So, the last seven days have flown by. Two days in Naoussa, one in Thessaloniki/Epanomi followed by three in Santorini. A few impressions thus far: Naoussa; Xinomavro is truly a noble Greek grape. Those who farm their own vineyards well … Continued
So, the last seven days have flown by. Two days in Naoussa, one in Thessaloniki/Epanomi followed by three in Santorini.
A few impressions thus far:
Naoussa; Xinomavro is truly a noble Greek grape. Those who farm their own vineyards well or have access to good fruit should play with wild ferments. Some already do and some are trialling, both with excellent results. 2011 is an excellent vintage. ie; if you can’t make good wine in a vintage like this, you should probably think about changing your occupation. 2012 could potentially be the shoulder vintage that people overlook.
Santorini; amazingly, this place is more intoxicating than the post cards suggest. 70% of the vines hug the ground on the South West of the island, under the watchful gaze of the village of Pyrgos. The best dry wines are made from Assyrtiko, however the few straight Aidani’s being produced are impressive wines. Santorini does produce reds from Mandilaria & Mavrotragano to varying degrees of success, but you generally pay handsomely for the good ones.
A few vinous highlights:
2010 Karanika Brut, Blanc de noir Xinomavro. Excellent.
2011 Kir Yianni Paranga, Xinmavro blend. An entry level red from Amyndeon, superb value. In fact all the 11′s are looking great, just waiting to see the final blends.
2012 Gerovassiliou Estate White, Malagousia & Assyrtiko. A fun wine, the best vintage I’ve tried of it.
2008 Dalamara Negoska*. My first time tasting Negoska and it was impressive!
2012 Thymiopoulos Xinomavro Nature. BD, No added sulphur and immensely drinkable.
2011 Hatzidakis Aidani*. Bright, interesting wine.
2012 Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko. Great fruit with excellent mouthfeel.
Vinsanto’s from Argyros, I tried three from this estate. All excellent.
*both Dalamara & Hatzidakis are imported into Australia through Andrew Phillpot of the Press Club.
Day one on the road in Greece we found ourselves making the 2 hour drive west of Thesssaloniki to Amyndeon. A region which is growing with renewed ambitions. At altitudes between 500 & 750 metres, it is the country’s coolest … Continued
Day one on the road in Greece we found ourselves making the 2 hour drive west of Thesssaloniki to Amyndeon. A region which is growing with renewed ambitions. At altitudes between 500 & 750 metres, it is the country’s coolest wine growing region: a sandy alluvial plain flanked by mountains and home to four lakes which help temper the climate. There are plenty of old vine Xinomavro vineyards in the area with some as old as 100 years, which means they are pre-phyloxera and planted during Turkish rule.
I visited Laurens Hartman & his wife wife Annette van Kampen at Domaine Karanika. Over the past 7 years they have cobbled together a patchwork of small vineyards and gone about farming organically (certified) with strong bio-dynamic principles (un-certified). The winery is small, designed by Lauren’s himself to operate using gravity at all stages of the winemaking process. He is a true minimalist, preferring not to fine or filter. His sulphur regime started at zero and has crept up to almost non existent over the past couple of years. The wines are all living wines and the quality is very good and getting better and better. I think this is an estate to watch closely, as their passion is matched by intellect and determination.
Read more about Laurens & Annette at www.karanika.com