The 2012 Moscofilero, at 12.5% alcohol, is ripe and fruity this year, showing fine solidity and very tasty fruit. It is richer and more exuberant than last year’s version, but it still tastes of tank and purity. It is quite delicious. In its youth, it needed some air to show its best. After an hour or so of aeration, when it fleshed out in the glass, it became more intense and it proved that there was indeed enough underlying acidity and minerality to cut through the baby fat and remind me that this was in fact Moschofilero. This vintage is never going to be viewed as one on the “structured” side of the equation for Moschofilero. With this bottling (less so the Salto, its sibling also reviewed this issue), it leans more to “sex appeal,” not something I often say with this grape. Stylistic preferences aside, it worked well. George Skouras, calling it “an absolutely exceptional and unusual year for Moscofilero,” sent me the statistics showing the differences between 2011 and 2012. Vintage 2012, he said to me, “was a year with higher average temperature and lower rainfall, which lead to earlier harvest, more body, higher alcohol and lower acidity.” For example, using Skouras’ statistics, the average October temperatures were about 15.4C compared with 11.4C the prior year, and the alcohol went up by half a point (to a still reasonable 12.5%). While that may not be everyone’s vision of perfect Moschofilero, the results here are pretty nice in its own style. It did not lose control. Remember that when I write of richness and sex appeal, everything is relative. Moschos are rarely “wow” wines, and that includes 2012. They have some delicacy, transparency and finesse, while maintaining their persistence. This should hold a few years, but it will always be great when young and fresh. Drink now to 2016.
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