Tasting Report: Wines of Greece

Greek wine doesn’t have a great reputation (blame the infamous Retsina for that one). Heck, with all its financial issues, Greece doesn’t have a great reputation either.

Well, things must not be too bad: The Greek government recently hosted a lavish roadshow to show off dozens of its wineries – including the best lunch event I’ve had in years, courtesy of San Francisco’s Prospect restaurant.

While I’ve dabbled in Santorini, Greece’s wines have an absurdly deep breadth that few likely realize. The grapes have names that would flummox the tongue of even the most seasoned linguist and I won’t begin to try to describe. Greece even makes numerous red wines (I tried only a few of them, focusing instead on the whites) and some surprisingly great dessert bottlings.

I can’t say that the wines at this event bowled me over. Many wines simply lacked much body, almost tasting a bit unripe. But I’ve had a few good Greek wines in recent years that I’d be happy to drink with a light meal or sitting poolside, so I know the potential is there.

Thoughts on all wines tasted follow.

Tasting Report: Wines of Greece

Whites

NV Tselepos Amalia Brut / B+

2011 Skouras Moschofilero / C+ hard edges

2011 Boutari Moschofilero / B

2011 Greek Wine Cellars Moschofilero / C+ thin

2010 Monemvassia Assyrtiko / B honey notes

2011 Sigalas Assyrtiko-Athiri / B+ better balance, rising acid

2010 Gaia Assy Wild Ferment / B buttery, chardonnay character

2010 Argyros Estate Estate Argyros / B+ modest fruit, acid

2010 Papagiannakos Kalogeri Malagousia / B+ melon notes, peaches

2010 Papagiannakos Savatiano / B- very thin

2011 Alexakis Vidiano / B-

2011 Mediterra Xerolithia / B+ finish isn’t clear

2011 Oenoforos Asprolithi Roditis / B+ good acid

2011 Mercouri Foloi / B+

2011 Cephalonia Co-Op Robola of Cephalonia / B-

2011 Brintzikis Tinaktorogos / B+ Sauvignon Blanc character

2011 Theodorakakos 300 Kydonitsa / B- minerals, some astringency

2011 Pavlidis Thema White / B- musty

2011 Nico Lazardi Chateau White / B- buzzy, a little thin

2010 Biblia Chora Ovilos / B- evergreen

2011 Domaine Foivos Pandrosos / B- not balanced

2011 Boutari Malagouzia Matsa / B+ thin, really mild

2011 Antonopoulos Adoli Ghis / B+ clean, best with seafood

2011 Sigalas Santorini / B some mustiness, big body for a Santorini

Roses

2011 Kir Yianni Akakies / B+ quite sweet, strawberry notes

2011 Domaine Foivos Antidote Rose / B+ similar, shockingly

2011 Spiropoulos Meliasto / B-

Reds

2007 Gaia Estate / B+ syrah style, earthy and smoky

2008 Thymiopoulos Uranos / C+ thin and simplistic

2001 Kir-Yianni Ramnista / B+ well-aged, smoked meat character; some Bordeaux tendencies

Dessert Wines

2006 Parparoussis Muscat Rio Patras / A- lovely orange muscat, honey

2004 Montofoli Estate / B whiskey nose, lots of acid

2003 Parparoussis Mavrodaphne of Patras / A- fun chocolate finish, very unusual

1989 Argyros Estate Vinsanto / A- strange but quite interesting vinsanto

greek wine Tasting Report: Wines of Greece

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