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22 March 2021

New Wave Greek Wines: Petrakopoulos Palia Armakia 2019

Petrakopoulos winery (previously known as Melissinos), the brainchild of entrepreneur Nikos Petrakopoulos, is one of the most exciting wineries in Greece. Located in south Cephalonia, at Thiramonas, a 30-minute drive from the capital of Argostoli. They are obsessed (in a good way) with three varieties; Robola, Mavrodaphne and  Zakynthino. For each, Petrakopoulos and his talented oenologist Kiki Siameli produces three different versions. 

Palia Armakia Robola sits between the 'Classic' Robola and the single-vineyard 'Thymari Petra', showing more complexity than the former and more energy than the latter. It is produced in approximately 1300 bottles (depending on vintage conditions) from two vineyards in the celebrated Fagias terroir with own-rooted old vines of 70 years of age. Fagias is situated on the slopes of Mt Ainos from 500 to 800 m. Above that, fir trees grow. It has a favourable western, south-western exposure and faces the sea. It is an early ripening zone due to exposure.

Winemaking is carried out in a minimalistic, but also very detailed, way. Spontaneously fermented, with a small addition of sulphites; a brave act as Robola is sensitive to oxidation. “For this reason we only use our top quality fruit from our organic vineyards” says Siameli, pointing out the challenges that Palia Armakia faces. “For us, it is the way forward, the way to experiment and evolve” she continues. 

The 2019, at 13% abv, is expressive, lemony, with intense fennel and minty aromas alongside mineral notes. Orange zest. On the palate it is lean, slightly phenolic, with high energy and vibrancy of fruit. The long salty finish confirms that Robola could be considered as a baby Assyrtiko. 

Suggested retail price for the Greek market: 22 euros

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