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2005 Nemea Grande Cuvée, Domaine Skouras, Greece

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Greek Wine again! This time from the Peloponnese region Nemea. Nemea is an ideal place for wine growing with the bright Greek sun on daytime and high elevations permitting grapes to cool down during nighttime. I heard that’s quite a good thing for having aromatic grapes.

Skouras Estate, which I visited some years ago, has built up a state of the art winery and grows autochthon grapes like Agiorgitiko but also international varieties such as Cabernet and Merlot. Their goal is, I assume, to create appealing Terroir wines with clear regional identity but also modern and elegant Cuvées which are able to compete internationally, in other words which are more or less aiming to match the “global wine taste”. Those last words sounded a bit dismissive, but the truth is I have perfect comprehension for it; every new wine region has to fight for attention by claiming its part of this global wine market. And it doesn’t necessarily mean the wines are bad.

But the bottle I opened here wasn’t a modern Cuvée, rather a 100% Agiorgitiko wine which was aged for 12 months in used French Allier wood barrels. Thus a pure Nemean growth ennobled by used wood which should result in a not too modernistic version of premium red wine.
The nose shows at first sniff a glue tone, which diminishes with time, but never completely disappears. Otherwise it is full of black fruit like currant and blackberries. On the palate very fine grained tannins which are still medium astringent , then comes sweetness with wild berry fruit; there is some heat; the structure seems a bit diffuse sometimes. My impression is that the fruit is about to lose its intensity and brightness whereas the tannin structure could still need some more ageing. Would be interesting to observe further development, I have the feeling fruit is starting to go down the hill here. But time will tell. All in all though this is a solid wine perfect for accompanying grilled meats and other Mediterranean delicacies. 84-85+?

(Update: TN October 2009)

Still looking forward to trying more Greek wines… In the meantime, here are some stills I took back in 2006

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Skouras Winery
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Dramatic Nemea landscape (not necesserily Skouras vines)
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Some older vines
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Closeup
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Up the hills…

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Categories: Greece

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