Going Commanda

I am going to have to study a bit on how this wine is made, because it was NOT what I was expecting. Been curious for many years and finally pulled the trigger on a bottle. It just says: “sweet red wine” “with nutty, spice character” and I expected something like Greek retsina or something weird like that, but NO. It’s just basically a really nice Madeira or old character port. NV of course, so am really curious how they get something like this into current shelf-offerings, like: what is the cellar procedure/aging time and is it purposely oxidized to appear this old and candied at a young age. Bottle-shape and clarity pretty much prohibits bottle-age, though it has the complexity of some of my oldest ports. Also I don’t know what varieties are used, only “some of the oldest grapes varieties in the world”. WHY is this on the *red blend* aisle and not with the dessert wines??? And DOES it age??? Allegedly made in this fashion since the 11th century.

I’m writing notes only to ease the curiosity of readers, though it is not really something necessitating a full-on review, as it is DEFINITELY an after-dinner sipper and not a wine you’re gonna drink too many glasses of. Dark hazel-coffee-brown in the glass, no sediment. Powerful sweetness of a very complex nature, beautifully layered in wood and delicious raisin notes. Not pruney at all. Velvet and leather, maple and brown sugar with no off-putting nuances.

Tasting it introduces coffee-cacao laid thick on a peppery-hot body of slightly bitter burn but it feels more like acid than pure ALC. No mention of RS on label, and it is considerably lower-proof than your typical port numbers. There’s still-wines from PASO! several clicks higher in ABV than this. This stuff is barely into Zinfandel territory. Smooth finish forever as the thin syrup slowly meanders down your throat to infinity. This is a great wine, but assuredly an after-dinner situation. I’m drinking it at about 65, so expect fruit-closure at lower temps and a deeper alcohol proclamation at higher ones. And it definitely feels *real wine*–not some liqueur fortified with caramel color and flavor infusions. Could be wrong there, too.

NV KEO St. John Commandaria Appellation Commandaria Controlee Cyprus 15.0


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