Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Push Me Over

I am not the best judge of talent, particularly when it comes to wine. To be honest with you, I am not trained in the art of wine; I only know what I know because I read at the same pace a ravenous hyena preys on a carcass and I taste, analyze and rate wines on a quasi-nightly basis. All of this happens, of course, to the chagrin of The Wife, Ph.D. who'd rather have me spend countless hours working on the first-and-probably-only Great Cypriot-Ecuadorian Novel. Therefore, given my rather limited knowledge, all of the scores I give wines must be taken with a healthy serving of (preferably rock) salt. Generally speaking, I score wines quite liberally, handing out above-average scores to wines that probably do not deserve them. I guess it's in my nature to be a pushover an easy grader.

So a few weekends ago, I dragged The Wife, Ph.D., Cousin #2 and her husband, Radio Free Cyprus (or My Personal Skipper), to a tasting of wines from the Greek island of Crete to test out my scoring system. I must admit that peer pressure is a bitch; on this occasion, thanks to my strict companions, I metamorphosed into a disciplinarian and dispensed mediocre marks left and right.

2010 Karavitakis Sauvignon Blanc - Grapefruit and green apples on what is a pretty closed nose. Savory (sea salt) and herbal components dominate. Little fruit but good acidity. Scores (mine are in bold): 55/100, 70/100, 78/100 and 75/100. Average: 70/100.

2010 Karavitakis Chardonnay - Fresh aroma of pineapples and peaches. To the mouth, peaches at first, an empty mid-palate and a citrus finish. A tad flabby. Scores: 70/100, 80/100, 65/100, 75/100. Average:  73/100.

2009 Karavitakis Red (Grenache, Carignan, Cabernet Sauvignon) - The nose seemed all over the place with hints of leather, red fruit, flowers, sewage (?!?), Coca-Cola and vanilla. The mouth was dominated by red fruit but was a tad fizzy showing signs of refermentation. Worst of the lot. Scores: 45/100, 60/100, 55/100, 65/100. Average: 56/100.

2008 Karavitakis Cabernet Sauvignon -Nice smokiness and blackberry on the nose with undertones of top soil, vanilla and butterscotch. Full-bodied, smooth wine that was slightly tannic for my taste. Scores: 75/100, 80/100, 70/100, 70/100. Average: 74/100.

2007 Karavitakis Elia Refosco (80% Refosco, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon) - Made primarily of the northern Italian varietal, Refosco, this wine had a pleasant aroma of raspberries, coffee, pepper and cloves but seemed rather disjointed to the mouth. Best and most unique wine of the five we tasted that afternoon. Scores: 75/100, 80/100, 78/100, 75/100. Average: 77/100.

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