Text Size:-+

2002 Samos Grand Cru Vin Doux (Muscat), Samos, Greece

island.samos.jpg It's not everyone that can claim they've been making quality wine pretty much continuously since at least the twelfth century B.C. Most people also can't say with authority that their wines were the favorites of people like Hippocrates. You know, that greek guy who invented, um, well. At least I know they named the Hippocratic Oath after him. In any case, very few places in the world have a winemaking pedigree like the people of the island of Samos.

A thumbnail sized, green mountainous island that pokes up out of the eastern Agean sea, the name Samos comes from Sami (based on the Phoenician "sama," or "high place") and is the legendary homeland of King Angeus, about whom I could not find any information, even on Google, but who presumably was an important Greek. However, in Ionian times (before the height of Greek civilization) Samos was a seat of power in the Mediterranean and the home to king Polycrates. Much later, Samos is known for having produced the bane of every 9th grade Geometry student: a man named Pythagoras.

samos.bottle.final.jpg Samos has been making wine from a variety of grapes since time immemorial (wine vessels dating to 2800 BCE have been found on the island). However, in the 16th century, a variety of Muscat (blanc a petit grains) was brought to the island and quickly became the wine grape of choice and has henceforth been known as Muscat of Samos. Grown on the slopes of Mount Ampelos which rises to 1144 meters above sea-level, these small berried grapes are grown as high as 900 meters in elevation, and ripen to incredible sweetness in the Mediterranean sun during the day, and are cooled by ocean breezes at night.

Samos is arguably Greece's most famous wine appellation.

Modern wine production in Samos might be marked by the formation of the Union of Wine Making Cooperatives of Samos, which was founded in 1934 and united several small producers together on the island. Today wines from Samos are released under the label of Samos, controlled by this union. Comprised of 25 different cooperatives, with about 4000 members and winegrowers, the cooperative produces about 9000 tons of grapes per year for wine.

These grapes are used to make several wines, ranging from dry to sweet to the (thankfully) less popular retsina flavored wines.

This wine is comprised of grapes harvested at various times, from ripe to what we might consider late harvest, selected from choice vineyard plots. After crushing the grapes are barrel fermented in oak, of what variety and for how long I do not know. This wine is supposed to be able to age for decades if not centuries. Vintages from the early 20th century are supposed to be drinking especially well now.

Tasting Notes:
This wine is a light gold color in the glass with hints of brown and has a honeyed nose of candied lychee fruit, a scent which becomes the dominant flavor of the wine. Silky smooth in the mouth with high glycerin content, the wine is like liquid lychee gold tinged with honey. I'm not big on dessert wines in general, but this stuff was great.

Food Pairing:
This is a great dessert and or cheese wine. I think it would particularly complement nutty flavors like those of these pine nut cookies.

Overall Score: 9.5/10

How Much?: $14

This wine is available for purchase online.

Comments (21)

Fatemeh wrote:
07.14.05 at 1:27 PM

Huh. I don't think I knew that Muscat was the basis for Retsina.

What a sad use for a pretty little grape. (No offense to anyone of Greek decent who is a fan of the piney stuff -- I just don't need to drink wine that reminds me of violin class).

Alder wrote:
07.14.05 at 8:36 PM


I'm not sure what you mean exactly, but Muscat isn’t the BASIS for retsina, but they do make a muscat wine which they later flavor with retsina. I think there are other greek retsina wines made with other varietals as well.

I too, prefer my wines to lack the taste of furniture varnish.

WineDarkSea wrote:
08.18.07 at 5:25 AM

Sorry to barge in ex post facto. Retsina is made with the Savvatiano ("Saturday grape") variety. I don't like it myself, but retsina is meant to accompany intensely flavored food, such as garlic puree or pasturma. Now I don't like these either but one has to acknowledge that no other wine can stand up to food as spicily pungent as the above.

Alder wrote:
08.18.07 at 8:53 AM


That's a very important cultural point -- there are several wines around the world that have a very specific cultural context in their pairing with food which are very hard to understand outside that context.

Barolo Chinato, for instance, which is flavored with quinine is designed to be paired with the very salty food of a certain region of Piemonte.

Misanthropas wrote:
04.25.12 at 7:19 AM

Dear Alder and rest of wine friends and enthusiasts,
retsina tradition supposedly started with the resin sealing the amphorees and also allowing the wine to travel around, in very very rocking nutshells of ships without spoiling (same way fortified wines such as port or sherry were navy favourites in "modern" times and later became "...an acquired taste"). That was how resin flavouring of wine started. The fact that last centuries Greeks used it heavily to mask the inferior quality of their "home mades" created the adverse infamy of retsina. Lately have appeared some decent retsinas from small vineyards in Attica and other areas.Results are good enough for a chef to risk serving it to the michelin guide agent.
As for the Samos and Lemnos muscats let's say they were the reason for the creation of dessert wines in Europe via the "noble mold" accident. And by historical irony, the cheap wine substitutes of medieval"imported" Samos and Lemnos sweets became far more expensive than the originals. It is like the story of a moonshine barrel that ousted the original barrel whisky and is today one of the most known drinks worldwide. Some day try the Samos gold medal sweet wine, on a sunny SF afternoon, side by side with your finest Sauternes or Tokaji then check the prices. Value for money might have a new meaning.

11.22.14 at 4:52 AM

Hey there! I realize this is sort of off-topic but I had to ask.
Does running a well-established website such as yours require
a large amount of work? I am brand new to running a blog however I do write in my diary every day.
I'd like to start a blog so I will be able to share my experience and feelings online.
Please let me know if you have any kind of ideas or tips for new
aspiring bloggers. Thankyou!

11.22.14 at 5:37 AM

you're truly a good webmaster. The web site loading
velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you're doing any unique
trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork.
you have performed a great task on this topic!

11.22.14 at 6:11 AM

Useful information. Fortunate me I discovered your website bby accident, and
I'm stunned why this twist off fate didn't happened in advance!

I bookmarked it.

11.22.14 at 9:32 AM

Its design and style will allow for carrying lots of components like snow shoes, a wind breaker or other warmer
jackets and has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which
helps prevent the goggle from fogging up. The fleece guards the lens from scratches particularly in the course of tumbles and falls.
It also has a helmet pocket which can make carrying the helmet about quite
trouble free.

I discovered these truffles awful, I enable them stand
for 4hrs it did not company up adequately. I place them in the refrigerator for 2hrs they firmed up a little, but not
ample to roll. I put them in the freezer until the up coming day.
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment,
whisk the egg yolks, whole egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk.
Include somewhere around 2 cups of the flour together with the yeast and
salt whisk right up until moistened and blended.
Take out the whisk attachment and replace with a dough hook.

Leather skirts are as popular as they have at any time been. And the explanation is
probably due to the fact they are a adaptable
merchandise of clothing. For example, they vary in length from micro
to mini to just earlier mentioned the knee to under the knee.

In a selection of conditions, the software
of leather was even extended to pants and extras as perfectly.
Leather-based trousers were being then considered to be scorching and women have been also instant to go by this advancement.

Black leather trousers with belts that experienced whopping
shiny buckles turned a style statement specially with the youth..

There is no explanation in any way for Lois Lane,
who admittedly confirmed up for 5 days of university, to assume to be
remembered as a university student there. Guaranteed, Lois
was a army brat, so she grabs on to the Smallville Higher component of
her daily life and perhaps romanticizes it for much
more than it was, but I know the intelligent Lois Lane would by no means
expect a team of younger grownups who knew each other for
the first eighteen yrs of their life to bear in mind
significantly if anything about the five times they may or may perhaps not have
found some new chick wandering the halls. I know this is likely to sound nit picky to some of you, but
it details like this that bug the residing Blue Kryptonite out
of me.

11.22.14 at 10:27 AM

Its design will allow for carrying tons of accessories like
snow footwear, a wind breaker or other hotter jackets
and has a neat fleece lined goggle pocket which
prevents the goggle from fogging up. The fleece protects the lens from
scratches specially through tumbles and falls. It also has a helmet pocket which makes carrying the helmet all around quite headache cost-free.

I found these truffles horrible, I allow them stand for 4hrs it
did not organization up thoroughly. I set them in the refrigerator for
2hrs they firmed up a little, but not more than enough to roll.
I put them in the freezer until the next day.
For the dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the egg yolks,
full egg, sugar, butter, and buttermilk. Add roughly 2 cups of the flour
together with the yeast and salt whisk right up until moistened and combined.
Clear away the whisk attachment and substitute with a dough hook.

Leather skirts are as preferred as they have at any time been. And the rationale is probably simply
because they are a adaptable item of garments. For instance, they change in length from micro to mini to just
previously mentioned the knee to under the knee. In a amount of
instances, the application of leather was even extended to
trousers and components as very well. Leather-based
pants were being then viewed as to be hot and females have been also instantaneous to go by this development.
Black leather-based pants with belts that experienced whopping shiny buckles turned a vogue
statement particularly with the youth..

There is no reason in any way for Lois Lane, who admittedly showed up for 5
days of school, to hope to be remembered as a university student there.

Confident, Lois was a armed forces brat, so she grabs on to the Smallville Substantial
portion of her lifestyle and maybe romanticizes it for far
more than it was, but I know the smart Lois Lane would never ever be expecting a team of younger grown ups who realized each other for the 1st
eighteen decades of their life to remember a great deal if
nearly anything about the five times they might or may not
have viewed some new chick wandering the halls. I know this is going to audio nit
picky to some of you, but it aspects like this that bug the residing Blue Kryptonite out of me.

Brandy wrote:
11.22.14 at 1:28 PM

Wonderful, what a website it is! This website provides useful data to us,
keep it up.

11.22.14 at 2:24 PM

Transition or sequence creates visual motion in landscape
design. If you find it's difficult for you to
install by yourself, you can hired a professional to install these Sprinkler systems for you quickly
and easily. My blogs cover many areas (niches) from sport related to health and financial areas.

Sterling wrote:
11.23.14 at 12:39 AM

Others are saying that many lenders are
charging higher fees and rates. That said, let's begin by covering baseball betting lines and by
taking a closer look at the reverse movement of the line in baseball.
Fortunately, while reverse mortgages have their disadvantages, they also offer several valuable

Minerva wrote:
11.23.14 at 11:16 AM

Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide
credit and sources back to your website? My blog is in the exact same niche as yours and
my users would certainly benefit from a lot of the information you present here.
Please let me know if this okay with you.
Thank you!

11.23.14 at 4:14 PM

I'll right away seize your rss feed as I can not to find your
email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have
any? Kindly let me understand in order that I may subscribe.

gpt sites wrote:
11.23.14 at 6:01 PM

Hey there! Do you know if they make any pluggins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I'm trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
keywords but I'm not seeing very good results.
If you know of any please share. Thank you!

11.23.14 at 6:13 PM

Someone essentially lend a hand to make significantly posts I
would state. This is the vedry first time I frequented your website
page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to
make this particular publish incredible. Excellent task!

11.23.14 at 8:26 PM

Heya this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manjally code with
HTML. I'm starting a blog soon but have no coding expoertise soo
I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any helkp would
be enormously appreciated!

11.23.14 at 8:49 PM

Wow, this article is good, my younger sister is analyzing these things, thus I am going to
tell her.

11.23.14 at 8:50 PM

Wonderful, what a weblog it is! This weblog presents
useful data to us, keep it up.

11.23.14 at 9:29 PM

The Lifecore Corebell 5-55-Pound Adjustable Dumbbell System includes
a unique shape and a feel that is designed with a contoured handle of the
best comfort. Their quick selector pin permits you to change weights easily being a
weight stack. A great deal of people today decide to take advantage of
adjustable dumbbells might examine anything.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Plumbing the Depths of Portugal: A Tasting Journey Vinography Images: Rain at Last The Mysterious Art of Selling Direct Critical Consolidation in Wine What Has California Got Against Wineries? Dirty Money for a Legendary Brand Vinography Images: Tendrils Highlights from Tasting Champagne with the Masters Off to Portugal for a Drink Vinography Images: Hazy Afternoon

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.