Posted in Greek wine, Wine

Kir-Yianni Estate redefines the level of greatness the wines of Greece can possess. Here are 2 outstanding reds! 

Two Greek wines you should know

You may know the lovely Paranga red blend from Kir-Yianni, available in LCBO. A very nice wine at a price that’ll make you happy. Here are two more …

Yesterday I had the chance to taste two upscale wines from the estate with Lambros Papadimitriou.

Two Olives 2010

A dark beauty with ripe cherry, jammy red plum and blackberry/currant. Firm sweet tannins. This is an enthusiast’s wine. Complex, big and exciting! A blend of Syrah, Merlot, and Xinomavro from their Naousa vineyards.Available only from LCBO store #4, 200 Danforth Ave, Toronto or ShopGreekWine.com (about $35)

Diaporos 2011

A deep red blockbuster with aromas of leather, plum, blackberry and smoke. Flavours follow through similarly with additional notes of black tea and earthiness found in some of the world’s great reds. Very firm tannins. This is truly a spectacular wine; you’re in the presence of greatness with this one. Its personality makes it oh so fitting for Autumn enjoyment (but I’ll gladly drink it any Season). If you open it now (vs cellaring it), give it a lot of air and it will sweep you off your feet.

Diaporos is “single vineyard” from block #5 of the Yianakohori vineyard; 92% Xinomavro, 8% Syrah. 22 months in French oak barrels. Aging potential: 10 + years. You’ll thank me if you do this, but please send me an invitation when you open it!

Available from ShopGreekWine.com (about $50)

Thanks to Steve Kriaris of Kolonaki Group for hosting the tasting and to Lambros Papadimitriou for walking us through the wines.

Posted in Greek wine, Wine, Wine Regions

I just love wines from Amyndeon and Florina Greece. Ask for them! #winesofgreece #winesofamyndeonandflorina

I love the wines from the Amyndeon and Florina wine regions of the province of Macedonia. Being in the northwestern part of Greece, the region is cooler than other parts of the country and with the high altitude, and surrounding mountains and lakes, it possesses a microclimate very suitable for grape growing.

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Wines of Greece section at LCBO Store #4

Check out the large and luxuriant “Wines of Greece” section at LCBO store #4 at 200 Danforth Avenue, Toronto!

TYPICAL TASTING NOTES OF REDS

Many of their reds are perfect to complement BBQ or Pizza, They are wine-enthusiast’s wines. Typically, you’ll find elegant notes of red and dark berries, along with blueberries, chocolate and a hint of spice. Structured. Perfect balance of ripe tannins. The reds often remind me a little of wines from Southern Rhone, with Grenache-like aromatic seduction. You’ll find the wonderful Xinomavro, often blended with varietals like Merlot, Syrah and others.

The wines are grown at altitudes up to 600 metres in sandy and other soils. The climate is cool in winter and warm in summer. These conditions contribute to rich aromas.

Posted in Greek wine, Wine, Wine Regions

Delightful wines from @ktimagerovass Gerovassiliou winery #greece fr @kolonakigroup

On the slopes of Epanomi, near the city of Thessaloniki, a well-cared vineyard surrounds the modern winery, where the renowned Domaine Gerovassiliou wines are produced. These are wines full of character and luscious flavour.
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Posted in Greek wine, Wine

Makedonikos 1 L red and white from #Greece. Lovely, charming & oh so affordable!

You may have noticed the big 1 Litre bottles of Greek red and white wines. Ever wondered if they’re any good? Well, picky me tried them both and I have to say, good job. The headline above says it succinctly. These wines are:
  • lovely
  • charming
  • affordable
Makedonikos red and white
Makedonikos red and white

At just $10.30 for a one litre, we’re getting tremendous value here.  Here are my notes:

Makedonikos red Bright ruby red with a glint of violet. Ripe red fruit, soft tannins, and a silky texture. A blend of the intriguing Xinomavro varietal and Merlot. Approachable and easy drinking. Serve with pasta, pizza, souvlaki and barbecued meats.

Makedonikos white I had just had a glass of Clos Jordanne Chardonnay ($30, 750 ml) at a family get-together. It was fine, but not spectacular, as the price might have suggested to me. Okay fine. I’m picky with wine. Then I cracked open this white blend ($10.30, 1L) and was charmed. If it had been packaged in a 750 ml bottle with a trendy label and carried a $25 price tag, I would have said, “where can I buy this?” Surprising in many ways, but maybe understandable. Greece has been making white wines since the times of Moses (1,500 BC), and they’re known to be beautifully complex and characterful.

A blend of Roditis and Athiri, both indigenous Greek varietals.

Notes: Fresh light hues. White flower and lavender aromas with nice fruit and toast. Balanced acidity, fascinating personality and lusciousness in a refreshing overall presentation. Serve with fresh fruit, pan sautéed fish, and seafood.

Enjoy these wines while laughing all the way to the bank. And your guests will be impressed when you serve them.

Posted in Greek wine, Wine

Can you get a good white wine for less than $10? Yup. Check out Thalia Sauvignon Blanc – Vilana, from Kolonaki Group Wine Agency

 

Thalia Sauvignon Blanc – Vilana 2012, from Greece (Crete)

Rating: 89 points – WineAndLeisure.com tasting panel

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Don’t you just love it when you discover a delightfully enjoyable wine for under ten bucks. This one’s easy on the purse and yet it really delivers. For the wine aficionado, it’s a discovery. Very pleasant and full of character for even the most discerning palate. And for those folks who don’t know much about wine and just want a friendly and refreshing white, this one works out well for them too.

Tasting Notes

Light silvery gold with a slight greenish hue. A bouquet of tree fruit with a whisper of toasty caramel and gooseberry. Flavours follow through and continue with rich textures of apricot and refreshing citrus. A remarkable wine at 9.95.

Pairs nicely with seafood, Greek dishes and Asian. Try also with white meats with rich creamy sauce.

Bronze medal winner at intervin 2011 and 2012. LCBO # 273490

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Posted in Greek wine, Wine, Wine Regions

Is Greek wine the next big thing? Yes indeed. Here’s why.

 

Greek wines

 

are experiencing a significant renaissance. That’s a very good thing. It’s possibly the oldest wine producing region of the world, going back at least 6,500 years. It was the Greeks who introduced wine to Italy. Greek wine had especially high prestige among the Romans. And Greek wines were transported to the ancients all over the Mediterranean from the earliest of times.


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Fast forward to the modern age. I set out to find out about the Greek wine renaissance from Steve Kriaris of Kolonaki Group, the premier importer of Greek wines in Ontario. Steve explained that just a couple of years ago, LCBO’s Vintages would buy around 200 cases of a Greek wine for one of their promotions, and for a similar promo now, they buy over 500 cases just to keep up with exploding demand. I will begin to explain some of the likely reasons for the surge in popularity, and invite you to comment below with your own observations.



It’s certainly clear that the LCBO, top restaurants, sommeliers and wine reviewers are discovering that Greek wines have history and culture, and that their affordability belies their high quality. Experts and laymen alike are learning that there are some spectacular new wine varietals to discover.



I spent the weekend tasting a number of Greek wines in order to share my findings here. Following are some highlights. I invite you to take the plunge and try these for yourself. You’ll be very pleased. And you’ll still be one of the early participants in this wine renaissance:


Moschofilero Boutari 2012 White Wine —– $11.95 LCBO # 172387

Region: Mantinia (Southwestern Greece)
Varietal: Moschofilero
Producer: Boutari. One of Greece’s oldest wine companies, founded in 1879.
Alcohol: 12%

Notes: This is a classic Moschofileo with a charming floral bouquet amidst lemon rind, tangerine and peach. These characteristics follow through in flavour with crispness and a whisper of spice. I’m going to make this my Pinot Grigio alternative for quite some time, it’s so delightfully full of personality and character. Pairs very well with Mediterranean home cooked cuisine or try it with spicy Asian or Indian dishes.

Grande Reserve Naoussa 2007 Red Wine —– coming soon to Vintages

Region: Naoussa (North Western Macedonia, Greece)
Varietal: Xinomavro
Producer: Boutari.
Alcohol: 13%

Notes: Deep and dark red blockbuster aged 24 months in barrels. The richness already comes out in the nose, with aromas of olives, spice cabinet, figs and red and black berries. The flavours are complex, robust and full-bodied with firm tannins. Long finish.

Estate Argyros Santorini 2011 White Wine —– coming soon to Vintages

Region: Santorini
Varietal: Assyrtiko
Producer: Estate Argyros
Alcohol: 13.2%

Notes: From that wonderful Greek island of Santorini, this outstanding white wine caressed the senses with aristocratic intensity. Produced from 150 year old+ vines, this blockbuster is made from 100% Assyrtiko grapes in an intense yet fine presentation of complex aromas and flavours that speak of minerality and citrus blossoms. Full body. Crisp and lingering finish.

The Argyros family have operated the winery since 1903. Under the guidance of 4th generation Mattheos Argyros, the winery is moving towards 100% organic farming. “We believe good wine is produced in the vineyard,” he says. “We invest a lot of time and effort in our vines to ensure they produce high quality grapes.”

The team includes an older generation of growers who have years of experience with Santorini’s traditional viticultural techniques. They share their years of experience and expertise with Mattheos, who took over the management of the winery recently following his father’s passing. To compliment the experience of the older growers, they also work with a young new breed of people well educated in viticulture and modern winemaking techniques who also share the family’s vision of producing the purest expression of Santorini’s indigenous varieties, especially Assyrtiko.


Conclusion: Break out of your own little wine rut and try some wines that will take you into the deeply fascinating annals of viticulture. You’ll enjoy terrific new character and personality in the wines of Greece.


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