Moschofilero-Mantinia still dry white wines unleash the senses with a surprising freshness and aromas creating unexpected pleasures on the nose and palate. The exotic Moschofilero grape, with its wild floral intensity, is yet to be discovered except by the most dedicated wine lovers. This aromatic variety has existed for centuries in Greece and ideally belongs to the high plateau of Mantinia in the north-central Peloponnese. The exhilarating Moschofilero-Mantinia wines are the perfect aperitif or complement to a sumptuous array of elegant dishes, Middle and Far East cuisine, sushi and seafood, offering singular moments of pure enjoyment.
Though Moschofilero-Mantinia is one of Greece’s greatest grapes, and despite that Greece has the oldest wine industry in the world, the distinctive Moschofilero-Mantinia white wines (PDO Mantinia) remain undiscovered by all but the most dedicated wine enthusiasts.
Moschofilero-Mantinia won’t remain undiscovered for long. Grapes like Albariño and Pinot Grigio are hot properties today; a decade ago, few had even heard of them. And not longer ago, Riesling was a grape that most snobs would argue was only for beginners! Yet, in specific markets today, Riesling is the fastest growing grape variety, and it’s not just the beginners who are drinking it. Consumers want new flavors, and what seems to link these varieties is that, like (Moschofilero-Mantinia, they are lighter, crispier and more refreshing than the white wine styles that held sway up till now.
It’s not just that consumers are looking for something novel and different; Moschofilero-Mantinia is both to many wine drinkers. Consumers have had love affairs with certain grapes based upon those grapes’ distinctive character, whether the smooth and buttery notes of Chardonnay, the rich complexity of Pinot Noir, or now the expansive flavor profile of Riesling. Moschofilero-Mantinia is distinguished in this same manner; the grape’s wild and exotic floral intensity, along with its tangy crispness, offers a unique character and profile that explains why wine lovers are embracing this grape with lust.
Local wines write Greek culinary history
Like other Old World wine regions, local wines write Greek culinary history and Greece’s grapes have grown up alongside its culture and cuisine, reflecting a mastery of the seas and an uncommonly vibrant climate and history. Unlike its Mediterranean neighbors, Greece isn’t just next to the Mediterranean Sea; it’s surrounded, invaded and defined by that sea, along with the country’s lofty mountains. A healthy diet, filled with fresh vegetables and fruits, as well as the ever-present fruits of the sea, is part of Greek culture where local wines write Greek culinary history; a culinary history that is defined by the wines of grapes like Moschofilero-Mantinia.
The country’s beauty has always attracted visitors. Its 15.000 kilometers of shoreline and its 3.000 islands are an unmatched bounty to the vacationer. Local wines write Greek culinary history and most visitors have consumed an array of Greek specialties and simple taverna wines. However, a handful of astute observers have found much more and now the world is beating a path to the top Greek wine producers and their wines, and Moschofilero-Mantinia plays a starring role in this trend.
All in the name
Moschofilero-Mantinia. The promise of an exotic wine experience is all in the name. The ordinary consumer looks for something familiar when studying a Greek wine label. Moschofilero-Mantinia would seem to have a leg up in that. First of all, it’s the name, itself: Moschofilero-Mantinia sounds like Muscat. In fact, it kinda tastes and smells like Muscat. So we’re good, right? Well, yes and no. Muscat is not exactly a household name, but, at least, for those who know about it, there is an expectation of bright and intense floral aromas, as well as a tangy crispness, regardless of whether it’s made in dry or off-dry style.
But the rub is that Moschofilero-Mantinia and Muscat are not at all related and, while Moschofilero-Mantinia can be remarkably floral and tangy, it can also be many other things: rosé, sparkling, full-bodied, racy, rich, light, frothy –or as dry and bitter as a dried grapefruit peel; an exotic experience that’s all in the name. There is another critical difference: Muscat has a hundred places around the globe where it offers a tasty if usually inconsequential wine. Moschofilero-Mantinia ideally belongs in one spot, and it’s all in the name; the lofty plateau of Mantinia in the north-central Peloponnese. When grown in vineyards at 2.000 feet in elevation and higher, and allowed to hang long into October, the perfume gets headier, the texture increases, and, in the hands of the excellent winemakers in Mantinia and Arcadia, the wines are unique and compelling. About 85% of Mantinia’s vineyards are planted to Moschofilero-Mantinia so there must be something compelling about the marriage and it’s all in the name.