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Monday, December 20, 2010

Flying under the radar - Mercouri Kallisto

For many, when you think of the Mercouri Estate you think of the Foloi or their Estate Red.  Both wines have been in the US for close to 10 years and have enjoyed good sales.  A few years ago while on our annual buying trip to Greece, Mr. Kanellakopoulos, the winery owner, tasted us on a small production white wine called Kallisto.  We were all impressed by it and as soon as he had enough quantity to supply us with a pallet of wine, we brought it to the US. 

Kallisto is a 50/50 blend of Robola and Assyrtiko - both grapes are grown at the Estate.  While both grapes' historically come from islands - Cephalonia for Robola and Santorini for Assyrtiko, in the Peloponnese they show a unique character.  Assyrtiko's nervy acidity is slightly less aggressive and combines nicely with Robola which adds weight and fruit notes to the wine.

It is best when served with seafood, pasta & lighter meat dishes since the minerality and citrus notes compliment those dishes.  For the 2009 vintage, only 4400 bottles were produced - approximately 330 cases of 12/750ml bottles.

Since the production is quite small we have only been able to release it into select markets.  Now that production is steadily increasing, we will be able to offer it into wider distribution markets.  In the December Food & Wine Magazine, the Kallisto was paired Lamb Shanks (p.123).

While production will never be the same as Foloi's, we are pleased to be able to expand the winery's portfolio with the Kalisto.

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