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Wine > Fikardos 2004 July 5, 2006

Posted by grhomeboy in Wine And Spirits.
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Theodoros Fikardos harvested grapes for the first time in 1988 – there was just enough to fill up a barrel. His interest in wine making, though, grew year by year. Through the 90s Fikardos managed to become an established winemaker not only in Paphos and Cyprus but abroad as well. Wine connoisseurs from Finland especially enjoy his wines.

Theo believes that the essence of great wine lies in vineyard work. He starts from the year before his harvest, inspecting the vines to decide the quantity they can bear and thus how they should be pruned.

Everything has to be in balance to get ripeness. Harvest date is crucial. He works alone studying the art of winemaking – never afraid to admit his mistakes and learn from them. More importantly, he listens carefully to those with more experience. And he taste wines from other wine makers, other regions and other countries.

I remember 1996, when he ventured with Chardonnay, which was a big gamble. The result might have put many winemakers off trying again. But not Theo. After three years he managed after three years to produce quality Chardonnay worthy of this noble grape. This is Theo Fikardos, a winemaker who never gives up.

The winery is situated at Mesogi industrial area on Paphos’ outskirts and has a yearly output of 300,000 bottles. This output is made of twelve main brands of wine. In whites we have a successful blend of Xinisteri and Semillon grapes and the aforementioned Chardonnay. He also experimented with Riesling and Semillon varietals, but these were not available on the tasting.

Cabernet Sauvignon and Mataro are the two grape varieties used extensively by the winemaker in reds and rosés. His winery is one of the best on the island, equipped with the latest in winemaking technology. The investment in technology is an ongoing process. he has a passion for wine-tasting and objective evaluation. He is a consummate professional well-respected among his fellow professionals.

Tasting Notes
2003 Amalthia, Xinisteri-Semillon, Alcohol Volume 12%, Price £2.50

Theo realised Xinisteri might improve by blending. Therefore a few years ago he experimented by choosing one of the main white grape varieties of Bordeaux, that of Semillon. Harvest for this grape variety is as early as August, whereas for Xinisteri in early September. The vineyards are planted in Tsada and Stroumbi villages.

Youthful yellow-greenish colour, slightly effervescent, herbaceous green apple fruit, vegetal, lime and wild flowers appear on the nose and on the palate. Fresh still, high in acidity from the Semillon grape, the aftertaste cuts a bit short. Served between 6°C and 9°C try this wine with the green salads, tomato and feta cheese, asparagus as well as fried Mediterranean fish.

2003 Alkisti Chardonnay, Alcohol Volume 12%, Price £4.10

Chardonnay is found in Letymbou and Stroumbi villages and is harvested in early August. This is unoaked Chardonnay with a pale yellow and greenish colour. Fresh Chardonnay on the nose, with ripe yellow and white fruit and with compelling notes of citrus fruit and particularly that of pineapple. Lemons and grapefruit crowd the round intense and concentrated palate, with notes of chalky minerality. The high acidity sustains at the aftertaste. Serve at 10°C seafood cocktails are the perfect match to this wine along with asparagus, artichokes and salads with nut dressing.

2002 Xilogefiro, Chardonnay fume, Sur-lies, Alcohol Volume 11.5% Price £5.05
Harvested in mid August the Chardonnay grapes come from Stroumbi village and after gentle press and fermentation the juice is kept in oak barrels for nine month on their lies. Deep gold colour, a result of oak storage, discreet oak aromas are mingled with lemon, apple, melon and honey fruit to make a delicate yet complex nose. This is supported on the palate with grapefruit and green apples on the long finish. Interesting wine served at 11°C ideal for fish with rich sauces or roast veal with light cream sauce, cheese and grilled white fish like turbot and Dover sole. Ageing potential for two more years at least.

2003 Ayia Irini, Semillon-Xinister, Alcohol Volume 11.5% Price £2.50

A slight sweeter version that that of Amalthia with grapes from Stoumbi and Polemi villages. The Semillon is higher in volume than Xinisteri and is harvested in mid August, a bit late than the Semillon used for Amalthia, mainly for more concentrated sugar to add to this medium dry white. Yellow greenish colour, grassy, orange peel, herbaceous mixed with blossom aromas of white flowers on the nose. The palate is vibrant with mouthwatering acidity with a hint of sweetness – tropical and citrusy with a firm mineral structure. Try this at 6°C to 9°C with mild coconut curries.

2003 Katerina Xinisteri-Semillon, Alcohol Volume 11.5% Price £2.50

Grapes exclusively from Stroumbi – Semillon harvested at early August and Xinisteri in mid September. A touch more yellow than the Irini, candied lemons, warm honey, ripe white fruit on the palate – reminiscent of visits in fruit markets, the palate is mouth coating, powerful with grapefruit and beeswax, intense and lengthy finish. Try this with creamy curries and pork with rosemary and plums.

2003 Iocasti, Mataro, Alcohol Volume 14%, Price £2.50

Most of the rose wines that I personally like are made from red grapes. Mataro comes from Kallepia village and is harvested in late August. Pale ruby colour, this wine is clean fresh and fruity. Wild strawberries and raspberries on the nose, the palate is even more interesting soft structure on tannins, berries style with a slinky finish. Try this at 9°c with gammon ham, mixed meze particularly with grilled lamb chops.

2003 Valentina Cabernet Sauvignon and Mataro, Alcohol Volume 13.5% Price £2.85

Late August harvest from Stroumbi and Kallepia villages. Good combination of two red grape varieties to make a rose wine with medium body. Paler than the previous this is a medium sweet rose with intense scents of ripe berries, cherries and pink roses. Sweet fruit and soft structure on the palate, seductive black cherries and spice notes on a seductive finish. Roast duck with cherries, most sweet and sour oriental dishes and as an aperitif served at 9°C.

2002 Ravanti Mataro, Alcohol Volume 12.5% Price £2.50

Kallepia’s Mataro grape is the basis of the next two reds from Theo’s collection. Ravanti has a light ruby red with lifted sour cherries and forest floor undergrowth on the nose. The palate, fresh plums and raspberry fruit with undertones of spices, and a bit of leather. Good acidity, a bit restraint on tannins that affects the aftertaste. Served at 17°C, try this wine with barbecued meat particularly lamb.

2001 Achilleas, Selected Mataro, Alcohol Volume 13%. Price £3.15

Selected Mataro from a late August harvest from vineyards in Kallepia. Plumy red colour, with herb and spices hints and baked damson fruit on the nose. The palate develops into ripe succulent fruit, pepper overtones, leather and firmer tannins in the mouth. An herbaceous full-bodied blend wit reasonable length. Serve at 17°C will blend better with rich meat stews and roast turkey as well as barbecued meat.

2001 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alcohol Volume 12%, Price £4.40

Theo’s red wine collection continues now with a Cabernet Sauvignon varietal from Stroumbi and Polemi villages, harvested in mid August. This unoaked Cabernet has a ruby red colour; the Mediterranean climate and mineral rich soils encourages the ripe cassis and stony aromas of the wine. Leafy and intensely blackcurrant on the nose, round palate full textured and concentrated, it possesses a firm tannic grip, leathery with a good finish. Served at 17°C Cabernet’s ideal match is red meat particularly with rich mushroom or green pepper sauces.

2001 Leonardo Cabernet Sauvignon-Mataro, Alcohol Volume 14% Price £5.40
A blend of a Bordeaux and an Rhône type grapes, but harvested form Stroumbi and Kallepia respectively. Theo’s is using 50% American oak and 50% French oak, this wine is still young and musty, ink purple, with aromas of dried herbs and flavours of vanilla (the wine is kept in the barrels for 10 months), juicy redcurrants and cherries. The same characteristics on the palate, it has also has a pronounced tannic structure which encourages short to medium-term cellaring. Interesting combination, this is a vintage to review in the future. Served at 17°C other than red meats try also with cheese and char-grilled game.

2001 Leonardo Cabernet Sauvignon, Alcohol Volume 12% Price £5.50
A more typical claret form Stroumbi, robust, ripe cassis, blackcurrant fruit, mint, cedar, toast appear on the nose and gravely minerals, leather, pencil lead and ripe silky fruit on the palate. Medium-bodied another wine to be tested in the future, since it has the same ageing potential and food combination as with the other Leonardo.

Finally for all members of the wine club there will be three lucky winners at the end of May. The prize three bottles of Andessitis red from kindly offered by Kyperounda Winery.

Editor’s Note: Prices mentioned above are in Cyprus Pounds.

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