Monday, September 13, 2010

No Souvla, No Gold

Last night, The Wife, Ph.D., and I partook in a traditional Sunday evening activity among The Rock's population: a visit to the bakery and the periptero, a souped-up, usually family-owned 7-Eleven-type convenience store where (depending on its size) one can find anything from condoms to disposable grills. At the bakery, we bumped into the Disney-obsessed man-child and Minnie Mouse (The Rock is small, people) and engaged in some light banter involving how I exceeded my weekly beer quota by roughly six bottles. Yes, I am on another one of those Sisyphean diets that goes from strict to semi-strict to casual to who-gives-a-damn-what-I-eat-or-drink-I-would-rather-die-happy-and-in-peace. The bright side is that my dietitians/trainers/psychologists (the Disney-obsessed man-child and The Wife, Ph.D.) have not put any limitations on the amount of wine I am allowed to consume. So at least I have that going for me.

In any case, we said our goodbyes and The Wife, Ph.D., and I walked into a nearby periptero where I picked up Decanter's World Wine Awards 2010 issue. Surprisingly enough, the two top-rated red wines in the Southeast Mediterranean region belonged to our beloved rock. The Zambartas Maratheftiko 2008 and the Zambartas Shiraz Lefkada 2008 took home two of the three Silver medals awarded to a region that included entries from Turkey, Malta and Morocco. According to Regional Chair, Angela Muir, Cyprus is "beginning to make some very elegant reds, which combine punch, finesse and length with enviable fruit concentration," adding that the two Silver medal winners "only missed out on Gold because they are still a little young and needed the souvla that they were born to accompany." So typical of Cyprus to strike out on gold as a result of a lack of meat. But, hey, at least we spanked them Turks.

Interestingly enough, the chairwoman suggests that we keep an eye on the dry roses, three of which came from Cyprus and were commended by the jury. Muir believes "the young ones are increasingly showing superb fruit flavours of real pizzazz" and "are often better than the whites." When it comes to The Rock, this sentiment is shared by Cypriot wine journalist Yiannos Constantinou; in his The Cyprus Wine Guide (ed. 2009), he highly rates many of the island's roses and posits that this variety, along with Xynisteri and Commandaria, is its most interesting. Two of these wines were reviewed here by my fancy friends and me.

Decanter's Tasting Notes for the Two Silver Medal Winners

Zambartas, Maratheftiko, Troodos South 2008 (13.5%) - Spicy aromas of restrained red and blue cherries with a balanced black fruit character on the palate.

Zambartas, Shiraz Lefkada, Troodos South (14%) - Attractive aromas of blue and black cherries with spicy notes. The palate has ripe red fruit and balanced tannins.

Bronze medals were awarded to Sodap's Island Vines (White), Troodos South 2009 and Stroumpeli Lefkada (Red), Troodos South 2007, and the following Cypriot wines were commended by the committee:


Ezousa, Xynisteri Dry, Troodos East 2009 (12%
Sodap, Kamantarena Xynisiteri Dry, Troodos South 2009 (12%)
Sodap, Mountain Vines Semillon, Troodos South 2009 (13.5%)
Zambartas, Xynisteri, Troodos South 2009 (12%)
Zambartas, Semillon, Troodos South 2009 (12.5%)


Ezousa, Eros Rose, Troodos East 2009 (13.5%)
Sodap, Island Vines Rose, Troodos South 2009 (12%)
Zambartas, Lefkada Cabernet Franc, Troodos South 2009 (13%)

White (Fortified)

Sodap, Commandaria Saint Barnabas, Commandaria 2005 (15%)

1 comment:

A. Zambartas said...

Thanks mate! Beautiful article!

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