Cru Curious: Domaine Skouras Grand Cuvée Review

A Weekly Wine Review

The wine was matured in new French barriques for 12 months and the impact of the oak is subtle and integrated.

Domaine Skouras Grand Cuvée, Nemea, Greece, 2008 ($28)

From the appellation Nemea in the Peloponnese, the grapes for this 100 percent Agiorgitiko wine are sourced from a single vineyard located over 3,000 feet above sea level. This is a delightful and alluring wine. The nose is rich with chocolate covered cherries, wild strawberries, and cocoa powder. The tannins are firm, the acidity is zesty, with notes of minerality, white pepper, and more red fruit, along with a long, changeable finish that oscillates among mineral, earth, and fruit. The wine was matured in new French barriques for 12 months and the impact of the oak is subtle and integrated. Drink now and enjoy for the next 10 years.

Pair with sausage and peppers, grilled pork skewers, or a chicken souvlaki platter.

Sofia Perpera, a Bordeaux-trained oenologist and the Director of the Greek Wine Bureau in North America, provided some insights into Greek wines in the U.S.:

• By far the most important market for Greek wines in the U.S. is New York. We calculated more than 480 restaurants and 520 wine shops selling Greek wines in the New York area in July, 2013. Other important markets include Chicago, Texas, Florida, and San Francisco.

• U.S. sommeliers are embracing Greek wines. According to the last three years of the Wine & Spirits Magazine restaurant poll, Greek wine has increased its presence so much that they [restaurants polled] now have a special section for Greek wine. According to this year's poll, Greek wine is closing in on popularity with the wines from New Zealand, having jumped a whole point since last year.

• According to Zagat, 29 percent of the top New York Zagat restaurants carried Greek wines and 34 percent of the N.Y. Michelin starred restaurants carried Greek wines in summer 2013.

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• The first market for Greek wine exports is Germany and the second the U.S. But the product mix is very different. The more inexpensive Greek wines are sold in Germany.