Lately my wine shopping focus has undergone a subtle shift. Since the continued expansion of my wine knowledge depends in no small part on my ongoing exposure to unfamiliar grape varieties, my most recent purchases have consisted, if not wholly, then largely, of seeking out grapes I haven’t drunk before. I’ve found them in wines from every corner of the world, and have enjoyed my dalliances with most of them, even giving my heart to a few, loving them as much as one can love who knows before the affair begins that soon enough he will have to move tearfully onward to new conquests because his nature dictates that he cannot be tied down. Papa was a rolling stone, and all that.
This recent purchase from Greece offered me previously unexplored grapes as well as a memorable drinking experience that I would revisit without reservation. The Vilana grape makes up the majority of this golden-hued dry white blend, along with a small percentage of indigenous grapes such as Thrapsathiri, Athiri, Plyto, and Dafni. And while I haven’t yet given my whole heart to this wine and would perhaps hold off on introducing it to my parents for a little while yet, the time we spent together was profoundly pleasurable and enlightening, and I look forward with relish to seeing it again soon.
Hailing from the Greek isle of Crete, 2013 Kretikos White Boutari has the clean aromatics of a fresh grapefruit enjoyed after a rain in a sun-splashed bistro with white flowers on the table. Underscoring the faint wet stone and floral hints is a whisper of expensive perfume that fleshes out the narrative begun by the fruitier elements. When tasted, the flavor of the aforementioned grapefruit is joined by pineapple and a whiff of butterscotch. Together they comprise a balanced structure supported by a moderate alcohol level (12% abv), a satisfying medium-long finish, and enough acidity to play nicely with the fruit.
Kretikos Boutari is an award-winning Cretan wine, significant for being the first wine to find success beyond the borders of the island. This is a wine I could drink every day with a variety of foods from shellfish and poultry to soft cheeses and leafy green or pasta salads. This is a wine I imagine sharing farewell breakfast with at a coastal bistro following a torrid night to be wistfully remembered by us both long after we’ve parted ways. Not intended for extended cellaring, it is best drunk within 2 to 3 years of vintage. With my having experienced only a handful of Greek wines before finding this blend, it made for an auspicious re-introduction to them, and leaves me, as do most relationships ended too soon, pining for future re-acquaintance.