Liatiko: Varietal #27
On a recent trip to Bin 36 I had the Domaine Douloufakis, 2010 Liatiko from Crete. It was quite the start to my wine century challenge, a varietal that was not marked on my initial list and one that my dad has yet to try (a feat with the 147 varietals currently on his list).
I have to admit that I choose the Liatiko because it was a grape that I was sure I had not had. I wasn’t too worried that I would like the wine because the description said that it had similarities to a Pinot Noir and I usually like Pinots, even if I sometimes find them to be a little thin. The notes on the wine said it exhibits qualities of black tea, subtle spice a red fruit. A quick Google search indicates that this seems to be a pretty standard description of what you can expect from the Liatiko varietal.
My thoughts about the wine didn’t completely match up with the description. I definitely got the similarities to a Pinot. I thought the wine had a slight smokiness to it and I picked up a hint licorice in the finish. I didn’t really get the red fruit in the first few sips of this wine.
Though my initial impression was that the wine was a bit thin and just ok, I found that the wine really opened up and changed when paired with food. I had it with cured meat and sharp cheese and it completely changed the flavor. With the food the wine had an almost sweet flavor up front, probably the red fruit the description referred to. I could still taste the slight smokiness on the finish, but I found the wine much more enjoyable with the food. It became jammier and didn’t seem quite so thin.