My first real experience with Greek food & wine was on a holiday in Crete in the 80's. Let's get it over with....the food was not memorable...although Moussaka could be enjoyed. A couple of memories...the first where we were invited to a village for a midday meal and the mayor had a goat slaughtered in our honour. We sat under a tree because of the heat and the berries on the tree fell on to our plate as we struggled to even eat any part of the 'strange' smelling dish. We were also invited to a dinner where all the foods were served at once. Such a pity as some of the hot dished were cold by the time you had tried any cold versions. As I said...not memorable. And the wines?...well...what red available was usually more rose than red. Why not a white you ask. Generally a good choice in a hot climate...but wherever I went...there were oxidised wines. After another invite I took along a half-decent bottle for the guest and said we could maybe drink it together. He had a white already he said...which I think must have been opened for days if not weeks. 'My wine' was untouched. Back to the drawing board then...that trick didn't work!
Over the years...I have rarely chosen a Greek restaurant to eat. I want a decent wine with my meal. But...things are changing. I tried some very fine whites last year...and a few reds. Impressive. The labels are becoming 'readable'...as before...the saying 'It Is All Greek To Me' was appropriate. They also now have a style of their own and traditional grapes are being used. Which brings us to this post...not a traditional grape...but maybe a pioneer with regards to Greek Reds. The story of Christos Kokkalis is well known – he is the man who was a pharmacist in Germany for most of his life, then decided to sell out and start making wine in Greece. He wanted to show the world that great quality could be produced in Greece. He had no prior wine making knowledge and took his chance. It worked!
Cabernet Sauvignon Trilogia 2004
I last tried this in summer 2007...and was impressed but it was a touch 'violent' on the palate. My 'Greek Wine' part of the cellar comprises of 5 bottles of this wine...and is in a corner...so gets by-passed when the evening's choice is to be made.
So...how is this 'brooder'? A little more open now...although the colour still warns you to tread carefully. The word SWEET can sometimes be a misguided description....this is definitely not 'sweet' as in any dessert wine...but it has a ' sweet ripe fruit' that battles against the 'sweet tannins'. Now we have explained that...lets start at the beginning. A nose of ripe berries...spices & cedar...and an earthiness that makes you think Bordeaux...and did I detect Darjeeling Tea? Smoke and oak notes and then the palate reveals racy dark berry fruit...and I thought of the Rhône. Not a bad mix then. There is a faint taste of vanilla...which no doubt will develop with more age...it spends 18 months in French and American oak. The finish is solid...the tannins not letting loose...but satisfying any food you have chosen. Another 4 bottles and it will be fascinating to see how it progresses.
No doubt that Greek wines have improved and it was Alex who first turned me on to this wine. Thanks Alex...sorry about the food criticism...but we English get the same said about our food...it all depends when and where you eat I guess.