Text Size:-+

2005 Boutari Moschofilero, Mantinia (Peloponnese), Greece

BTR-Moscho-Bottle-NV.jpgOK. So I'm on a bit of a Greek wine kick these days. Trying to poke my nose into potentially up-and-coming wine regions. Although, as I've mentioned, Greece would be entering perhaps it's "third time around" as a major global wine region. Certainly there's a lot of wine made in Greece, but less than historical times, and only some of it is gradually winning acclaim on the world market for being high quality.

Quality seems like it has two ways of building in the marketplace of any wine region, at the well-financed hands of the big guys, and in the passion of the little guys. Of the former, a winery named Boutari is certainly a perfect example. Once it was a little guy too, but that was a long time ago. Founded in 1879 by Yiannis Boutari, the winery has been likened to the Mondavi of Greece.

Boutari is as close to a household name as they come in Greece, mostly because of the first red wine that the estate produced: Boutari Naoussa, a wine that the family still produces over 100 years later. Naoussa was essentially Greece's first premium estate red wine, and became even more popular at the hand of Yiannis' son, Stelios Boutari, who took over operations of the winery in 1935 and made Boutari the country's leading wine producer.

Stelios, in turn, passed the reigns to his two sons in the 1960s, and it is still run, though as a much larger holding corporation, by one of them, a gentleman by the name of Konstantinos Boutari. His daughter, Marina, representing the fifth generation of family involvement in the brand, is now their of their Director of Corporate Communication.

What was once a family estate outside of the town of Naoussa is now a network of six winemaking facilities and many more vineyards throughout Greece. Boutari now has a presence in Goumenissa, Santorini, Attica, Nemea, Paros and Crete, where they grow a mix of indigenous varietals such as Assyrtiko, Vilana, Thrapsathiri, Athiri, and Moschofilero along with more familiar (and less fun to pronounce) names like Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

This wine is made of 100% Moschofilero, which should be pronounced "mosque-oh-FEEL-arrow," and drunk with a similar flair. Made from grapes grown in the high elevation AOC region called Mantinia on the Peloponnese peninsula. The Mantinia region is an extremely cool growing region where white grapes (these are actually pink skinned!) are often not harvested until late into October. The grapes for this wine are picked ripe from vines between 15 and 35 years old, and fermented for 15 days in steel tanks, which are also used to age the wine for three months before bottling.

Full disclosure: I received this wine as a press sample.

Tasting Notes:
Light, straw-colored in the glass, this wine has an appealing nose of star-fruit, pears and a light wheat-like aroma. In the mouth it is lively with acidity and has a pleasant body of pear and citrus flavors that continue, uncomplicated to a modest finish that has a hint of bitter citrus zest, like you might expect from kumquats. It's a wine that wouldn't be hard to imagine going through two or three bottles of over the course of a languorous shellfish dinner at some tiny oceanfront restaurant somewhere on the Mediterranean.

Food Pairing:
Did someone mention fresh grilled sardines with chopped herbs? Mmmmmmmm.

Overall Score: 8.5

How Much?: $13

This wine is available for purchase on the internet.

Buy My Award-Winning Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. 2015 Roederer Award Winner.Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Instagram Delectable Flipboard Pinterest

Most Recent Entries

How to Help Lake County After the Fire Wine and Words in Three Volumes I'll Drink to That: Robert Bohr of Charlie Bird Vinography Images: Over a Barrel Warm Up: Sicilian Wine I'll Drink to That: Salvatore Geraci of Palari Vinography Unboxed: Week of September 27, 2015 Wine News: What I'm reading the Week of 9/27 The Lodi Zinfandel Revolution Continues I'll Drink to That: Master Sommelier Guy Stout

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune

Archives by Month


Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson Wine Grapes The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson to cork or not to cork by George Taber reading between the vines by Terry Theise 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 Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud