MWG May 15th tasting (6/6): Cretan legend
Crete 2006, Sitia, Domaine Economou ($42.00, private import, NLA)
100% organically farmed Liatiko from 65- to 75-year-old dry-farned, low-yielding, ungrafted vines grown on the Ziros plateau in eastern Crete. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel tanks. Matured in French oak barrels. Natural except for a minimal shot of sulphur dioxide at bottling. 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
A transporting, umami-rich nose of dried cherry, blackberry, sun-baked earth and leather with hints of cocoa and dried orange peel. Against all expectations for such a southern wine, medium-bodied (if the frequent comparisons to Barolos have merit, it’s mainly with respect to the wine’s body and weight). Dry. Lightly structured, with supple tannins and lively acidity. The layers of flavour range from fresh and dried fruit (including fig) to spice, dark minerals, Mediterranean scrub and old wood. The wine’s affirmed presence lasts through the long, savoury finish. At this stage, less structured and ethereal than the 2000 opened a few months ago but still special, even unique. One of the great Mediterranean reds. (Buy again? Imperatively.)