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23 July 2023

TOINOS Mavrotragano Clos Stegasta 2020: The Apotheosis of Mavrotragano

By Yiannis Karakasis MW

In the world of wine, some vintages stand out as extraordinary, and the recently released T-Oinos Mavrotragano Clos Stegasta 2020 is undeniably one such case. Tasting the 2020 alongside its predecessors, the 2018 and 2019 vintages offers a fascinating journey through the evolution of this benchmark wine. The 2018 vintage exudes ripeness, while 2019 sets a new course with more elegance, paving the way for the pinnacle that is the 2020 Mavrotragano. With this latest release, the true potential of the Mavrotragano grape seems to have reached its zenith.

2020 showcases black pepper and violets around a dark, seductive fruit core that immediately catches your attention. But true artistry is revealed on the palate with perfect, silky, pixelated tannins that stand out. A result nearly unimaginable for the notoriously capricious Mavrotragano variety, known for possessing an abundance of tannins.

Renowned oenologist and master vigneron Stephane Derenoncourt (pictured below), who needs no introduction to wine enthusiasts, expressed his excitement about the 2020 vintage during an exclusive wine dinner just days before at iconic Selene Antique Wine Caves in Santorini but warned me that 2022 is even better. Derenoncourt's passion for Mavrotragano dates back to his arrival in Tinos and the association of the variety with granitic and schist soils. ''At that point, I knew nothing about the variety, but I knew about soils. In the T-oinos vineyards, there is plenty of granitic sand and schist, the latter giving floral, peppery and graphite nuances to the wine. That was the start,'' he stated. This harmonious combination of these two soil types sets the stage for the Mavrotragano grape to shine.

picture by Yiannis Karakasis MW

The other two elements highlighted by Derenoncourt were the precise timing of the harvest and the very gentle extraction. ''We aim for perfect ripeness and pick just when noble vegetal aromas appear. And of course, we do not extract, we infuse, ensuring elegance and finesse,'' he adds. Last but not least, as oenologist Thanos Georgilas points out, the wine sees 10-12 months in medium toast 500 lts oak (only 15% new) to relax and blossom after almost two years following the harvest. 

As we eagerly anticipate the grandeur of the 2022 vintage, one thing remains clear: T-oinos is at the forefront of the Mavrotragano revolution, continuously pushing the boundaries of excellence and making waves on the world stage. 

All pictures of the Greek Wine Legends Dinner at Selene Restaurant except the second one by dreamodd.official (https://dreamodd.com/)

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