When the temperature drops, I yearn for Xinomavro. No other wine is so strongly associated with autumn and winter. With so much personality, it needs strongly flavoured food. Pheasant, woodcock, or deer and wild boar are the obvious choices. The maiden v...
Macedonia | Red | Xinomavro
When the temperature drops, I yearn for Xinomavro. No other wine is so strongly associated with autumn and winter. With so much personality, it needs strongly flavoured food. Pheasant, woodcock, or deer and wild boar are the obvious choices.
The maiden vintage of Ghi ke Uranos 2004 shook up the sleepy appellation of Naoussa. The difference lies in the vineyards. The Thimiopoulos family have several plots around Trilofos, the southernmost part of the appellation. Not unlike the great Coche-Dury estate in Burgundy, they are nearly always to be found in their vineyards.They do know how to coax this characterful grape with the ripest tannins.
The 2006 is, to date, the most complete wine. Yields are low. It is a blend of old and younger vines. The grapes were harvested healthy after two weeks of sporadic rains. Apostolis Thimiopoulos, the wide-eyed oenologist , adds: "Tannins were so ripe that it allowed us to go for a long extraction, which suited more this difficult vintage than the much drier in weather 2005".
If you are lucky enough to get a glass of this thoroughbred, do not rush it. Xinomavro loves oxygenating. Rotating it around your glass is a revelation. Initially there are broad strokes of fraise de bois strawberries. It continues to morph with more forthcoming fruit. There is a hint of allspice and sloe berries and the hallmark 'sweetness' of this grape. Very attractive tannic bite, followed by a crystalline red berry fruit throughout the palate, which lingers on to the finish. This wine has a 'story'. Introduction, subject, epilogue. Beautifully said. It has stamina to age.
Ghi ke Uranos is one of several cult wines with a larger international following. Actually, the majority of this vintage is to be found in trendy restaurants in New York (US label is Uranos) and Paris.
01 Nov 2008 © Nico Manessis | Score: 17.5/20
|Ghi ke Uranos|
|Area: Macedonia|| |
A super early bird look at the long rumoured dessert rendition. Evangelos Gerovassiliou is the modern father of this once obscure grape. Before all you clever grape buffs start wondering if it is related to the extended and varied family of Malvasias, the...
Macedonia | Sweet | Malagousia
A super early bird look at the long rumoured dessert rendition. Evangelos Gerovassiliou is the modern father of this once obscure grape. Before all you clever grape buffs start wondering if it is related to the extended and varied family of Malvasias, the short answer is no. It was spotted by the late Professor Logothetis, who plucked it from a vineyard near Messolonghi. Where you know who died in 1824 and brought Europe's attention to the war of independence and eventual birth of the modern Greek nation.
In the 1970s, on Logothetis' suggestion, it was planted at the then new Chateau Carras venture. It was here that Gerovasiliou noted this variety and later introduced it at his estate in Epanomi (founded 1981). The pairing with the bone dry Assyrtiko was such an inspired choice that it went on to attract a broad following. It still continues to be a top selling, merit worthy, dry blend. Malagousia is more than just the Greek vineyard's answer to Viognier. There is a similarity in profile, but it is ultimately different. In the dry versions one finds fresh basil and cedrat. The apricot in the 'background' is not dissimilar to the heady Rhone specialty. In this late harvest effort there are previously unseen aromas partly due to the cellar handling.
2004 was a protracted and cool vintage, with no extreme daytime temperature. One grape cluster was left on each vine and harvested mid-November. It took a year to ferment in small 110 l. French oak casks and was kept on the lies for three and a half years. Alcohol is 13% ABV. Residual sugar 100 gr./l. Acidity (tartaric) 6.8 gr./l. Convenient 500 ml bottles.
Copper pink and golden hued. Reductive style. Floral, white peaches. Warm fruited broad middle palate reminiscent of orange blossom and apricot. Concentrated. Finishes with a long, rich, yeasty and oak lemon sherbet aftertaste. The way it was made bolds well for further ageing. Best from 2010-2014? Tasted: November 2008
15 Oct 2008 © Nico Manessis | Score: 16.5/20
|Malagousia late harvest, Ktima Gerovassiliou|
|Area: Macedonia|| |
UK agent: www.vickbarwines.co.uk
Producer: Katogi Averoff, Metsovo, Epiros. One of the most successful (re)discoveries of indigenous varieties has, yet again, proven that wine does have the last word. Having first tasted, this previously scoffed at grape, in early spring I was impressed...
Epirus | Red | Vlachiko
Producer: Katogi Averoff, Metsovo, Epiros.
One of the most successful (re)discoveries of indigenous varieties has, yet again, proven that wine does have the last word. Having first tasted, this previously scoffed at grape, in early spring I was impressed. Subsequent tastings have been a revelation.
Some semiotics: The label is in the Vlach language, one of the four Lower Latin Balkan languages (related to Romanian) spoken in the mountains of Pindos and elsewhere in Northern Greece. "Rossiu di munte" means "mountain red". "Vlachiko" is Greek for Vlachish (grape). The vines (725 m.) are on a gravel river bed on the estate of the Monastery of Voutsas in eastern Zagori. An area surrounded by mountains, the mesoclimate is continental. The day - night temperature variation is marked and comes through in the wine.
The 2005 vintage is a crackerjack in these hills and terrific throughout Greece. Medium deep colour, black pepper aromatics. Spicy bright fruit, layered, and oozing freshness. With a useful 12,8% ABV, it is balance in itself. For the techno geeks, it was fermented at 20-25°C and then cask aged for six months in 300 litre Nevers oak casks, medium toasting. Bottled unfiltered. The vineyard consultant is Haroula Spinthiropoulou, who, along with oenologist Dimitris Ziannis, are top professionals. From the hard work and few words school.
24 Sep 2008 © Nico Manessis | Score: 17/20
|Rossiu di Munte Katogi Averoff.|
|Area: Epirus|| |