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MWG October 2nd tasting: Moschofilero, still and sparkling

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The tasting began with a challenge. As usual, the wines were served double-blind, with the bottles hidden in bags and no information on their provenance provided. For the first flight, the tasters were told only that the two wines had all kinds of connections. Could they deduce what the connections were?

Mantinia 2013, Moschofilero, Domaine Tselepos ($19.00, 11097485)
100% Moschofilero. The grapes are macerated eight hours at 10°C, then pneumatically pressed. Fermentation with selected yeasts and in stainless steel vats is at 12°C and lasts 20 days with regular stirring. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Aromatic nose: citrus and chalk along with white spice and orange blossom aromas that seem to place it midway between a Muscat and a Gewürztraminer. In the mouth, it’s clean and dry with a faint spritzy tingle. The forward fruit (grapefruit and peach) is held in check by bright acidity and threads of pith-like bitterness and saline minerality. A floral note perfumes the finish. More vivacious than deep (not that there’s anything wrong with that), this QPR winner makes a fine aperitif and is also a natural with Ottolenghi-esque vegetable salads and simple seafood dishes flavoured with aromatics like basil and fresh ginger. (Buy again? Yes.)

Arkadia NV, Amalia Brut, Méthode traditionnelle, Domaine Tselepos ($25.35, 11901103)
The world’s first naturally sparkling Moschofilero. The grapes are picked when their sugar is low and acidity high. Made using the traditional method. First fermentation is in stainless steel tanks and lasts 12 months. The wine is then bottled with several grams of rock sugar and closed with a crown cap. The sugar ferments, producing the carbon dioxide gas that gives the wine its sparkle. At the end of this second fermentation, the bottles are hand-riddled, disgorged and closed with cork stoppers. 12% ABV. Quebec agent: oenopole.
Discreet nose: subtle fruit, faint minerals (“dried plaster” noted one taster) and hints of mead and yeasty ginger beer. Clean and dry with a fine bead. The fruit is greener and leaner than the still wine’s, tending more to lemon. The minerality is more pronounced and the acidity zingier. The grape’s intrinsic floral and spice aromas emerge mainly on the finish and even then are subdued. Comparisons with its sibling aside, this crisp and refreshing wine is a pleasure to drink. Can hold its own against any similarly priced sparkler on the market. (Buy again? Yes.)

A few tasters guessed that the wines were made by the same producer – no surprise there. One or two hesitatingly ventured that they might be made from the same grapes. A request to identify the country and region of origin elicited numerous replies, Alsace being the most common, but no one guessed Greece. Even after the bottles were unveiled, the connections between the wines qua wine were not particularly obvious, were ones you had to look for to draw. Still, just about everyone around the table enjoyed both wines, said they were surprising and considered them good buys.

(Flight: 1/6)

Written by carswell

October 15, 2014 at 17:27

One Response

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  1. Sycharitiria re xadelfe!!!

    Maria talioti andrade

    October 19, 2014 at 13:08

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