Lyrarakis Cabernet - Merlot 2012
The company only started bottling wines under the Lyrarakis family brand in the early nineties. The first vintage of Lyrarakis was 1992, until then all the production was sold in bulk to major wineries of Greece or abroad.
Today, the company is managed by the second generation. The family vineyard comprises of 14 hectares of gravel soil on limestone and is situated on an average altitude of 550 meters. Since the late eighties special attention is paid to rare Cretan varieties. In particular the white varieties “Dafni” and “Plyto” that have been saved from extinction constitute a source of pride for the vine-grower Manolis Lyrarakis. Vilana, White Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc complement the range of white varieties. As far as the red varieties are concerned, the local Kotsifali, Mandilari, and Black Muscat are complemented by the foreign varieties Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. The family and technical team puts a lot of effort into experimenting with smaller batches of other native varieties, in the hope to be able to offer you new exciting wines soon.
The company is recognized as the leading quality producer on the island, focusing on the use of native varieties - some blends also use foreign varieties. The family is credited for reviving the two ancient local white varieties, Dafni and Plyto, which are part of the company’s range of wines called “The Treasures of Crete”. The latest pride in our “Treasures of Crete” range of wines is the oaked red wine from 100% Mandilari, the red variety that was never vinificated by itself on Crete. Lyrarakis is also credited for being the first winery of Crete to blend the native Kotsifali variety with Syrah, in order to create an unusually exciting red blend, back in the late nineties. Lyrarakis wines have won numerous international awards and are exported in most of the European countries and abroad (USA & CANADA).
The winery is located at the northern side of the community of Alagni, almost in the middle of the small plateau. The construction of the new bottling facility finished in 2004. After that, the family also finished the first phase of the renovation of the visitable cellar, where the oak barrels are stored and bottle aging takes place. The cellar can now welcome visitors on a regular basis.
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.
One of the world’s most classic and popular styles of red wine, Bordeaux-inspired blends have spread from their homeland in France to nearly every corner of the New World, especially in California, Washington and Australia. Typically based on either Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot and supported by Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, these are sometimes referred to in the US as “Meritage” blends. In Bordeaux itself, Cabernet Sauvignon dominates in wines from the Left Bank of the Gironde River, while the Right Bank focuses on Merlot. Often, blends from outside the region are classified as being inspired by one or the other.
Tasting Notes for Bordeaux Blends
Bordeaux Blends are dry, red wines and generally have aromas and flavors of black currant, black cherry plum, graphite, cedar and violet. Cabernet-based, Left-Bank-styled wines are typically more tannic and structured, while Merlot-based wines, modeled after the Right Bank, are softer and suppler. Cabernet Franc can add herbal notes, while Malbec and Petit Verdot contribute color and structure.
Perfect Food Pairings for Bordeaux Blends
Since Bordeaux red blends are often quite structured and tannic, they pair best with hearty, flavorful and fatty meat dishes. Any type of steak makes for a classic pairing. Equally welcome with these wines would be beef brisket, pot roast, braised lamb or smoked duck.
Sommelier Secrets for Bordeaux Blends
While the region of Bordeaux is limited to a select few approved grape varieties in specified percentages, the New World is free to experiment. Bordeaux blends in California may include equal amounts of Cabernet Franc and Malbec, for example. Occassionally a winemaker might add a small percentage of a non-Bordeaux variety, such as Syrah or Petite Sirah for a desired result.