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02 July 2019

SuperNormal: Vouni Panayia 'Alina' Xynisteri 2017

Ι have contemplated the question of value and wine for quite some time and it seems to me that wine has become an increasingly expensive affair, in the last few years. The prices of quite a few wines have rocketed so high that they have become more of an asset, a luxury brand or a trophy, rather than a drink made of the complex development of grape juice that is meant to be savoured, appreciated, shared and, most of all, enjoyed. And despite the fact that these wines are ultimately beautiful it makes you wonder if wine is losing (in some cases) its essence and perhaps its soul.

Nowadays, as soon as a wine becomes well known and sought after, it takes little more than a few vintages before its price spirals upwards. And, I'm not only referring to the top regions of Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhone. This column arose from my perception of an empty space. The legendary wines are often praised by all, but can be afforded by very few. Nevertheless, there didn't seem to be much written about wines that are distinctive, interesting, and sensibly priced. Suggestions of wines with character, that are actually an amazing bargain for their quality. So, here I will be focusing on beautiful, top value, wines that should not be missed. Of course, I had to set a reasonable upper limit; exactly the point of this column. The limit for wines from Greece is up to 15 euros and for those from around the world, up to 35 euros. Welcome to the world of super+normal. 

Vouni Panayia 'Alina' Xynisteri 2017

Vouni Panayia winery was established in 1987 by Andreas Kyriakides in the highlands of Paphos, which exceed 1000m altitude. Now, Andreas is proud to have the next generation in the winery as his sons Yiannis, Petros and Pavlos are actively involved in all aspects of the production. This is the only winery in the country, so far, that produces wines exclusively from indigenous varieties. 

Their Alina Xynisteri is a stunning wine that overdelivers in the quality-price ratio. It is produced from 70 year old vines, at 1.150 meters altitude. The vines are own rooted, since the vineyards of Cyprus have the privilege of being the only ones in Europe that remained untouched by the insect of phylloxera. The soil is mostly limestone over clay to gypsum-clay. 

The wine: Peach and grapefruit with mineral undertones on the fragrant and lightly perfumed nose. Structured and intense, despite being low in alcohol (just 12.5% abv), with piercing lime, stone fruit and a lemony acidity.  A crispy, mineral wine that expresses the exceptional terroir, and a great effort from the Kyriakidis family. 

Food Pairing: The intense lemony aromas and the vivacity of the wine make this a perfect match for ceviche, sushi or pasta with seafood. Will work as an aperitif as well. Has an ageing potential of 2-3 years following the vintage.

Find it at Greece&Grapes €10.00

Find more SuperNormal wines here:

SuperNormal: Moropoulos Mantinia 2018

Chatzivaritis Goumenissa 2016

Markogianni Diagon 2017

Clonakilla O'Riada Shiraz 2014

Sant'or Krasis 2015

Clape St. Péray 2016

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