From: Peloponnese, Greece
Blend: 90% Roditis, 10% Viognier
Taste: In the glass, the wine greets the eye with a crystal-clear, yellow-green hue. The first whiff reveals a captivating bouquet of citrus blossoms, green apples, and light peaches, with underlying hints of white flowers and fresh herbs. Upon sipping, the palate is immediately refreshed by the wine's bright acidity, perfectly balanced by its medium body and silky texture. The Foloi offers layers of flavor, from zesty lemon and grapefruit to ripe pear and apricot, with a subtle touch of minerality that lingers on the finish.
Pairing: The 2019 Mercouri Estate Foloi's vibrant acidity and refreshing character make it an ideal companion for a wide range of dishes. Consider pairing this versatile white blend with fish and shellfish, white meats, or poultry with sweet or creamy sauces. The wine's fruity profile also complements pastas, risottos, and an assortment of cheeses, from tangy goat cheese to creamy brie or even pungent Roquefort.
For a true taste of Greek cuisine, try pairing the Foloi with traditional dishes such as grilled octopus, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), or taramosalata (fish roe dip, see below!). The wine's acidity will cut through the richness of moussaka or pastitsio, enhancing the flavors of the dish without overpowering it. For a lighter option, consider a Greek salad with feta cheese and olives, or a meze platter featuring various dips and spreads like tzatziki, hummus, and melitzanosalata (eggplant dip).
Vegetarians will find plenty of pairing options for the 2019 Mercouri Estate Foloi. The wine's bright acidity and fruity notes make it a natural partner for vegetable dishes, from grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil and lemon to a Mediterranean vegetable tart. Try it with a spinach and feta cheese pie (spanakopita) or a Greek-style tomato and cucumber salad with crumbled feta. For a heartier option, consider a vegetable moussaka or a stuffed bell pepper dish with rice and herbs. The Foloi's versatility also allows it to pair well with grain-based dishes like quinoa or couscous salads, as well as legume-based dishes such as lentil soups and chickpea stews.
By Jonathan Reynolds
About. The Greek wine scene has been making waves in recent years, and one estate that stands out is the historic Mercouri Estate. Nestled in the northwest corner of the Peloponnese, this family-owned winery has been producing exceptional wines for over a century. Today, we delve into the 2019 Mercouri Estate Foloi, a Peloponnese white blend that highlights the region's unique terroir and grape varieties.
Established in 1854 by Theodoros Mercouri, the Mercouri Estate began as a humble venture, planting Refosco grapes from Northern Italy and exporting wine to various European destinations. Fast forward to the present day, and the estate is managed by the fourth and fifth generations of the Mercouri family, growing over 10 indigenous and international grape varieties, including Assyrtiko, Roditis, and Bobola.
The Mercouri Estate's main white wine, the Foloi, is a testament to the winery's dedication to quality and tradition. This enticing blend is crafted from 90% Roditis grapes, sourced from high elevation vineyards, and 10% Viognier grapes. The result is a wine that boasts a crystal-clear yellow-green hue, with captivating aromas of citrus blossoms, green apples, and light peaches.
The Foloi is incredibly versatile, making it a fantastic partner for an array of dishes, from fish and shellfish to white meats with sweet or creamy sauces, pastas, and cheeses. Its bright acidity and refreshing character showcase the unique terroir of the Peloponnese, where native grape varieties like Agiorgitiko, Moschofilero, and Mavrodaphne thrive.
The Peloponnese Peninsula's diverse mesoclimates and terroirs have given rise to a flourishing wine industry, with 17 regional appellations scattered across the area. The region's unique growing conditions, characterized by hot days and cooler nights, contribute to the balanced flavors and acidity in its wines.
The Roditis grape variety, in particular, benefits from the Peloponnese's distinct terroir. When grown at higher altitudes with significant diurnal temperature shifts and well-drained soils, Roditis grapes produce full-bodied, complex wines with honeyed notes of melon, apple, and pear.
Viognier, though not as widely grown in Greece, also shines in the cooler regions of the country. When harvested at optimal ripeness, this grape variety expresses an exotically aromatic personality, reminiscent of peach, pear, and tropical fruits. Some Viognier wines have the potential to mature and develop in the bottle, with careful use of oak barrels adding complexity without overwhelming the delicate fruity character.
The 2019 Mercouri Estate Foloi is a delightful representation of the Peloponnese's rich winemaking heritage and the Mercouri family's dedication to quality. This vibrant white blend is a must-try for wine enthusiasts seeking to explore the distinct flavors and aromas of Greece's captivating terroir.
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