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Sunday, February 20, 2011

First look: GAIA Notios White 2010

The new look for Notios White 

Since the late 1990s, when we began working with GAIA Wines, one of the first wines we imported was the Notios White & Red.  Back then, quality wines at a good price from Greece were few and far between.  The Notios line, with its fun and quirky packaging, was a breath of fresh air in the US market. Through the 2009 vintage, those of you who have seen this wine in the market will remember that each case had 4 different labels in it.  With the 2010 vintage of both the red & white, the winery decided to modernize the package and combine all 4 labels into one.  Additionally, both the Notios Red & White are now released with screw cap closures.

The word "Notios", means south in Greek.  This reference lends itself to the wines because they both come from the southern Greek region of the Peloponnese.  The use of a Greek word to establish a brand was ingenious at that time - it's easy to read, pronounce and drink!!

The Notios White is made from a 50/50 blend of 2 indigenous southern Greek grapes - Moschofilero and Roditis.  Moschofilero grows in the Arcadia region of southern Greece - it is known for its floral aromas.   Moschofilero is a pink skinned grape that is used to make mainly white wines but is also used in rose and sparkling wines.  This grape is the only variety allowed in the Mantinia appellation.  In blends, Moschofilero is used typically for its floral notes.  Roditis is a grape that is common across southern Greece.  It is one of the authorized grape varieties for Retsina production.  Roditis is a grape known for acidity yet lacks significant aromatics.  It has citrus flavors and aromas.  On its own, Roditis typically isn't very exciting and lends itself very well to blending.  For this wine, Roditis is used as the acidity component.  With is subdued aromatics, it gives Moschofilero the platform to shine.  Each grape is vinified separately and fermented in stainless steel.

The 2010 Notios White has aromas on the nose of flower blossoms and ripe tropical fruit.   It is medium bodied with flavors consistent to the nose in addition to citrus notes.  It has a pleasant, lengthy finish with lingering mineral and floral notes.

Notios White is a great option to serve as an aperitif or with lighter dishes such as fish, pasta and chicken.  The Notios line retails for approximately $12-$15 a bottle.

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