Glinavos vlahiko (with a wee bit of bekari) in it is a lovely, medium bodied red wine. A common problem with talking about wines like vlahiko, for those like myself who have never had them, is resorting to comparisons with other wines. It is a natural thing to fall back on but it does no justice to the unique wine in question.
I thought, first, that this wine had a nose like a Beaujolais but with lighter reds this often is true. And while this is a fairly light wine there is also some spice that might call to mind a syrah (and I confess someone else came up with this comparison for me). And it isn't just the spice that differs from French gamay (gamay is the grape used in Beaujolais). You can almost sense the light body and fruitiness with a sniff. When you taste you find something you won't get in a most run of the mill beaujolais. There is a firm acidity that is especially prominent on the finish.
I also thought there was a hint of a Burgundy-style pinot noir as air got to the wine. But, again, the acidity is different and any tannins are less pronounced than some bigger versions of Burgundy.
When you taste a wine some things hit you first. Then something else (mid palate) and then the grand finale, the finish. What you taste when is part of what makes wines different. That is also why when I compare this to a Beaujolais or a syrah or pinot I am doing it a disservice. It may share qualities but it is really its own thing.
My discussion of this wine is, above, used to make you think a bit about what I am writing--and what anyone else writing about wine writes. The best way to describe a unique varietal might be to avoid comparisons. I could have written that it is a light to medium bodied red wine with RED FRUIT, pronounced acidity on the finish, sneaky tannins and hints of a variety of spices. Maybe that is all some wine-lovers would need to take a swing at a wine but comparisons are a good thing too. Just don't take them to mean "this wine is exactly like that one."
Vlahiko is a grape that comes from the relatively cool Northwestern part of Greece and exhibits characteristics you might associate with other varietals that flourish in colder climates. Bekari is another grape of the area. The word on it is that is produces a heavier wine than vlahiko and is often blended with the lighter grape to add tannins and its deeper color. Find out more on Greek varietals HERE.