Thursday, February 12, 2009

Greek Wines: Oinotheque Emery

Oinotheque Emery is located on the island of Rhodes, also known as the emerald of the Aegean Sea. Rhodes was also the location of the famed Colossus of Rhodes, a giant bronze statue, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World.

Emery was established in 1923, though it did not start producing wine until 1966, and derives its name from Emeric D’Amboise, a great Magistrate of Rhodes, 1503-1512. It is currently one of the largest wineries in Greece. Their vineyards, on the northwesterly facing slopes of Mt. Attaviros, are famous for indigenous grapes such as Athiri and Amorgiano, as well as their very low yields.
The 2007 Rhodos Athiri is made from 100% Athiri, a grape new to me. It is the most widely planted white grape on Rhodes. The wine had a bright golden hue and an interesting fruity smell, mostly citrus. On the palate, it was tart and dry with delicious flavors of peach, pear and orange. There was a subtle undercurrent of more exotic fruit. An absolutely delicious wine with plenty of character and a good finish. Plenty of acidity makes this a very good food wine, though with lots of fruit it can be enjoyed on its own as well. A wine I highly recommend.

The 2003 Cava Emery is a dry red Greek wine and not a Spanish sparkling wine. It is made from 90% Amoryano (also known as Mantilari) and 10% Merlot. Amoryano is another grape that was new to me. This dark red wine had an interesting nose of dark berries. It was a full-bodied wine with smooth tannins and delicious flavors of black cherry and raspberry. An intriguing exotic backbone and a moderately long finish. A very interesting wine that pleased my palate. I do love finding new grapes that make such good wine.

Greece makes some intriguing dessert wines too, like the 2002 Efreni. The Efreni is made from 100% White Moschato and has been aged for two years. Less than 700 cases of this wine are made each year. It had an amber color with an appealing apricot smell. It was a rich, full-bodied wine but was not cloyingly sweet. It had exotic tropical fruit flavors with light floral notes and a lasting finish with a nice balance. A delicious dessert wine that would especially go great with fruit desserts.

These wines are available through Athenee Importers.

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