Most exciting wines tasted in summer 2021
By Yiannis Karakasis MW
Imagine that you are stepping on the gas pedal of your car with all of your enthusiasm or, even better, flying a helo with the engines screaming at full power. Can you feel the adrenaline rising? Can you hear your heartbeat? This is precisely the feeling I want to describe with these wines; the excitement they evoke. The sensation they inject under our skin.
So here we go again with the most exciting wines I tasted over the last few weeks starting with a couple of Muscats a variety that seems to be enjoying a renaissance in Greece with its dry styles.
Strataridakis Muscat of Spina 2020
An impressive Muscat of Spina, a local clone of Muscat Blanc a petits grains that ticks all the boxes; freshness, acid, perfume, complexity. It is an excellent example of what Crete can offer with aromatic varieties and white wines in general (more to come soon on that). A more contemporary label would make it even more appealing.
13.5% abv, 10 euros in the domestic market
Parisis Muscat of Alexandria 2020
An exciting Muscat of Alexandria grown on a 1-ha dry-farmed vineyard in the island of Skiathos. Expressive and forward on the nose with hints of peach, lemon blossom and grapefruit. The palate is tight and vibrant, with a vein of acidity and a slight bitterness.
14%, 570 bottles produced, 18 euros in the domestic market
Gavalas Enalia Santorini 2018
The wine I referred to as Thalassina in a previous post has just been released and is just fabulous. Ιt is whole-bunch fermented with grapes sourced from 120+ old vines from the villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori. The wine matures on the fine lees for 18 months. Enalia is perfumed and pleasing on the nose with some sage hints and lovely pear fruit. The palate is rich, layered with lip-smacking salinity, and possesses a beautiful satiny texture—a complete Santorini.
14%, 1300 bottles produced, 50 euros in the domestic market
Aslanis Malagousia Wild Fermented 2020
Orange Malagousia at full speed from Aslanis winery in Thessaloniki, perfumed with apricot, thyme and quince. Structured on the palate with zesty acidity showing how well the variety works with skin contact approaches. The explanation behind the orange style is that Malagousia is an aromatic variety (but not too much so it benefits from skin contact), has thin skins (so that gentle tannins are extracted) and reaches ripeness easily (otherwise you’ll get bitter elements). Another pleasant surprise from Aslanis winery, one of the winners of 50 Great Greek Wines with its elegant Limnio.
13%, 300 bottles produced, 15 euros in the domestic market
Petrakopoulos Lakouditsa 2019
A crazy wine from Petrakopoulos winery that provides food for thought and goes beyond the norm of a dry wine. This is a blend of local varieties Zakynthino (a part of it is sun-dried) and Moschatella fermented as an orange wine. As soon as fermentation is initiated, these are blended, and the wine matures in 50%, primarily old oak. The result? A sweet wine with 80 g/lt residual sugar and pH of 3.08 (TA is 7 g/lt) that tastes off-dry, thus making it suitable for many adventurous food and wine pairings. The nose suggests some sweetness with candied pears, bergamot, vegetal nuances and a kiss of oak. Textural, very fresh and mineral on the palate with bright acidity providing energy and kick.
13%, 750 bottles produced, 45 euros in the domestic market
Grampsas Nefeli Avgoustiatis 2018 14.5
Α single vineyard approach of Avgoustiatis variety from promising Grampsas winery in Zakynthos comes from a primarily old bush- vines in higher than 350 m elevations. It matures in French oak for 12 months and another 12 months in the bottle. Nefeli is vibrant and pure on the nose with aromas of red cherries, pomegranate and roses along sweet oak-spice. Tightly grained oak, firm but refined tannins. With less oak, it would be even more complete.
14%, 35 euros in the domestic market
Mikro Ktima Goumenissa 2018
The very first bottling of Mikro Ktima (ex Titos Eftyhidis winery) Goumenissa is a blend of 80% Xinomavro with 20% Negoska. Biblia Chora and Ktima Gerovassiliou's joint venture is a pure expression of the style with perfectly integrated oak, very fine sandy tannins and juicy acidity. Impressively balanced with just 13% abv. Matured in 225 and 500 lts oak for 12 months, 15% new.
13%, 25000 bottles, to be released in October