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05 June 2017

How Biblia Chora white Ovilos ages...

Though it is common knowledge that Biblia Chora Ovilos is most likely the best ''mainstream'' white wine in the country, yet no one can surely conclude how it evolves over time. Well, we usually guess for that it can age for six to eight years after the harvest. But is there any proof? As the wine is mainly consumed when fresh, little room is left for aging some precious bottles.

During a recent visit to the stunning Biblia Chora winery in Kavala, Macedonia I was lucky to indulge to a three vintages tasting, something that I appreciated as a real treat and a unique experience. The reason is simple: although the wine has true potential to develop more complexity no one can actually resist the temptation to consume it while fresh. Fortunately the winemakers Vassilis Tsaktsarlis and Vangelis Gerovassiliou do keep some older vintages going back to the maiden vintage of Ovilos 2003. The tasting revealed a more layered character over time with 2010 being a profound example of a Greek mature white.  

Ovilos is a blend of Semillon and Assyrtiko in equal proportions that matures in oak for 7 - 8 months. When served blind it is quite often that tasters shout ''Graves" as its origin. When Tsaktsarlis is asked about the vegetal character in the blend he says that this is how Assyrtiko is expressed in the Pangaion terroir except the part of Assyrtiko that goes into the single vineyard Areti. That one is more to the mineral side. Best vintages according to the winemaker were: 03, 05, 08*, 12, 15* and 16.

Ovilos 2016

Classy nose of herbs, peach and fine oak. There is a marzipan element as well. Lovely texture, refined mid palate with a buttery finish. 92/100 An exceptional vintage.

Ovilos 2013 

Round and supple on the palate, very harmonious perhaps not with so much nerve or tension but still quite interesting. 90/100 A rather warm vintage.

Ovilos 2010

Riesling nose showing some TDN evolution along herbal and mineral undertones. Oak is perfectly integrated. Fascinating palate, alive and kicking with lingering lemony finish. 93+/100 A very good vintage with low yields.

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