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“Where can I buy this one,” my brother says.
I’m not surprised by his reaction. After all, it was exactly the same impact the 2009 had on my tastebuds a year ago. 2010 Eclipse in the glasses; the premium Mavrodaphne of Cephalonia from Gentilini. Initiated consumers (nice rewrite of old, isn’t it) recognizes the name of Mavrodaphne and probably remembers the sweet red from Patras. Some of the Cephalonia version is also turned sweet but mostly it is a dry red wine with almost impenetrable color.
The color actually indicates that you’re about to throw those tastebuds of yours, into some serious action. But you will be surprised; it’s quite elegant and mineral driven on the nose, with scents of red cherries, violets and touch of wood. Spices – need to mention those; cinnamon and sweet licorice at the same time. As was the case with the 2009, it never ever feels unbalanced or heat damaged – actually the opposite. Blind, I would be pretty sure I’d put it as a Syrah.
On the palate it surprises yet again. Color wise you would think chewy and with tannins to knock your teeth out. No sir, this is shaped the elegant way and even though the tannins are present, they are nice to you. Red, almost sour cherries, plum skin, licorice, iron and humus. Some pipe tobacco as well. It’s no doubt that the acidity will do the cellaring part for the wine. Add the medium body and the pleasant alcohol level and you’ve probably figured it out; it’s a killer with food. A wine’s main purpose. An earthy, long finish makes this a really unique wine and a thrill to taste and enjoy.
How I wish more consumers would step out of their safety zone and pick up a wine like this. But I guess it starts with importers who dares offering wines like those from Gentilini? Cephalonia is a haven for those in search of never-heard of grapes, many of them being indigenous. If you’ve missed it, be sure to check out the best one, Robola. Gentilini makes two Robola wines you just need to taste. Read about them here.
Sample bottle from the winery.