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Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina


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Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)


About Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina

The once-disdained Retsina is today making a comeback in a new form, with much-reduced amounts of resin used; this Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina is one of those new-wave Retsinas. That it is meant to be taken seriously is indicated by its pricing, which runs from a hair over $12 on up to about $22, averaging $15; it is in reasonably wide distribution in the U.S., including some major retailers.

Unlike more common renditions of Retsina, the Gaia "Ritinitis Nobilis" appears to be 100% the Roditis (aka Rhoditis) grape; it is not a premier grape, notable mainly for acidity, but is a cut above the Savatiano that usually dominates Retsinas; also, it is said to be distinctly better when grown at high altitudes, as Gaia says these were ("selected grapes of Roditis variety which grow on the high slopes of Aegialia"). This Gaia Retsina is a modest 12% alcohol.


Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina: Tasting Impressions

Gaia's "Ritinitis Nobilis" is certainly dissimilar to most or all other Retsinas. It has a very distinctive nose and flavor; not having been raised in the Australian Bush we cannot be sure, but we assume that that quality is the oft-cited "eucalyptus". It is less penetrating and shrill than the more normal resin quality of a Retsina, but nevertheless it is what dominates the wine. Besides it one finds fairly strong acidity, a light to medium body, and—to the extent that one can make it out under the presumptive eucalyptus—some minerality.

We had this Retsina with a hot/spicy Oriental dish, since we felt it needed something of the sort to go up against. It worked tolerably, but we feel that this wine is probably best used as an occasional change-of-pace apéritif, rather than either a food wine or a "contemplation" wine (never the latter, really).

We neither recommend nor disrecommend this wine: how much one will like or dislike it is going to be a very personal matter of taste, and one will likely love it or hate it. But if you have a taste for the unusual or the exotic, it is at least worth a try.


Gaia Ritinitis Nobilis Retsina: Other Opinions

On CellarTracker.

On Wine Searcher's Tasting Notes page.

Unsurprisingly (this is Retsina), none of the major wine-review sites seem to have noticed this wine.


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This page was last modified on Friday, 2 June 2017, at 5:16 pm Pacific Time.