wine distributor, Vineyard Road, and they import some interesting Greek wines. This evening, I opened a bottle from their portfolio, the 2000 Lidakis Archanes.

The 2000 Lidakis Archanes ($18) is a blend of 75% Kotsifali and 25% Mandilaria, both indigenous Greek varietals. You can find more information on these varietals here. The winemaker, Vangelis Lidakis, is from the Archanes region of Crete. This wine is named after that region. The wine is also biodynamic and a low production wine, only 300 cases.

The Archanes is a deep red color, though a couple steps from being inky dark. The nose gives you some dried cherry smells which also comes out on the palate as well. The palate gives much dried fruit, cherry and cranberry. But there are some intriguing other flavors as well, an elusive taste that is hard to pinpoint. But which is very pleasing. It has some nice acidity, mild tannins and a lingering finish. It is well balanced and has a fair amount of complexity.

For this price, and such a low production wine, this is an excellent value. I have had this wine before, and I think it has continued to improve with age. I strongly recommend this as a Drink & Buy.

I paired this wine tonight with a garlic sausage and egg noodles, in a garlic/oil sauce. I think the pairing went well and the wine stood up to the strong flavors as well as the pork. This is a wine that would stand up to wild game as well. I could even picture this as a good BBQ wine.

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