Alexakis Kotsifali Syrah 2013
The Alexakis family is one of the most important ambassadors of Cretan wine. It is the largest privately owned winery in Crete and during its long path has collaborated with all the winegrowers on the island. The result is high quality wines that truly represent the Cretan terroir. The winery is a family affair. Stelios Alexakis, chemical engineer turned winemaker is still in charge of the winery with his wife Sofia responsible for quality control.
Children Apostolos and Lazaros, who literally grew up in the winery, join their father as winemakers and are now responsible for the planning and production, successfully transferring the valuable knowledge and insight of their parents.
As one of Greece’s largest island’s, its wines enjoyed high glory during the Middle Ages. Today Crete is full of ambitious winemakers with the city of Heraklion as its viticultural hub.
With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended red wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World, experimentation is permitted and encouraged resulting in a wide variety of red wine styles. Blending can be utilized to enhance balance or create complexity, lending different layers of flavors and aromas. For example, a red wine blend variety that creates a fruity and full-bodied wine would do well combined with one that is naturally high in acidity and tannins. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.
How to Serve Red Wine
A common piece of advice is to serve red wine at “room temperature,” but this suggestion is imprecise. After all, room temperature in January is likely to be quite different than in August, even considering the possible effect of central heating and air conditioning systems. The proper temperature to aim for is 55° F to 60° F for lighter-bodied reds and 60° F to 65° F for fuller-bodied wines. How much does this matter?
How Long Does Red Wine Last?
Once opened and re-corked, a bottle stored in a cool, dark environment (like your fridge) will stay fresh and nicely drinkable for a day or two. There are products available that can extend that period by a couple of days. As for unopened bottles, optimal storage means keeping them on their sides in a moderately humid environment at about 57° F. Red wines stored in this manner will stay good – and possibly improve – for anywhere from one year to multiple decades. Assessing how long to hold on to a bottle is a complicated science. If you are planning long-term storage of your reds, seek the advice of a wine professional.