New finds at Oenorama
Oenorama is the wine show that exhibits the diversity of Greek wines, as it includes the most comprehensive selection from all regions of Greece. It also offers visitors a great opportunity to taste wines from wineries that are up and coming, together with new releases. This year, I had a clear plan in mind; I wanted to taste as much as possible from the Wine Revelations hall. This hall hosted approximately 40 small scale wineries and a wine bar which focused mainly on Natural wines. If to this you add some new labels, from already known wineries, then you have the whole picture.
Tasting notes, in alphabetical order, follow (detailed scores will be posted in Wine Records section):
Aoton Savatiano 2015 ****
(Aoton is the ancient Greek word that defines the finest specimen of its class, family owned, 10 ha total area in Attica, 13% abv, TA 5.90). Impressive evolution for Savatiano acquiring an almost Hunter Valley Semillon character with grilled almonds and waxy elements on the nose. Layered and intense this is just delicious. SRP 15.5 euros
Aoton Savatiano 2017 ***+
(Aoton is the ancient Greek word that defines the finest specimen of its class, family owned, 10 ha total area, 14.6 % abv, TA 7). Fascinating Savatiano made in a 'natural approach’. Distinctive, nutty with oxidative nuances and plenty of flavour and depth of fruit on the palate. Another interpretation of Savatiano with 8 months battonage and 60 g/lt total SO2. Produced in 10.000 bottles. SRP 7.70 euros
Aoton Lola 2017 ***
(Mandilaria 40%, Savatiano 35%, Roditis 15%, Cabernet Sauvignon 10%, 13.5% abv, TA 5.9, 4.000 bottles) Exciting rosé co-fermented with the addition of little resin. It shows herbal, nettle and raspberries aromas but has moreover a really interesting textural component. SRP 5.60 euros
Boutari Matsa NAS Experimental Roditis 2018 ***
From fruit sourced in Attica this is fat and fresh with flesh and a vein of acid providing vibrancy. Elegant and intense with a slight grip on the finish.
Douloufakis Muscat Amphora 2017 ***
(Fermentation and maturation in Amphora/old oak, small dose of SO2, 1.300 bottles, 15.5% abv). Skin contact method. Aromatic with a nose reminiscent one of a sweet wine with gardenia, bergamot and quince scents. Slightly tannic on the palate and full throttled with warm alcohol and the overall balance giving a sweet - fruit feeling.
Moraitis Monemvasia Amphora 2018 ***+
(Single vineyard Agioi Anargyroi, sandy clay over limestone, organic cultivation, spontaneous fermented, in 250 and 500 lts amphoras, 6 months with the skins, unfined and unfiltered, NAS, 13%, 1.500 bottles total production). New effort by Moraitis winery in Paros island using amphoras as a fermentation vessel, this displays minerals along a core of stone fruit with a just a hint of funk. Exciting on the palate, vibrant and salty with fresh acidity. A promising new interpretation of Monemvasia variety. SRP 26 euros
Moschopolis Aiora Amphora 2017 (natural approach) ***+
(Macedonia/Northern Greece, Mavrotragano 30%, Xinomavro 30% and Syrah 40% matured partly in amphoras, 13% abv, TA 6.1, 6.00 bottles). Promising effort from Moschopolis winery highlighting a richly aromatic nose of dark cherries, fruit cake and violets. Smooth and round with tannins building in the end. Very good. SRP 12 euros
Oenops Xinomavraw 2017 ****
Second vintage for Nikos Karatzas ''raw'' expression of Xinomavro, with fruit sourced from Naoussa, Rapsani and Goumenissa. Very refined both on the nose and palate with roses, crunchy cherries and crushed peppercorns. Firm but sensual with a slightly tannic finish. Will need time to open up so decanting is highly suggested. (percentage of whole bunches used, No SO2 added, spontaneous fermented, matured in tulip shaped concrete tank for 10 months).
Patoinos Domaine de l’Apocalypse Assyrtiko 2018 ***+
2018 is the best vintage so far for Patoinos winery in Patmos island, an artisanal winery producing just 5.000 bottles in total. The Assyrtiko is fermented in stainless steel and then matures on gross lees for approximately 8 months. Spontaneous fermented with 24 hrs on the the skins it is medium gold in colour with an exotic ripe nose full of nuts, candied apricot and oyster shells. Medium bodied and zesty it coats the palate with balanced flavour of minerals and fruit. Long finish. (SO2 added only during bottling as 10 mg/lt)
Patoinos Domaine de l’Apocalypse Assyrtiko Orange 2018 ***+
This is the second vintage of Patoinos with skin contact for less than a week resulting in a structured Assyrtiko with pale orange colour, fine balance and long finish. (14% abv, 400 bottles produced)
Andreou Feggaropetra 2018 ***
(8.000 bottles, 12% abv, TA 6.5) A blend of Moschofilero with a dash of Roditis Alepou (fox) which is the qualitative clone of Roditis from newly established Andreou winery in northeastern Peloponnese, Methana area. Expressive and aromatic nose with lemon blossom and jasmine along fresh and vibrant fruit. Vivacious on the palate, lean and enjoyable. SRP 10 euros
Dyo Ipsi Dialogos 2018 ***+
A blend of Kydonitsa and Assyrtiko in equal proportions from Dyo Ipsi winery (ex Kokkali) in the Peloponnese this is vivacious displaying nettles, thyme and peach. Pure fruit on the palate along mouthwatering acidity make it very appealing and complete.
Ieropοulos Kydonitsa 2018 ***
Ieropoulos is an unconventional boutique winery in the Nemea region focusing on attentive viticulture, low yields and limited production. His Kydonitsa is an addition to the already existed two Agiorgitikos (Aras & Daimon). Label is designed by famous painter George Stathopoulos. Floral, fresh and easy going style with citrus and herbs on the nose followed by a vivacious palate. Promising first vintage.
Manousakis Romeiko 2018 ***
Romeiko is a black skinned variety cultivated mainly in the area of Chania, used to produce old fashioned wines until the very last years. Now quality conscious producers, such as Manousakis, are presenting a new modern interpretation to this local heritage grape. Attractive pale rosé color with floral, fruity and herbal aromas. On the palate round and zesty, easy to appreciate and enjoy. SRP 8.80 euros
Moropoulos Mantinia 2018 ***+
This the new release of Moropoulos family winery in Mantinia and the first vintage of Lefteris Anagnostou (winemaker of Karamolegos). Very promising and solid effort in a tough vintage for the area. Tight and focused on the nose delivering floral and citrus scents as the wine develops in the glass. Hints of minerality. On the palate it is very fresh with mouthwatering acidity on the long finish. It is the purity of fruit and the impressive structure of the wine that makes the difference.
Petrakopoulos Thymari Petra Robola 2018 ****+
(Single vineyard Robola produced in 350 bottles, organic). Attractive bright pale straw in colour with herbal, green tea and mint aromas around a core of pure stone fruit. On the palate it is very mineralic and textural combining richness and elegance. Layered with gorgeous milky, leesy notes on the finish. A standout.
Petrakopoulos Palia Armakia Robola 2018 ****
(Single vineyard Robola produced in 1.300 bottles, organic). More restrained and tight at this stage compared to Thymari Petra, it shows though a lovely combination of richness and minerality on the palate. Finely textured and unique.
Vaptistis White Assytiko Monemvasia 2017 ***
A blend of 70% Assyrtiko and 30% more aromatic Monemvasia from Vaptistis winery in Tinos island. Fresh and ripe on the nose with aromas of stone fruit and lemon blossom. Holding nicely. On the palate it has evolved adding more weight and complexity finishing with almost tropical flavours. Well made and enjoyable.
Vaptistis Antara Assyrtiko 2018 ***+
(pH 3, TA 6, 6 m on the lees, 1.200 bottles produced, Αntara translates as thunderstorm in English) Maiden vintage for Vaptistis Assyrtiko in Tinos island. On the nose lemony and quite mineral with lovely focus. Powerful on the palate, firm with a phenolic grip on the finish confirming its high quality potential.
Vassaltis Grammina Santorini 2017 ****
(Single vineyard in Vourvoulos, 1.700 bottles production, 14% abv, creme de la creme of the vintage). Ripe, zesty with a touch of oak this is salty, layered with a long finish and a sweet fruit finish.
Vassaltis Plethora Santorini 2016 ****+
(14.3%, just 1.110 bottles produced in a rich Nykteri style with an influence of flor). New effort by Vassaltis Vineyards, this is a full bodied, ripe style with roasted hazelnuts wrapped around a core of stone and tropical fruit. Hints of flor. On the palate intense level of fruit concentration with flavours of minerals on the long finish. Very well balanced with sufficient acidity to freshen the palate. Gorgeous. Pricey AT 70-75 euros but justified by quality and rarity. Excellent packaging.
Venetsanos Santorini 2018 ***+
(13% abv, TA 6.50, 10.500 bottles). Fresh, mineral, and slightly vegetal Santorini with 4 months on the lees. Fruit sourced from Megalochori village giving vegetal aromas to the wine. Lovely precision on the palate. SRP 24 euros
Venetsanos Santorini 2017 ****
Beautiful evolution over time with the wine acquiring more layers and integrating the bright acidity. Layered and salty with a touch of petrol. SRP 24 euros
Venetsanos Nykteri 2018 ***+
(95% Assyrtiko, 14% abv, TA 7, 4 months in oak in oak, 7.000 bottles). Creamy layered and full bodied with a hint of residual sugar. A very rewarding and gastronomic wine. SRP 27.50 euros
Edanos Rosé 2018 ***
(Peloponnese, 12.50% abv, TA 6, 2.400 bottles). Α unicorn rosé from Edanos winery and Mavro Kalavrytino variety it shows a very smooth texture with abundant strawberry fruit and tomato on the spoon notes. Fresh and zesty on the palate with a long leafy finish. SRP 7 euros
Moropoulos Rosé 2018 ***+
(12.6% abv, on the lees for several months, 15.000 bottles).Attractive pale pink colour. On the nose very aromatic with pure red fruit, crunchy cherries and raspberries along creme patisserie nuances. On the palate this is lively with punchy fruit and a vein of acid providing intensity and lift. A lovely wine from Moropoulos winery in Mantinia and a rosé with real flesh and power.
OuSyra Rosé Fokiano 2018 ***
(Newly established winery in Syros producing two wines, one white from Serifiotiko and the rosé from Fokiano, 14.2% abv, TA 3.14, 2.000 bottles of production). Textural and focused rosé with a pure core of strawberry fruit. Charming and with character.
Andreou Lava 2017 ***+
(1.000 bottles, 12.5% abv, TA 4.9) A blend of 70% Agiorgitiko and 30% Syrah from newly established Andreou winery in northeastern Peloponnese, Methana area. Impressive focused nose with black olives, blackberry and prunes. Well balanced on the palate with outstanding balance and tension. Has everything in the right proportions. SRP 10 euros
Αriousios Afstiros 2015 ***+
(Chios island, Chiotiko Krasero and Agiannitis varieties, 13%, TA 4.87, 10.000 bottles production). On the nose it shows an intoxicating swirl of plums, dark cherries with an underlined meatiness. Vibrant and energetic on the palate, growing firm on the finish. Excellent balance of ripeness and elegance. Very distinctive. SRP 10 euros
Dimopoulos Reserve Χinomavro 2016 ****
(Amyndeon and Xino Nero area, 13% abv, TA 6, 5.000 bottles production). Savoury, intense with focus Xinomavro offering a generous lick of oak derived aromas. Textural and well balanced.
Dyo Ipsi Dialogos 2017 ***
A blend of Agiorgitiko and Syrah from Dyo Ipsi winery (ex Kokkali) in the Peloponnese this is expressive and fruity with light tannins and sound balance on the palate. An elegant red wine for summer time as well.
Ieropoulos Aras 2016 ***+
New boutique winery in Nemea under the consultancy of Kyriakos Kynigopoulos doing a great job in Koutsi and Dourmiza terroirs. Now four labels are produced including a white and a rosé one. Aras is the introduction to the Agiorgitiko series that includes Daimon and Chrysovoulo. It is a wine that possesses excellent balance, high drinkability and fruit purity. While tannins are firm they are very well managed. Concentrated but also elegant this is just delicious.
Ieropoulos Daimon 2016 ****
New boutique winery in Nemea under the consultancy of Kyriakos Kynigopoulos doing a great job in Koutsi and Dourmiza terroirs. Now four labels are produced including a white and a rosé one. Expressive with violets, dark chocolate and blackberries. Velvety yet firm on the palate, texturally seductive with a long finish. Layered and complete this is the top vintage of Daimon I have tasted so far.
Kourtis Xinomavro 2017 ***+
(Pieria region in Northern Greece, 13.5% abv, TA 5.5, 1.000 bottles produced). Textbook Xinomavro on the nose with savoury and herbal scents around a core of crunchy red fruit. Relentless on the palate with robust tannins and solid structure. A beast for aging with room for improvement on tannin management and label.
Kourtis Oniros 2014 ***+
(Pieria region in Northern Greece, Xinomavro/Agiorgitiko/Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5% abv, TA 5.5, 3.000 bottles produced). This is a smart blend of the two noble Greek varieties with Cabernet and Syrah. The latter dominates at 50% providing the fleshy character. Lovely balance and oak integration with the wine maturing for a year in old oak.
Opsimos Αrotro Agiorgitiko 2018 ***
(New winery in Nemea, Gymno region, 1.000 bottles, 15% abv). From rocky soils in Gymno, Nemea this delivers a lovely fruit purity with black cherries and plums. Plenty of structure on the palate with warm alcohol. More freshness would be welcomed.