My birthday this year could be described as an extravaganza of different feelings. There’s definitely a difference between “growing up and growing old” and the wine we cracked open on my birthday fully embraced this saying.
Extremely happy to have my parents visiting me, I decided that we should toast with something special indeed and I had the perfect wine in my wine rack. NOHMA by Palivou Estate which I had been keeping for around 2 years, after it was kindly sent to me, and it is exactly the type of wine that makes you wait for a special occasion before you pull out the cork.
The first time I tasted this magnificient blend of not just grape varieties but also vintages (!!!) was at the Annual Peloponnesian Wine Tasting 2011 (?) at Electra Palace, organised by Wineplus and Maria Netsika. At this great event I met Evangelia Palivou, the daughter of George Palyvos, one of the leading winemakers in Greece. Evaggelia, who is also an enologist, guided me through their portfolio and at the end of an interesting discussion about the growing appeal of Greek wine in the UK, she said: “I have something special for you to try” and there it was…the NOHMA 2005-2006. NOHMA translates to “meaning” in English.
NOHMA is made from grapes grown in a private, biodynamic vineyard in ancient Nemea, Peloponnese and is a blend of 60% Agiorgitiko 2006, 23% Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and 17% Syrah 2005. The international varieties wait patiently for 12 months in new oak barrels (225L) for the Agiorgitiko to get vinified. The final blend spends another 12 months in French oak barrels before bottling.
After I poured the wine in our glasses, there was literally a 10s pause and if you know me this doesn’t happen very often. Its colour is deep ruby and dense. Long legs develop on the glass and are nicely structured. Incredible aromas of sweet prune and dried fig were coming out of my glass, while I was gently swirling it. It felt that each circle released a new mix of notes. After the sweet notes of black dried fruit, I was intrigued by the gentle oak notes and smokey hints. A great mix of spices makes the nose quite memorable: vanilla, clove, a touch of cinnamon and cardamon with a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper all wrapped up in a blackcurrant leaf. What I found fascinating was that blend was quite harmonious and yet each individual variety unfolded its unique personality. On the palate, you can feel a rich mouthfeel of aromas reminiscent of the nose and the warmth of the alcohol well integrated with the wine. Very concentrated and powerful. At 14,5% v/v, you might expect it to leave a burning sensation but this is not the case. Many complain about red wine drying out their mouth and this what tannins do to your tongue. But NOHMA is quite smooth and velvety.
As you can see on the photos above, it went down really well with a variety of cheeses (Austrian smoked chesse, Stilton, Port Salut) and charcouterie (German Salami and liver pâté) but it would certainly be my Christmas wine of choice, as it would go amazingly well with roasted wild boar, grilled ribs and stews. As I am not going to be home for Christmas this year, I shall toast with this little gem on New Year’s Eve!
You can purchase NOHMA from Palivou Estate here: http://www.houseofwine.gr/how/intl/noima.html*
What are you drinking with your Christmas Dinner? Let me know your suggestions!
(I defy you to find another blend of two vintages, hehe!)
* This is not an affiliate link