No, Richard and I are not financed by the Greek wine industry but here is yet another interesting wine from the Peloponnese – Nemea Reserve 2011 from Semeli Wines, north of the town of Nemea. It is made from the Aghiorgitiko grape, Greece’s most widely planted red variety, but better grown at higher (cooler) altitudes where the resultant acidity gives some structure. It’s the only variety allowed in the Nemea appellation.
So much for the background. What did it (blind) taste like?
The colour was a consistent block of black/red and it showed its viscosity and weight in the obvious tears. The smell, faintly menthol, was of plums, damsons and liquorice which later changed to cherry as it sat in the glass. This was an attractive nose which promised much. The palate was tannic structured, polished and rich but with a lean finish, so much so I ventured a traditional Rioja for its origin. There was an alluring spiciness to it; we both admired it even though it was a little on the short side.
There was a caveat, however. After about 30 minutes opened and sitting in the glass, it lost its sophistication and became distinctly raw, with the tannins barging their way to the forefront. Whether this was its age or an underlying lack of quality it is difficult to say but we would have liked it to maintain those lovely deep fruit tones of the initial tasting.
So, overall, good but not brilliant, initially wonderful but then declined. (There goes the sponsors’ money.)
[Richard: or maybe not since the raw taste had passed when I tried the wine an hour later. The wine was back to its previous state with the characteristics Geoff describes. Very drinkable over an evening with a homemade pizza bianco. I picked up the wine at Rhodes Airport Duty Free for €12.]