Pastoral life still characterizes the mountainous region of Arcadia, in central
Peloponnesus. Its bucolic isolation have long been reflected on as a paradise in
both Greek and Roman poetry, as well as, in the literature of the Renaissance.
Formerly a peninsula, it technically become an island with the building of the
Corinth Canal at the end of the 19th century. Creating a maritime shortcut
across this ancient land, it connects the Gulf of Corinth, mouth of the Ionian
Sea and the Saronic Gulf, which is the gateway to the Aegean. Here, you’ll also
find so many of the sites that are quintessentially Greek: famed palaces include
King Agamemnon’s bronze-age construction at Mycenae and King Nestor’s at
Pýlos. You’ll also find one of the best preserved Greek theatres at Epidaurus
and Olympia: original host venue of the Olympic Games for over a millennium.
They also make a great deal of wine and have done so for a very long time.
In one of the 13 principal regions of modern-day Greece, Peleponnesus covers
approximately 12% of the landmass. The historian-poet Homer referred to it as:
Ampeloessa, meaning ‘full of vines’. So it is to this day, outstripping production
of all other Greek wine-producing areas. This week’s DéClassé recommended,
varietal bottling: Mantinia, takes its name from the larger region. In the Rizes,
Lithovounia, and Agiorgitika sub-communes of Mantinia, they primarily grow the
white grape variety: Moschofilero, which so-uniquely defines this refreshing wine.
In the parlance of international wine styles, Moschofilero is otherwise known as
‘blanc de gris’ due to the pale-grey caste of the grape’s skin colour. Though
much more subtle than the distantly related Gewurztraminer and Muscat, this
wine shares some of distinct flavor and aroma characteristics such as flower
and spice. These current 40 hectares of the Tselepos winery estate are in a
direct lineage to the very oldest vineyards found on the peninsula, many of which
were founded over 3,000 years ago. As is so often the case, poor soil makes for
counter-intuitive yet ideal conditions, yielding vigorous vines and characterful
fruit. This clay-based, rocky terrain is no exception to the rule, adding a touch of minerality to the resulting wine, providing a firm structure.
Once again white wine lovers, I’ll challenge you to try something different in the
still-limited pantheon of white wines available in the North American market. On
the LCBO Vintage’s shelves for a short while only, just buy 2 right away. Then go
back and pick up some more for Christmas and New Years.
TSELEPOS CLASSIC MOSCHFILERO 2013
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #724583 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Peloponnese, Greece
By: Domaine Tselepos
Release Date: Dec. 6, 2014
This wine has an abundance of citrus fruit flavours and lemon flower aroma. Try
serving ahead of a meal with Phylo pastry appetizers, prosciutto, fresh fish dishes,
scallops or a cucumber and melon salad.
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