A skin contact, natural white wine with a pretty amber hue, but that pretty hue is deceptive. This is very challenging wine. On the criteria of intensity and complexity it’s very good. But tongues of flaming acidity render the unsuspecting taster defenseless and debilitated.
The nose is complex and intense, yet anything but harmonious—an odd but intriguing marriage of orange peel and apricot with prominent dill pickle tempered by a bit of honey.
The palate attacks relentlessly. The fruit is bone dry and blocky, the rush of midpalate acidity, a high octane explosion of raw energy enveloping the fruit power early, with no middle ground between the brazenly tart high notes and the coarse, sandy texture of the tannins, a cut glass conversation-that continues through the long finish.
Every dimension of this wine is rough hewn yet its power and intensity are impressive. This is not for sipping. And not for the timid. The only way to tame this wine is with a plate of hummus with which it pairs quite nicely, the staunch acidity bringing out the fresh lemon notes of the mezze.
Aggressive and demonic, there is a gothic ornateness to this wine, gilded but hard edged, detached, and scornful. It pairs only with music with ecstatic, edgy high frequencies like Holly Herndon’s blend of human and machine voices on Alienation.
Technical Notes: From grapes grown in the Macedonian hillsides, macerated on the skins for three weeks, unfined, unfiltered, with no added sulfur. Roditis is a versatile grape and part of the blend used to make Retsina.
Score: 88 (Points for complexity and personality; demerits for lack of balance)