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Sclavos Tsaousi '22
Sometimes it’s the wines from seemingly far-flung places that most captivate us. Cephalonia (Kefalonia), a Greek island in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece, is one such place where delicious and complex wines are being made. With a population of around 40,000, the island relies on tourism and agriculture, and Sclavos is a name to know when it comes to the wines made here. Proprietor Evriviadis Sclavos owns about eight hectares (twenty acres) of vineyards in four different locations on the island, and his vines have been Demeter certified biodynamic since 2019. He also sources fruit from growers with whom he has long-term contracts. Sclavos is a producer who looks for low-yielding old vines and original rootstock, and he vinifies the grapes as naturally as possible.
Tsaousi is a local variety grown in the hilly region of Monambeles, on the Palliki peninsula. The grapes for this wine are from 50-year-old bush vines, on original, ungrafted rootstock, and yields are incredibly low. The wine was fermented with native yeasts and bottled unfired and unfiltered.
Fresh, bone dry, and medium bodied, Sclavos’s Tasaousi shows notes of lemon zest, fresh citrus, and pear, with a white floral aroma in the background. There’s a salty, rocky aroma that carries over to a salinity on the palate and a long, mouthwatering finish. There’s a radiance and richness to this wine, very much reflecting its sunny, Mediterranean terroir. Try it with grilled or roasted fish with herbs and olives, or dishes featuring tomatoes, peppers, salty cheeses, and a range of herbs and spices.
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