Moropoulos Winery Moschofilero Rose 2018
Moschofilero 100%, Zevgolatio, Mantineia, Peloponnese, Greece. Family business, own vineyards of 14 hectares, 1/3 vinified and bottled, one grape variety, two wines,
one white, one rose.
Moschofilero is a Gris grape, the same clone as Fileri, which is grown almost everywhere in Peloponnese at lower altitudes. The latter is traditionally vinified in old barrels with some skin contact as light salmon rose for home use, usually with the addition of some red grapes, mainly Agiorgitiko, as a wine for all seasons. When grown at a higher altitude, such as the Arcadian Highlands, particularly Mantineia at an average of 750 metres, its character changes to intensely floral, citrus mainly and some strawberry, with high acidity, light to medium body and the best strike an impressive balance. Moschos means scent, aka scented Fileri. Modern winemaking in stainless steel tanks started with the rebirth of Greek wine in the eighties, as a white and it became an instant hit, as a light easy-drinking white at first, and later as blanc de Gris, a more than medium-bodied wine with high acidity and longish aftertaste, a thoroughbred style demanding seafood, not meat.
The emergence of Provence style roses at the beginning of the century resulted in light coloured roses from the variety, among others, which I considered a good chance for Greece to answer the call using Moschofilero rose and marketing it as the real rose, since it is not a wine that we did not allow to become red, but one reached its full potential. I wrote an article on it, it got eventually published but largely neglected. Anyway, nowadays we are witnessing more and at times complex Moschofilero roses that are exploring the possibilities of the grape. These seem to be way ahead. The 3 supposed clones of Moschofilero, Xanthofilero (blond Fileri), Asprofilero (white Fileri) and Mavrofilero (black Fileri) are now thought to be one and only and the differences among them due to the different rootstocks they are grafted on. 2019 excellent vintage-the best in the last 40 years according to Yiannis Tselepos, the prominent winemaker who has vinified in all of them-resulted in all supposed clones turning out black grapes, which seems to favour the hypothesis.
2018 was a below-average vintage, reflected in the wine, whose 2017 sibling was probably the best Moschofilero rose. Still, it impresses, meaning the young winemakers are on a good course. Pale pink. Clear expressive nose of roses, strawberries, stone cherries, lime and bergamot. High acid but well balanced among the same fruit along with cranberries, fine tannin, light-bodied, intense. It lingers nicely, asking for elegant or carefully matched food. I blew the first pairing with beautiful smoked ham and red sweet peppers pasta, that simply silenced the wine. A spanakorizo (Greek spinach risotto) justified the cause today. It allowed the elegance and light complexity to shine, providing excellent support. Prawn or crayfish pasta would also have been an excellent choice. Longish steely, delightful aftertaste. Looking forward to bright 2019! There is a lot of future in pink Mosch!