16 Greek wines

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Blake Brown
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16 Greek wines

Post by Blake Brown » Wed Oct 17, 2018 10:57 am

Our monthly blind wine tasting group was hosted by one of our members for a very educational non blind tasting of Greeks wines. He provided all of the wines and food and we reimbursed him for his expenses.

To make this the consummate learning experience, he passed out numerous handouts including maps of the main wine regions, descriptions and details about the most popular varietals, a pronunciation guide and much more.

Most of us had limited exposure and knowledge about any Greek wines, if any, so it was a real treat to delve into them at least to this cursory extent.

Our gracious host provided a large table of Greek oriented appetisers, side dishes and treats including a large serving of spanakopita between flights and baklava at the end. We tasted 16 Greek wines in all with 3 flights of 5 and a capper dessert wine.

The first flight of 5:

2017 PAPAGIANNAKOS SAVATIANO ATTICA- 100% Savatiano, which is indigenous to Attica and the most widely planted grape in Greece; this came from 50+ year old vines; I got Sauvignon Blanc like characteristics with grassy, herbaceous notes; some minerals; viscous texture; enjoyable.

“Rumor has it that Socrates drank Savatiano wines”- from the winemaker of Papagiannakos.

Savatiano is pronounced sah-va-TEE-ya-no.

2017 PAPAGIANNAKOS RETSINA ATTICA- 100% Savatiano; strong pine notes dominate the underlying mostly lemon citrus flavors; our host then mentions a small amount of resin from native pine trees is added to the wine to achieve this ancient traditional flavor profile; one needs to develop a taste for this; I didn’t get there with this limited exposure.

2016 PAPAGIANNAKOS KALOGERI WHITE ATTICA- 100% Malagousia; now we’re talking; this hits it pretty good with a pleasant taste profile of fresh citrus with a touch of sweetness, a soft texture and nice balance.

Malagousia is pronounced mah-lah-GOO-zee`ah.

2017 GAIA MONOGRAPH MOSCHOFILERO NEMEA- 100% Moschofilero; loads of spicy tropical fruit and distinct grapefruit notes with bright acidity and good feel.

Gaia is pronounced Yay-ya and Moschofilero mo-sko-FEE-leh-ro.

2017 GAIA THALASSITIS WHITE SANTORINI- 100% Assyrtiko which is indigenous to Santorini; similar to the first wine, it had that Sauv Blanc like nose and taste along with minerality and fairly staunch acidity; it had a great viscous mouthfeel and a bit of sweetness.

Assyrtiko is pronounced ah-SEER-tee-koh.

The 2nd flight of 5:

2016 ARGYROS ASSYRTIKO SANTORINI- 100% Assyrtiko; this was too chilled at first to get much out of it, but in time it did deliver some full and rich citrus flavours.

Argyros is pronounced ar-YEAR-os.

2016 ARGYROS ESTATE SANTORINI- 100% Assyrtiko; from 80-150 year old vines, the pronounced citrus notes here were on the tart side; some minerals and saline also showed up.

2017 PAVLIDIS THEMA WHITE DRAMA- 50% Assyrtiko, 50% Sauvignon Blanc; Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc both come to mind when tasting this one; herbal, grassy, tropical as in passion fruit; bright acidity and slightly oily texture.

2017 ARGYROS ATLANTIS ROSE SANTORINI- 90% Assyrtiko, 10% Mandilaria; pink in color, this had mild rose petals in the nose, a bit of a musty accent to the raspberry and cherry fruit; it had depth and body and was not wimpy.

Mandilaria is pronounced man-dee-LAR-yah.

2015 ARGYROS ATLANTIS RED SANTORINI- 90% Mandillaria, 10% Mavrotragano; intense dark color; inviting aromas and tasty fruit profile here with cranberry, plum and red currant flavors with a touch of sweetness and an unexpected iron note at the end; this hits the wow factor for color, depth and seriousness; after a couple of sips, I felt like I could stand up and flex and hold up the sky like Atlas; maybe that was Kryptonite, not iron.

Mayrotagano is pronounced mavro-TRA-gano.

The 3rd flight of 5:

2016 GAIA AGIORGITIKO NEMEA- 100% Agiorgitiko; serious dark vibrant color; mostly integrated and yet noticeable oak influence with Cabernet Sauvignon like profile of leather, plum and black currant notes delivered in a full body and over a long finish; surprisingly, as in unexpected, it had immense complexity and depth.

Agiorgitiko is pronounced ai-your-YEE-tiko.

2017 GAIA NOTIOS RED NEMEA- 85% Agiorgitiko, 15% Syrah; lots of bacon notes in the aromas joined by coffee, chocolate and blackberry on the palate; full bodied, delicious and layered.

2015 GAIA ESTATE RED NEMEA- 100% Agiorotiko; intense dark color; clove comes on first then oaky notes take over and are joined by black cherry and blackberry; it has good feel, is full bodied and long.

2015 PAPAGIANNAKOS KALOGERI RED ATTICA- 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; from 20 years old vines; dark ruby red color; spicy, oaky, vanilla laced blueberry notes prevail served in a smooth texture with an extended finish.

2014 KTIMA PAVLIDIS THEMA RED DRAMA- 60% Syrah, 40$ Agiorotiko; dark purple color; the nose had a strong whiff of oak spice and blueberry which moved into chocolate and vanilla accented blueberry and blackberry on the palate; it was fairly astringent and very fruit forward at the finish; 14%abv., the only one with an abv that high with most others being 13.5% or under !3.

The final wine:

2010 ARGYROS VIN SANTO SANTORINI {4 year old}- 80% Assyrtiko, 10% Aidani, 10% Athiri; the average age of the vines is 150 years old, with some vines over 500 years old; yields are extremely low; the ungrafted vines are basket pruned and dry farmed; it had a butterscotch color; the profile here was of honeyed dried apricots with a nutty component; although sweet, it comes in at 13% abv and is not cloying.

This evening is pronounced as a fine educational experience in Greek wine and food.

ΥΓΕΙΑ, pronounced as Yamas,
Blake

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