A Greek wine worth discovering

Amethystos is a surprisingly satisfyine red wine.
Amethystos is a surprisingly satisfyine red wine.

Unless you are a Trojan warrior, there’s nothing to beware about Greeks bearing gifts — especially if it is wine.
Greek winemakers have come into their own over the past decade, producing quality products from native grape varietals and gaining the respect they deserve. The September issue of Wine Spectator has a flattering article on the ancient land and features some outstanding wines making their way to the U.S. market.
One of the best comes from Costa Lazaridi and his vineyard located in Drama, Greece. One of the top “actors” on Lazaridi’s play bill is the Amethystos Red Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Agiorgitiko (called St. George). Years of refinement, dating back to 1996, have produced a lush, texturally exquisite dry red wine.
Recently, the Wine Goddess and I enjoyed a bottle over a homemade Mediterranean dinner of caprese salad, roasted chicken, wild rice and grilled summer squash.
The Amethystos is a velvety wine, full and expressive on the palate with dark berry and herbal flavors. The finish is mildly spicy and enduring, a sign of the winemaker’s triumph. (This bottling won a gold medal at Germany’s prestigious 2009 Mundus Vini winetasting event.)
Amethystos red is best paired with roasted meats, like lamb, and yet it was surprisingly delicious with the roasted chicken. Once again, the Wine Goddess was correct in keeping me out of the kitchen.
Locally, you can discover this wonderful Greek “gift” at the Athenian Corner in downtown Lowell where restaurateur Teddy Panos features it as his premium selection ($34). For the price, it is truly a bargain for a night out on the town compared to Cabernet blends selling at much higher prices. The CellarTracker.com community, of which I am a paying member, rates Amesthysos a solid 89 points.