Friday, June 21, 2013

Well, Not All of Us Age Like Clooney

A week ago, My Zolpidem Supplier, The Wife, Ph.D., and I met at Vinocultura for Whine On The Rocks' second ever vertical tasting. Our first was a roughshod affair on a balcony in Limassol involving various excellent vintages of Domaine Vlassides Cabernet Sauvignon. This one, instead, exuded class—multiple sparkling glasses, an oenologist as guide, spittoons, a crowd of thirty-plus oenophiles, and wines for sale. What's rather interesting was the wine selected for the vertical, Kyperounda Winery's Petritis, made of the indigenous grape Xynisteri, which (for all intent and purposes) is meant to be consumed within a year or two of release. Unlike other Xynisteris, though, Petritis "spends 6 months in stainless steel, 3 months in oak barrels and 6 months on the lees," a process that certainly extends its lifetime as evinced from the vertical. Besides this specific choice in wine-making, Kyperounda also boasts of south-facing, high-altitude (roughly 1,400 meters above sea level!) vineyards in an area with one of the lowest relative humidity levels on the island.

Kyperounda oenologist, Minas Mina, who was onsite to lead us through the tasting and answer our questions, also commented briefly on Maratheftiko, the big-berried, thin-skinned, pain-in-the-ass-to-grow variety that most experts claim is the most promising grape on The Rock. He ascertained that its production is extremely difficult, and that this year, for example, for the one hectare of Maratheftiko planted by the winery, the yield was a rather meager 200 kilograms.

Anyhow, without further ado, our noggins, palates and imagination at work:

Kyperounda Petritis 2012 — Bottled three weeks or so ago so it might need some time to develop. Waxy, white pepper, rather closed nose. Palate defined by citrus, apricots, some floral components and a touch of honey. Ranked 5 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2011 — Pleasant sweet nose with touches of honey and caramel. Great acidity on the palate with a grapefruit, citrus finish. Ranked 3 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2010 — Here the wine starts to yellow a bit. Smoky, dusty nose with a hint of flowers. Much fuller to the mouth but with diluted taste and little finish. Ranked 6 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2009 — This vintage won a Grand Gold Medal at the 5th Cyprus Wine Competition. Lovely bread-y nose with nuances of stone fruits and quince. Again, much fuller, very smooth with stone fruit rounding out the palate. Ranked 2 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2008 — Undisputed best in show. Great acidity, smooth, citrus finish with hints of honey. Feels awfully fresh for a five-year old Xynisteri. Minas told us that the 2011, 2008 and 2005 vintages were very similar given those years' cool summers. Here's hoping the 2011 develops as nicely as this one. Ranked 1 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2007 — Sweetcorn (high levels of dymethil sulfide?) and vegetal nose. Practically flat with little body or flavor profile. Granted, it might have been unfair to follow the stellar 2008 with this clunker. Ranked 8 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2005 — Again, a touch of sweetcorn matched with some smokiness, leather and cedar. Good acidity for an 8-year old. Long finish, smooth and remarkably sweet. Not quite sure whether it is peaking or already on its downhill. Still, ranked 4 out of 8.

Kyperounda Petritis 2003 — Better than 2007 but also felt flat. A smidgeon oxidized. Ranked 7 out of 8.

Summarizing, here are the final rankings, best to not best — 2008, 2009, 2011, 2005, 2010, 2012, 2003, 2007

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