"The 2011 Femina is Malvasia. Since I have the ‘12 in hand now, it is worth a look back at this first vintage that I saw to see how it progressed. It has held quite well. Well, ok, that’s an understatement, and it is pretty clear that this was initially underrated. It is notably better now, particularly considering how tight it was on receipt. It has come along brilliantly. A bit amber in ... read more
"The 2011 Femina is Malvasia. Since I have the ‘12 in hand now, it is worth a look back at this first vintage that I saw to see how it progressed. It has held quite well. Well, ok, that’s an understatement, and it is pretty clear that this was initially underrated. It is notably better now, particularly considering how tight it was on receipt. It has come along brilliantly. A bit amber in color, it is piercing on opening, with that tightly wound, hard edged and high acid demeanor that I originally noted. Pulling it out of the fridge and sampling it quickly made it seem quite shrill. As it warmed and got closer to 60F, though, it became increasingly delicious, full bodied, aromatic and rather complex. It is a mouthful, powerful and intense—not your easy, fruity summer sipper, but a great food wine. It is more proof of the adage that people drink big whites too cold. And this is a big white. It reminded me a bit of a dry and steely Alsace Riesling (an analogy to structure and style, not flavor and aromatics, of course). Most of all, it was invigorating while increasingly expressive as it aired out. I played with this over 3 days. It never faltered, not for a moment. The combination of acidity and concentration may preserve this well, if it can avoid oxidizing. Let’s still be conservative until we get there. Drink now-2016. " ~ MS
" Though known mostly from Italy and the island of Madeira, the Malvasia family of grapes hails originally from the island of Crete. The name Malvasia is derived from Malevizi, the name of a Cretan district near the present-day city of Heraklion. This is an intensely aromatic, beautifully detailed expression of the variety. " ~ Winery notes
This region has a long history in viticulture and also has been established as a Protected Designation of Origin for Liatiko wines. Average altitude is about 300 meters above sea level. In addition to the natural choice of Liatiko, Nikolas grows other Cretan indigenous varieties such as Kotsifali, Vilana, Vidiano, along with other international varieties such as Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. Nikolas also cultivates a host of international varieties (including Barbera and Sangiovese) on an experimental basis, but the focus here is on native varieties.
The privately owned vineyards are certified 100% organic and span over 70 acres of rolling hills in the Dafnes sub-region, a village close to Iraklio in Crete. The organic fever that is sweeping the world leaves Nikolas bemused. He says, "Crete has an advantage in the transition to natural cultivation – we never adopted unnatural methods. The only obstacle I face in getting certification is the certification fee."
Farming Practice:Practicing Organic
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