Agiorgitiko Highlights from Big Days of Nemea tasting
Agiorgitiko is a wonderful variety, more mainstream compared to Xinomavro but equally promising. It boasts of red and black fruits, along sweet spice having good affinity with moderate oak treatment because of its fruity profile. It is like a cross of Merlot with Tempranillo and a lovely way to introduce Greek wine through it.
The issue that arises is for producers not to over-extract and over-oak the wine treating it like Cabernet Sauvignon, which I think is not. Instead gentle extraction and well integration of oak will add more layers without masking the fruit’s purity.
I recently returned from a big tasting in Nemea (Big Days of Nemea) which is the biggest PDO appellation in Greece and where Agiorgitiko is king where I tasted around 40 wines. Here are those thaτ got my attention getting the higher scores (not all wineries were represented).
Gaia Agiorgitiko 2015
Mostly red fruit on the nose with fine oak integration. Balanced, spicy and juicy with a medium body and clean finish this is an very good effort to express Agiorgitiko's charms. 90+
Papaioannou Nemea 2010
Complex nose with leather, chocolate and bright fruit. Supple, round and smooth with moderate complexity. Good but not great. 89
Gofas Nemea 2013
Spicy, meaty and peppery on the nose with nice freshness and fine concentration on the palate. Oaky yet supported by a dense core of fruit. Youthful. 90+
Harlaftis Argilos Gi 2012
Raisins, milk chocolate and sweet spices on the nose. More interesting on the palate with depth of fruit and reasonable complexity. 89
Bairaktaris Nemea 2015
Fresh, juicy and effortless drinking expression of Nemea that sees no oak maturation capturing the essence of the variety. 89
Barafakas Nemea 2012
One of the stars of the tasting with nice fruit expression and judicious use of oak. On the palate tannins are well played and there is good concentration and an elegant character. Very good effort. 91
New effort from Agiorgitiko trained in Lyre system that according to producers promote better balance of the vines. Intense, smoky with depth of fruit and good ageing potential. Firm Nemea for the long run but not over extracted. 3000 bottles. 91+
Semeli Nemea Reserve 2013
Smoky and spicy this expresses the classic Semeli style which is robust and masculine demanding ageing. 89
Palyvou Nemea 2014
This classic Nemea is an excellent expression of Agiorgitiko variety with vivacious red fruit and balanced oak which mostly old and 30% new. Concentrated with elegance it is delicious showing the potential of the variety. 90
Mitravellas Old Vines 2013
The best in show Nemea is the flagship wine from Mitravellas. Tight and focused on the nose with bright fruit, sweet spice, coffee and toasty aromas. Lovely texture on the palate, layered with impressive complexity and long finish. 92