Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Samos Tryin' Ta Kill Me

Many of my fancy friends, particularly those who enjoy the blog but secretly wish to see me perish at an early age from liver failure, bring me island wines back from their travels. For example, after I complained about the lack of quality Vilana, Mr. Mars gifted me two bottles of Cretan whites in exchange for a home-cooked meal, an austerity package for Greece and my box set of The Wire so that he works on his own interpretation of Clay Davis' favorite excretion expression once that plan fails. Last time around, an acquaintance who wants no starring role in my ramblings but would like to see me under The Rock, gave me two bottles of Muscat from the Greek island of Samos that I later put to the test.

First, though, this post's didactic component. Per my go-to-guide on Greek wines, New Wines of Greece
"Muscat White is often referred to as Muscat Samos since the variety is closely associated with the island. Apart from its presence in the PDO Samos, the variety is also found in four other PDO wines (PDO Muscat of Cephalonia, PDO Muscat of Patras, PDO Muscat of Rio Patras and PDO Muscat of Rhodes). Muscat vineyards are spread on stone terraces mostly around Karvounis (1,153m), Samos’s central mountain, which is also known as Ambelos, after the homonymous village on its northern side. Sizeable vineyards are also found on the northeastern slopes of Kerki (1,443m), Samos’s western mountain. Samos has long had its own particular wine management, the Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos being the only producer. This cooperative has succeeded in making the sweet wine of Samos the best known Greek wine abroad, while dessert wines under the geographical indication of “Samos” have also found their way into the international pantheon of excellent sweet wines. Two wineries outside the island which collaborate with the cooperative also market  PDO Samos wines."
The grape itself produces wines (from dry to sticky) marked by aromas of lemon, apricot, linden, peach, honey and muscat (somewhat reminiscent of crushed coriander seeds).

2011 Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos (EOSS) Psilés Korfés Muscat (Dry White Wine) - Beautiful nose marked by citrus, passion fruit and flowers. To the palate, tropical fruits all the way. Simple quaffing wine with a medium body. 85/100.

2010 Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos (EOSS) Vin Doux (Samos Muscat) - Intense bouquet of dried apricots, honey, nuts and spice. Dried apricots, dates and golden raisins, brown sugar, vanilla and a touch of menthol to the taste. Too cloying for my palate, could use some acidity. 82/100.

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