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
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
2011 Kir Yianni Akakies / B+ quite sweet, strawberry notes
2011 Domaine Foivos Antidote Rose / B+ similar, shockingly
2011 Spiropoulos Meliasto / B-
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
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