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A Night To Remember from SPECTUS

30/11/2015 - by Spectus Wines
1. What is the concept behind the SPECTUS Gala Dinner?
First of all it is the anniversary of the formation of the company and we always like to celebrate this occasion.  We also like to provide a very memorable experience for our customers and friends of excellent food and wine pairing.  It is also a chance to promote the art of fine living, dining and culture.

2. What makes the SPECTUS Gala Dinner so special?
First of all the wine choices.  We have many events throughout the year, but the SPECTUS Gala Dinner is our premium event and always incorporates some of the best wines, champagnes and spirits in the world paired with some beautiful food.  The atmosphere also plays an important part as we have music, dance and a festive theme – basically, we have a “seriously fun event”.

3. Who comes to the SPECTUS Gala Dinner?
Many different types of people, both customers and friends of SPECTUS, but also new people that will experience the event for the first time.  These people love and appreciate good food, fine wines, spirits and also the fine quality of life.

4. How do you choose what wines and spirits will be represented at the SPECTUS Gala Dinner?
It’s a very hard choice, but we try to incorporate some of the most famous and best names when it comes to fine wines, champagnes and spirits so that people can try ones they might never have the chance to.  We also choose wines that will complement well and pair with the excellent menu that has been especially prepared for the evening by the Chef.

5. At €125 per person, would you say that this is expensive or value for money?
Not only is it good value for money, it is exceptional value for money as the subsidised price does not even cover the cost for the evening – not just by Cyprus standards, but for anywhere in the world.  Something like this, with the food, wines, champagnes and spirits that we will have at the event, should be priced at least two to three times more just to break even.  All our events are sponsored by SPECTUS in an effort to help educate the market and promote fine wines and dining.

6. Would it not be better to just spend the money on extra advertising for SPECTUS?
I am afraid not.  Advertising can only go so far, but you cannot “advertise” the overall experience you will have at the SPECTUS Gala Dinner because you have to be there to taste the food, experience the drinks and immerse yourself in the whole atmosphere of the evening – it is the overall ambiance of an extremely enjoyable evening.

7. For those wanting to come to the SPECTUS Gala Dinner, what should they do?
The SPECTUS Gala Dinner will be on Saturday, December 5, 2015 and held at the Amathus Hotel in Limassol.  You should contact Ms. Angela Christodoulou at the hotel directly on 25832071 for reservations, payable on the evening.

You can see images from previous Gala Dinners HERE


A short biography of George Hadjikyriacou

George Hadjikyriacou was educated at the Chartered Institute of Marketing in London and the University of Wales where he received is Diploma in Marketing and Masters of Business Administration.  In 1997 he set up SPECTUS Wines & Sprits and has never looked back.  Amongst other things, George is a … Confrere Oenophile, Ambassador Of Scotch Malt Whisky, Jurade De Saint Emilion, Chevalier Du Champagne, Chevalier Du Tastevin, Commandeur D’ Honneur, Master Of Sherry Wine, Master Of Port Wine, Master Of Champagne … and the list goes on.  What George doesn’t know about wine, isn’t worth knowing!

George Hadjikyriacos
Managing Director - SPECTUS Wines & Spirits
www.spectus.com.cy
info@spectus.com.cy
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  • 19/10/2015 - by Spectus Wines

    To celebrate this occasion, the house of BOLLINGER, devoted all 2009 vintage with the creation of a limited edition, collectable vintage champagne called BOLLINGER DRESSED TO KILL Limited Edition 2009.


    BOLLINGER DRESSED TO KILL, blend is composed of 68% Pinot Noir and 32% Chardonnay grapes sourced exclusively from Grand Crus, the top quality grapes.


    The bottle is encased in a limited edition chill box, designed by Carre Basset, which keeps the bottle chilled for 2 hours after refrigeration.  With its innovative design, the chill box has been produced entirely in metal by Vivojanglor.


    For those who love quality champagne and for the loyal followers of James Bond we attach presentation with details and photos on the BOLLINGER DRESSED TO KILL Limited Edition and a short history on the long relationship between 007 and BOLLINGER Champagne.

    BOLLINGER SPECTRE Limited Edition is available from SPECTUS wine shops in Limassol (Tel: 25341525) and Nicosia (Tel: 22511521) at €169.00

    A New Bond, A New Bollinger

  • 05/05/2015 - by George Kassianos

    Years ago when I familiarized myself with Asian cuisine in London’s China Town, and learning about wine, I could hardly recall any producers with enough courage to pair their wine with Chinese food.  The Italian wineries understandably preferred the Italian food fare to show off their wines, while French producers understandably too, opted for French or perhaps, other refined styles of western cuisine. The odd even Australian and New Zealand producers rarely paired their wines with Chinese food. How things have changed.

    Matching Chinese food with wine is a potential minefield.  I believe this is why we had this cautious approach by the producers.  It is incredibly varied, match depends on which province or style of food derives from.  In many countries the origins and the chef’s school along with which diverse culinary traditions they follow have influence on the type of food.  And what we taste as Chinese food on the island generically grouped as "Chinese" is basically adopted to the European palate.

    Other than the diversity in this type of cuisine what intimidates many when it comes to pairing Chinese food with wine, is the order in which it comes to, actually, in which the food is enjoyed.

    I was told years ago from a Chinese food writer, who lives in London that Chinese food in an informal environment, is served at once, fresh from the wok, steamer or fryer, with the steam still rising off the dishes.  So picture this, and, try to understand the logic, if any.  No heed of order, the aim is to eat the recently plated food as soon as it arrives on the tale, hot and fresh.  The order is dictated by the chef, can you imagine many chefs thinking like wine connoisseurs from light to rich dishes.

    There is no heed of order or logic here; the focus is on eating the recently plated food as soon as it arrives on the table, piping hot and fresh. It turns up in an order dictated by the chef, who has no thought of going from light to richer dishes.  Sommeliers are scratching their heads by now in bewilderment.

    Try a classic Chinese banquet with eight courses.  Even in this formal dining environment, the classic order from light- bodied wines to fuller bodied ones does not work.  He explained to me that it is all down to the rhythm.  In the case of the Chinese table, the rhythm is not linear, but rather cyclical, and a lot depends on a strong opening.  For instance crisp suckling pig or honey-glazed barbecued meats, usually are served at the beginning of the meal.  The argument is that we do not have large portions of these dishes but the flavors are bold.   If I use this example and medium bodied Xynisteri or a gentle Chenin Blanc or Sauvignon Blanc wine to start the meal would be completely overwhelmed by these strong meat-dominant dishes.  Peking duck is also normally served towards the beginning of the meal, not the end.

    These thoughts happened at Chloe’s Chinese Restaurant last week in Pafos.  Eythyvoulos, the owner has visited China many times and he also agreed with me over the difficulty in matching Chinese food and wine.  The rhythm of a Chinese meal does not fit with what we are accustom to in the Western world, the way we present a range of wine.  Hence why producers find it difficult to show their wines with Chinese.  But they are comfortable at a classical European wine dinner, starting out with light-bodied white wines, then slowly progressing to bolder or more mature, complex flavours.  This is a linear presentation where the main course is the finale, paired with the best wine of the meal.

    However, what do you do with the cyclical format? Here a different progression must be followed.  I would normally advise beginning a Chinese banquet with a bold pinot noir. Whether it is from Burgundy, New Zealand or Oregon, the wine needs to have crisp acidity, bold, ripe flavours and firm tannins.  After this firm, brash opening, there is usually a retreat, with a more gentle seafood dish that can be paired with white wine. Many candidates in this category.  Somewhere among the first four dishes, the highlight dish makes its entrance.  You will know as it usually consists of an expensive ingredient that can include the best steamed grouper, at Oriental in Bangkok I was served shark’s fin.

    The obvious question is why, what is the reason for serving the most expensive ingredients in the first half of the meal?  The answer is that our stomachs are not very full. In this case we can appreciate the flavours and textures more fully.  One should consider then that it is logical that the very best wines should be served early too, alongside the most prized, special dishes.

    In London I learned that in a top Chinese restaurant and top restaurant I classify any restaurant where the food is considered as important as the wine, respect must be considered for the order that the chef has planned so that diners enjoy the special dishes in a well-thought out succession. Simply, here, the wines must adapt to the meal.  Understandably, when the producer has a specific agenda to highlight his/her wines in a specific order from lesser to higher quality, then the order of the food can be adapted to the wine’s presentation.

    As a producer or a connoisseur you genuinely want to pair any wine with great Chinese dishes.  You must not neglect the rhythm and the chef’s sense of balance and order.  Do not let the food to adopt to wine so you do not leave the authenticity of the meal is lost. You must decide in other words, whether to show the wines or genuinely respect the chef and food, and thus choose the best wines to pair with courses. This can mean that the best wines are tasted at the beginning and the lightest wines enjoyed at the end.

    These days, pairing wine with Chinese meals is becoming more common. We are fortunate to have many wine professionals and restaurateurs such as Euthyvoulos, spreading their love for both Chinese food and wine.  After all we are living in an exciting era of adventure and experimentation especially when it comes to Chinese food and wine matching. The elusive "perfect pairing" may not be as often as we would like, but we certainly will have a lot of fun pursuing it.

    ---

    Wine to taste the Mistis line of wines from Oinou Logos Winery, Amargeti Village Pafos

    2013 Mistis Chardonnay, Pafos, Abv 13%, €13.40
    What attracts in this wine is the label – you may wander what is this funny shaped h but it is an ideogram from Linear B which means wine.  Clear and bright with a medium to pale yellow colour, almost verging on straw.  There's a nice sparkle deep in the centre of the wine, promising a refreshing drink.  The aroma of Mistis Chardonnay is clean and slightly fruity, reminiscent of apples and perhaps peaches.  Dry with marked acidity, this Chardonnay is characterized by sharp fruit flavours including citrus, tropical fruit, and even pear. All of the fruit flavour is up front, though, and it ends on a more buttery note.  It is only fair when combined with sharp cheddar, but like many Chardonnays it shines when paired with aged Gouda, best with raw and lightly cooked shellfish like crab and prawns, steamed or grilled fish, fish pâtés, fish, chicken or vegetable terrines and pasta or risotto with spring vegetables. They also go well with creamy vegetable soups.

    2013 Mistis Syrah rosé, Pafos, Abv 14%, €12.65
    The Mistis rosé is very rosy, deep coloured almost light red. It's fairly clear and high in its depth. I might say that the hue is closer to cherry or pomegranate.  There are nice, positive aromas coming from this mostly red fruits and berries, pomegranate, ripe strawberries and spice.  Strawberry is the most identifiable scent, though it's not the only one.  As with the aromas, there are nice fruity and berry flavours here. The Mistis rosé is soft, a little crisp at the end and dry, and overall very easy on the palate.  Loved it with mild yellowcheese or goat cheese, antipasto and meze, meze, meze.

    2012 Mistis Maratheftiko, Pafos, Abv 14%, €15.50
    A very dark and intensely hued ruby wine with extraordinarily long lasting legs captured my attention.  This Maratheftiko has a terrific presence featuring deep, initial scents of blackberry, bright flavours of plum, cherry, blueberry and cassis shaded with an intriguing hint of roasted coffee, allspice, bay leaf and graphite.  Its rich layers and velvety texture satiate the palate with complex flavours of spicy ripe red and black fruits and dusty earth, wrapped around gentle tannins.  Is this the first try?  Enjoy with tenderloin medallions drizzled with a wild huckleberry glaze, roast chicken, or a tomato-based red sauce with Italian sausage and fennel over your favorite pasta.

    Chopsticks and a Glass of Wine

  • 17/02/2015 - by Cyprus.com Admin





    Highly qualified and certificated within the security industry, Jeff also served with the Grenadier Guards, “if I am good enough to protect the Queen, royal family and the country then I am good enough to protect communities and businesses - and qualified to do so”.

    Jeff first bought a holiday home in Cyprus 9 years ago. As the founder and Managing Director of a successful Security Company in the UK, Jeff always applied the highest standards of security to his own properties. During his time owning a property in Cyprus, Jeff, has seen the inevitable changing of crime patterns in Cyprus and how property crime in particular has increased.

    Two years ago Jeff decided that his company's next phase of expansion would include Cyprus. In 2007 he set up Akme Securitas Cyprus Limited, based in Paphos, in addition to his 25 years in the security and protection industry Jeff also brings ISO 9001/2000 accreditation and SIA qualifications to train and register security staff to the highest standards in the EU.

    The right leadership produces the right results, Akme Securitas Cyprus Ltd are registered with the chief of police department (Nicosia) as required by Cyprus law and was SIA approved contractor with the U/K government. Nothing less than total professionalism is accepted throughout the company

    Interview:


    1. How long have you been operating and why did you choose Tala in Paphos as your base


    Akme Securitas Cyprus has been serving the communities and business of the Paphos district since 2007 - firstly based in Anavargos until 2013, we then moved to Tala, for two reasons.  Firstly we needed a fit for purpose control room – monitoring station – so we had full control of our clients CCTV and alarms systems.  Secondly we felt it necessary to be centerised to our core clientele, Tala fitted the bill.  We have now opened a second office in Peyia to serve our biggest growth area.









    2. There has been an increase in the number of security companies in Cyprus recently – has Cyprus really become that unsafe and should people be afraid?


    Cyprus was once virtually crime free, but with economic crises comes welfare and social difficulties, petty crime soon follows – this is where we are now.  As a European Union member country Cyprus is still one of the safest places to live and holiday, but we must all become more security aware.

    3. What should someone look for in a security company?


    Our advice on finding the right company to do business with should be a simple process. You should be looking for a few things:

    1. Are they qualified / experienced and hold a license issued by the Cyprus Police to do the job?
    2. Do they have a good reputation?
    3. Are they trustworthy?
    4. Do they have a system that you need?
    5. Is the price right for me?









    4. Are you regulated as an industry?


    All European Countries have to follow the European directives for the private security industry and Cyprus is no different.  It is important to be regulated within an industry that is involved in such high responsibilities, trust and professionalism.









    5. Do you have any links with the Cyprus Police?


    We work closely with local and central Authorities and the Cyprus Police – we feel it is very important that the public sector works alongside the private sector to get greater results against crime.  The Police keep a downloadable list of companies that are licenced in Cyprus and this can be found at:
     http://www.police.gov.cy/police/police.nsf/All/23752B6DAAC7B1AFC22578A900272FD7?OpenDocument









    6. What is the risk when using an unlicensed security company?


    The provision of private security services by non-licensed companies and or individuals is a criminal offence in Cyprus, if convicted illegal operators could find themselves jailed for up to two years or a fine of €30,000 or both. In addition, those who employ non-licensed companies or individuals are also committing a crime and also be fined; the end user has the responsibility to employ licensed services by law. When employing these services you must by law ask for all their licenses, these are:

    N.125(1)/07 and N.54(1)/2009 chapter 11,13 office license this license only allows the company to operate as a security provider, it does not cover their employees or owners to carry out these services.
    N.125(1)/2007 and N.54(1)/2009 chapter 2,8 Engineer licence, (installations Only) this must be carried by the engineers who are installing your system..
    N.125(1)/2007 and N.54(1)/2009 chapter 2,4(3),8 Security guards only, secure key holding and response to alarms

    7. As a homeowner, is there anything you should not do nowadays with regards to the security of your home?

    This is a very big topic, but here are the main points:

    Every home is different in relation to how best it can be protected or the type of prevention methods used to keep criminals out. Some burglars are opportunistic.  They look for easy ways in which they can get into home, ones that won’t take too long, will make as little noise as possible and won’t arouse suspicion. Homes that look unoccupied and unsecured are more likely to be targeted.

    Alarms


    If you can afford an alarm, have one fitted to your home. I recommend one that sends a message directly to a mobile phone to alert a neighbour, an alarm response company and of course yourself. At the very least get one that makes lots of noise both inside and outside your premises. The noise of the alarm outside will hopefully alert your neighbours. The noise inside will play a part in making the burglar want to get out fast. (But remember your alarm sound time for your external alarm is only 4 minutes, then it is classed as noise pollution by law and you could possibly be fined).

    CCTV


    CCTV for the home has come a long way in the last few years. Good Wi-Fi systems now mean you can keep a check on what is going on in your home via your mobile phone. Cameras that can pan and tilt using the screen of your phone are the latest development and they just keep getting better.  This is not an essential addition to your home security, but something to seriously consider if you want complete peace of mind (here in Cyprus you need a fixed IP address for internet access to your cameras).

    Security Lighting


    Good security lighting is the criminal’s enemy; it makes them feel vulnerable and easily observed, illuminates high risk areas and makes sure it is easy for you to see people approaching your home.

    Ensure all your areas that are in darkness are covered by good security lights that are fitted with sensors to detect movement, and that come on at night when the sensors are activated. Make sure you fit LED lights. They give off an extremely bright light without sending your electricity bill through the roof.

    Do not leave your porch light on at night when you go out just so that you have some light to make your way back by. Criminals see this as a good indication, along with the absence of a car on the drive that the occupants are out for the evening. Fit a sensor to your porch light so that you have a light that comes on when you arrive home and walk up to the door.

    Fit timers to a couple of lamps inside the house and have them come on and off at different times while you are out in the evenings.

    If you have wall lights fitted on the front garden walls, fit dusk till dawn sensors to illuminate these as soon as it is dark. Again, this can be done with very little extra cost to your electricity bill by using low energy bulbs.

    Garages and garden sheds


    Ensure all your external sheds, etc., have secure locks and are locked up when you go out for the evening or away for periods of time. Criminals prefer not to carry anything with them that might raise suspicion in case they are stopped by the Police. They will look for items they can use in the gardens of premises that they are going to try to enter. Spades, screwdrivers and any tools they can lay their hands on will be used, so lock them all away.

    If you have to leave ladders on view, secure them safely to a solid wall with adequate security chains and locks.

    Doors, windows and locks


    Make sure doors are solid enough and can’t be easily kicked in.

    The aluminium front doors used on many developments and villas in Cyprus are not secure at all. The fitting is normally poor, leaving room for movement in the frame fitting which gives the criminal an easy method of entry to premises. They are also invariably fitted with cheap euro locks that are very susceptible to the lock snapping method of entry. Change your locks to the anti-snap locks that are now available here in Cyprus.

    Patio doors and windows also are an easy method of entry due to what were once very poor fitting standards and allowed a lot of movement in the frame. Additional locks are a must. Existing patio doors can be fitted with additional security bolts to stop lifting or forced entry. The pin-type locks that secure one door to the other at the centre are very effective against burglars trying to force windows and patio doors open.

    Multi-point locking systems can also be fitted to aluminium doors and involve several hooks or bolts holding the door into the frame.

    If you have a good wooden/solid door then the use of mortise locks is essential. Mortise locks fit into a slot cut into the edge of the door and can only be opened with a key.

    Around the front and back of your home


    Prevent easy access to the back and sides of your home by installing locked gates and fencing or walls at least two metres high. Trellis topping also makes climbing difficult.

    If you have a garden area near your ground floor window, plant spiky or thorny bushes. This makes it difficult for a criminal to get to the window to try and get in.

    Are you at home?


    A home that looks empty is far more likely to be targeted by a burglar, so it’s worth making sure your home looks occupied.

    Do not close your curtains during the daytime as this can suggest your home is empty.

    Use automatic timer-switches to turn on a light and perhaps a radio when it goes dark, even if you are just going out for a couple of hours.

    If you’re away for longer periods of time, ensure a neighbour knows you are away.

    Mail and flyers in the letterbox are a dead giveaway to the criminal element that the house is empty and you are currently spending time away. Arrange for someone to collect them on a regular basis while you are not there.

    A neighbour may also be able to help you by opening and closing curtains and even parking their car on your driveway. Work with your neighbours to keep an eye on each other’s security.

    Make sure that you lock all doors and windows and set your burglar alarm if you have one. Check the alarm and other related equipment is working correctly on a regular basis.

    A note of warning, if you have informed your insurance company that you have an alarm fitted and they give you a discount for having it: should your home be the subject of a burglary and the alarm fails to go off because it is defective in some way, your insurance company will most likely will not pay out.

    Once you inform them that you have an alarm, a clause in the policy normally renders the policy useless if the alarm does not work correctly when an offence is committed.

    Make sure all the PIR batteries and backup alarm batteries are checked monthly and changed if required.

    When you go out at night, be aware of your surroundings. When you leave your home check your street for any unusual cars or people hanging around the area and take note of anything suspicious.

    The optimum time for an offence to take place is without a doubt 18.00 to 23.30. It is firmly believed that criminals drive around quiet areas of towns and villages watching for people leaving their homes to go out to dinner. Then, having given them time to leave the area or possibly having followed them to a restaurant, they will try their luck at the house they have just seen the people leave.

    Neighbourhood Watch Schemes


    Neighbourhood watch schemes like the successful Kamares organisation can make a great difference to the community - THESE SCHEMES WHEN MARRIED TO A PROFESSIONAL & LICENSED SECURITY SERVICE 

    Security Companies and Cyprus – Why The Need?

  • 28/01/2015 - by George Kassianos

    I read of many wine bars and shops opening and gladly realise that wine (bars) is now an antidote to crisis poisonous negative thinking.  The same is happening almost in every town.

    By accident then, thanks to Social Media, I got in touch with Maria Teresa Murgia an ex-lawyer from Bologna who married Nikos Charalambous a vet by profession.  After many years in Bologna they moved to Cyprus a few years ago. Nikos has his own veterinary practice in Athienou and Maria Teresa decided that it is about time to show to the connoisseurs of wine in Cyprus her taste of Italian wine.  It was a happy and a pleasure, but now it becomes something more with the Enoteca, an adventure and a challenge.   

    It is not a statement, but true that some of the best wines I have ever drunk were Italian.  Unfortunately, this is also a statement, so were some of the worst.  Because of this, trying to get to grips with Italian wines can leave one frustrated.  A sip of silky-smooth Vino Nobile di Montepulciano can be heaven; raw, acidic Pinot Grigio can be hell.  Italy is confusing, too, with more than 300 different grape varieties.  Even well-known wines such as Montepulciano d' Abruzzo and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano can be baffling: the one named after Montepulciano the grape, the other after Montepulciano the town.   Why take the risk with an unfamiliar Agricola Punica Samas, say, when you can play safe with a more recognisable Australian Chardonnay? 

    “But that, in a way, is the joy of Italy” Maria Teresa said.   With so many different grape types grown in such wildly diverse regions, from the mountains of the Alto Adige in the north to sun-baked Sicily in the south, there's a wine for everyone.  And so there is food and cheese and salami... No other country can boast such variety – in everything. 

    Yes, Cabernet Sauvignon has reared its head - spectacularly so in Tuscany - but the real fun is in discovering a wine that is unique to a given part of Italy and speaks of the land it is from.  Just like the Cannonau from Sardinia a week ago.    

    Recently as reported in the Telegraph by Jonathan Ray Gambero Rosso, publisher of the definitive annual Italian wine guide recently held its inaugural Top Italian Wines Road show in London and featured more than 200 wines from a diverse group of some 50 producers. 

    The aim was to show how far Italian wines have come over the past decade and how exciting they now are. 

    And it worked. If you take the trouble to look and are prepared for the odd disappointment, this beguiling country still merits the name Enotria Tellus - "Land of Wine".  And this is the exact message that Maria and Nikos like to pass to their guests and partners.  

    Maria will always welcome you with a glass of Limoncello di Sardine Rau.  Wine and drinks are the identity of a population.  Splendid sun shines in Sardinia, just like Cyprus, for a large proportion of the year.  A syrupy slug of Limoncello is a fine, fine way to welcome a thirst quenching guests.  The fragrant, just-acidic-enough lemon peel is the secret to Limoncello, the sunny liqueur that arrives in frosty glasses.  The aroma smells very fresh, like when you first cut into the lemon peel and the oils are released into the air. It has a dense yellow colour as well, so much that it’s essentially opaque. The flavour delivers on the promise of the aroma, fresh lemon abounds.  This is a well-constructed and well-balanced Limoncello. It’s sweet and smooth, making it a good choice for crowd pleasing as it will fit many palates. The mouth feel is on the heavy side, which I like.

    After a tour and a look at the picture gallery on the mezzanine floor a glass of.  A Castelveder Franciacorta Brut, Abv 13% €25.  This is the only Italian sparkling wine appellation that must be made by “méthode champenoise”.  Franciacorta also happens to be the only compact wine area producing world class sparkling wine in Italy.  Pale brassy yellow with fine perlage; the bouquet is fairly rich, with bright slightly vegetal acidity that has some minerality and bitterness with savory overtones.  On the palate it's full, and dry, with considerable granitic minerality supported by deft mineral acidity and some peppery notes that flow into a clean spicy mineral finish. Pleasing in a distinctly mineral key, and will be nice either as an aperitif or with foods. It grew on me.  

    This was followed by one of the best Vermentino based grapes I have ever tasted.  2013 Santadi, Villa Solais, Vermentino di Sardinia D.O.C.  Abv 13%, €7.15 Some wineries make world-class elixirs and this is one of them.  So good with the salami and Pecorino cheese that Nikos was cutting on the table. With a percentage of Nuragus grapes, another of Sardinia’s famous white wine varieties has a pale, straw yellow color with delicate and subtle but persistent aromas of citrus and white fruit. Fine-spun pear, green apple and lemon-infused flavors glissade across the tongue backed up by Vermentino’s signature acidity. There are no rough edges here, just ripe fruit and juicy acidity. The finish is long and clean with a pleasantly bitter note. Thus is a delightful wine for summer sipping or for any time of year for that matter.

    And now we try some reds starting with 2012 Agricola Punica Montesu Isola dei Nuraghi I.G.T. Sardinia, Abv 14%, €16.80 A blend of about 60% Carignan the rest Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. is full-bodied, remarkably rich and complex. The aromas are a little hesitant but a gentle swishing of the wine in a glass releases intense aromas and mouth-coating black fruit flavors that have touches of cedar and kitchen spices. It is a delicious wine at a very agreeable price.

    2011 Agricola Pala di Mario Pala, Cannonau di Sardegna, D.O.C. Riseva, Abv 14%, €15.15 was next.  This is 100% varietal specific from 25-year-old vines.  It has a ruby red appearance and floral aromas mingled with minerality. In the mouth lush, red berries cover the palate with wild herbs, a hint of spice, and a hint of salinity (or is it mental?).  A very good value wine. 

    And finally 2007 Trabucchi d’ Illasi, Valpolicella Superiore, Terra del Cereolo, Abv 13.5%, €30  This is still surprisingly fresh considering the age of this wine.  It is made primarily with Corvina and other interesting varietals that include Rondinella, reminiscent of cherries, and Croatina that bestows a floral and fruity bouquet.  It’s simple and enjoyable, with purple highlights, mouthwatering cherry flavors layered with mint and white pepper accent.  The scent recalls dried rose petals, followed by hints of plums, wild cherries and candied fruit.

    With over 800 wine grape varieties, 20 uniquely designated winegrowing regions, and hundreds of years of winemaking history on the books, Italy's wine scene is a glorious adventure from grape to glass guaranteeing that there are more exciting things to come in Enoteca Italiana.  

    Address: 63 Agios Pavlos Street (opposite of MAS Supermarket)
    Telephone: 357 97713394
    Website: www.enotecaitalianacy.com
    Email: enotecaitaliana.cy@gmail.com
    Facebook: www.facebook.com/enotecaitalianaincyprus

    It Was By Accident That I Discovered Enoteca Italiana!

  • 28/12/2014 - by George Kassianos

    Hence, the name given to theses villages Krasochoria, which literary means The Wine Villages (CTO wine route number4).  The area there and the villages are well known for their sightseeing locations, its vineyards and views of Troodos high peaks.  When most people talk about Kilani village they will always bring out the fact that the village is home to a wonderful winery.  Pass the village of Agios Amvrosios and then turn right to Vouni and Kilani you will come across to one of the finest wineries on the island, the new Vlassides winery.  

    Any wine drinker knows about Kilani village and the name of Vlassides will always comes up in wine conversations, probably with a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc or Shiraz opened.   It is a small, regional winery that produces some truly fine wines.  Sophocles Vlassides was, still is, the Syrah legend with several successful vintages, but we have tasted in recent years some exquisite Cabernet Sauvignons and Sauvignon Blanc too.  The Xynisteri and Merlot received good reviews and suddenly a well made rose was in the market this year.  

    He is a passionate winemaker, and this passion was his main drive to establish Vlassides Winery in 1998.  He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from Imperial College in London, but his lifelong dream was to make his own wine.  This interest let him study Oenology at the University of California Davis (UC Davis) a world renowned institution for research and teaching in the fields of Viticulture and Oenology.

    The new building was conceived and constructed by Heracles Papachristou and is situated between the villages of Kilani and Vouni in 50 acres vineyard, called Koloni.  A key to the design was the attention to detail and to the use of space and state of the art machinery.  You just seat and admire the winery; the tasting room itself invites to taste the wine with the full view of the vineyards. 

    But, Sophocles is equally proud of his vineyards as he is of his new winery.   You don’t have to be an expert to realize the care he puts in the vineyard.  Sophocles knows that he will only reach his high standards if he is committed to select the finest fruit, aided by useful information from his meteorological station and several friends from abroad, experts in their fields used as consultants. 

    He currently produces over 120,000 bottles annually mostly from Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc and Xynisteri.  He always strives to produce wines from indigenous varieties like the red grape varieties of Maratheftiko and Yiannoudi, and the white varieties of Promara and Morokanella.  Watch this space for some exciting tastings.   

    Current Tastings

    2014 Lefkos Xinisteri – Sauvignon Blanc €6.50

    Pale straw colour, and find the wine light-bodied but leaning toward medium-bodied.  The lead aroma is dried herbs, with more subtle suggestions of flowers (especially lavender) and a suggestion of wild fennel or anise.  The fruit flavours are stone fruits, especially peaches or nectarines, a bit tropical with lemon and citrus fresh apricots notes in the finish along with lots of zesty acidity.  

    2014 Sauvignon Blanc €9.30

    Limestone sub-soils in the vineyard along with warm summers of Cyprus result in a wonderfully vibrant, fruity wine. Sophocles uses temperature-controlled fermentation in stainless steel vats to create a pure expression of the Sauvignon Blanc grape.  A very approachable, bright yellow and green colour, classic I would say Sauvignon Blanc, zesty with a hint of grass as well as white citrus fruit, pineapple and mango on the nose. It is crisp on the palate, with pronounced but well-balanced acidity.

    2014 Rosé Shiraz and Sauvignon Blanc €9.00

    A sexy light pink colour with lively hues, this is a unique blend for a rosé which is traditionally made from a blend of red grapes. The nose combines aromas of ripe blood-orange, cherry-drops and pomegranate with fragrant rose flower whiffs. The gorgeously weighted palate balances juicy fruit flavours with racy acidity and finishes on a pleasantly persistent, zesty note.

    2013 Erythros – Cabernet Franc, Mataro, Grenache and Agiorgitiko €6.50

    Vlassides is one of the first to produce Agiorgitiko on the island, an indigenous red grape variety of Greece.  It has great red fruit and a hint of cocoa in the nose, spicy blueberry as the young red wine dances on the palate with flavours of strawberry, cherry, plum, sweet raspberry, with a touch of spiced apple.  A delicious go to red wine that delivers some complexity and style for its price from an excellent combination of grapes.
     
    012 Shiraz €9.60

    The 2012 vintage has a concentrated ruby appearance with purple hues, lifted floral aromas of boysenberry, morello cherry and white pepper. 

    The coffee, blueberry, spearmint and cranberry flavours that fill the mouth are present in abundance, with succulent fine grained and natural tannins playing a structural role.  Velvety flavoured and intense in a long lasting aftertaste is the trade mark of Sophocles Vlassides.

    2011 Cabenret Sauvignon €10.85

    From Cabernet Sauvignon and a small percentage of Cabernet Franc, dark in colour, this polished, suave, approachable style of Vlassides Cabernet is filled with layers of ripe, plush, sweet, black and blue fruits, licorice, vanilla, cocoa and cigar box. It will continue to improve with age, the 14 months in small French oak will ensure for its longevity.  It is an excellent choice for Christmas with the roast turkey.

    (Main image: Ch. Demetracopoulos)

    Visiting The New Vlassides Winery!

 

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