What really drives me crazy is the “chimera” called Route Gris (Troupi Winery)
Moschofilero was without a doubt the most beloved variety of the Greeks in the 90s, long before Malagouzia or Assyrtiko. I guess one of the reasons this happened is its explosively aromatic profile, another is that it is an “easy” wine that doesn’t worry about whether it will be liked or what it will be paired with. While the variety had somewhat lost its former glories, we see that it has now made a dynamic comeback and in fact with versions and styles that did not even cross our minds. Who would have thought in 1992 that a red Moschofilero would ever be released? It would be a scandal!
But let’s see a few things for the variety before we get into the “juice”. First, we start with his “homeland”, the plateau of Mantineia where he gives PDO Mantineia. In Mantineia the altitudes reach very high (up to over 700 meters) and the climate is quite cold. Consider that Mantineia is one of the last harvests of each year. For example, this year the harvest of Mantineia was completed in mid-October.
Moschofilero belongs to the wider Fileria family and as you well understand his name means the most fragrant Fileri. It has characteristic aromas of Turkish delight, rose, lemon blossoms and citrus fruits. In the mouth it has a medium to light body and pronounced, lemony acidity. These are the main features of its white, quiet versions.
“Mikros Dromos” from the Magpie Estate
So from this category it is worth trying Mantineia of Bosinakis, Apriori from Novus Wines, Blanc de Gris of Tselepo, Mantineia of Moropoulos, Mikros Dromos from Ktima Kissas and Moschofilero of Papagiannakopoulos. Pair them with fresh goat cheeses, salads with citrus vinaigrette, lemony vegetable dishes and pan-fried small fish.
Here it is worth noting that although it is more desirable when fresh, experimentation with aging has proven that some Muscophiles can and do transform spectacularly after 3-5 years. Such examples are those of Bosinakis and Tselepo. Bonus tip: in the 17 Villages in Nemea they play old Tselepou songs, pure poetry!
But there are also rosés and reds version. How is this possible? It is made and produced since Moschofilero has a rosy color and not white and this color is also the reason for the deafening success of the pale rose variety. We owe the rosés from Moschofilero to Troupi Winery, if I’m not mistaken. About 5-6 years ago, Tomi rosé, with its characteristic flower bottle, made a splash and really made waves.
Lexis Rose (Zacharia Vineyards), Gris de Nuit (Tselepou Estate) and Aspela (Bossinaki Estate)
That’s how timid the rosés from Moschofilero are they started to multiply and not only that, they made Moschofilero hot again. Soft salmon color, aromas of rose, bergamot, strawberry and stone cherry combined with crisp acidity, it is almost impossible not to charm anyone who tries them. Try Lexis Rose by Zacharias, Coralli by Stavropoulos, Gris de Nuit by Tselepos, La vie en Rose by Palivos and Ambelotopi Limna by Spyropoulos Estate. Moschofilera rosés go well with tomato salads, from rustic to caprese, light pasta dishes or bruschettas and Chinese dishes such as spring rolls with sweet chilli.
As for the reds (reds basically, don’t imagine Cabernet color) now, we have two options, so far. The 100 of Troupis and the Aspela of Bosinakis. 100 is made from Moschofilero that ferments with the lees for 100 days and has exuberant aromas of candied sugar, strawberry, cherry, pomegranate, quince, pink grapefruit and tangerine. In the mouth it has mild tannins and sharp acidity.
That Aspela On the other hand it is made from overripe grapes and by staying with the stems for 45 days. If Ekato treads on flowers and red fruits, Aspela has a more botanical dimension and rich citrus fruits. I would see these two with tuna or bonito or with fried octopus with spicy spaghetti but also with fried rabbit with wine and rosemary.
“A Priori” from Novus by Leonidas Nasiakos
But of course apart from these “classics” let’s say, we have other weirder Muscophiles. Orange, orange-rosé hybrids, sparkling, late harvest and others. Hoof & Lur (again by Troupis) was the one that shook us, the one that showed us that yes Moschofilero can be like that, otherworldly, teasing and exciting. Color reminiscent of sanguine and a nose complex with Turkish delight, quince, orange, bitter orange, dried strawberry and citrus.
This wine has gotten everywhere, even in the New York Times and it has been loved as little as possible but what really drives me crazy is the “chimera” called Route Gris and Hoof & Lur’s sibling. Why chimera? But why is it a rosé wine with orange characteristics? So this lovely hybrid with dewy rose petals, pink grapefruits, frappes, stone cherries, strawberries, persimmons and louises succeeds and excites me every time like it’s the first time and believe me, that’s a lot great thing when you taste wine more often than water.
It also sweeps in combination with food. Put next to it salmon with miso and lime, potato salad with smoked trout, pink pepper, orange and capers or brisket sautéed with grapes and wine. Of course, the Xmf of Tselepos also plays in the orange spectrum, which plays very masterfully with the balances and composes a wine that plays more between orange and red. Extremely gastronomic and an ideal match for pasta with complex sauces such as puttanesca.
We have plenty of sparkling. First we have the always excellent Amalia brut and vintage of Tselepos which uniquely combines the autolytic character with the subtle aromas of the variety. Then we have Odi Panos of Spyropoulos with more fruity and Moschofilero trademark aromas since it is made with the closed tank method and not with a second fermentation in the bottle.
“Noembris” from the Moropoulou Estate, “La Vie En Rose” from the Palyvos Estate and “Tomi” from the Troupi Winery.
Now we also have the promising sparklings Milia Riza who experiment a lot with Moschofilero. Rosé, white, extra aging on lees and who knows what else they will come up with! Look them up, it’s interesting work worth a try for sure. Moschofilera with bubbles (from a second fermentation in the bottle) play excellently with finger food with smoked salmon or gravlax, with shrimp cocktail (no I didn’t wake up in 1991, here they are everywhere and with excellent variations) but also with delicate cold meats such as prosciutto and lomo.
And we close with two “unicorns”. First up is Moropoulos’ November, a semi-dry Moschofilero from late harvest grapes. This wine has impressed everyone with its honeyed and extra complex personality but also with its enviable balance. Hit it wherever you find it and put Asian dishes, sushi and sweet and sour dishes next to it.
Second unicorn the Sweet Route of Troupis, a sweet wine from Moschofilero that can accompany excellent lemon tarts, orange pies, semolina halva with dried fruits and rose water, cheesecake with peach jam.
Read more: Wine Vixen – trial in London. What are the best Bordeaux of 2019?
wine vixen Moschofilero
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