Monday, August 2, 2010

Greek Wines - Whites

There are a few things to like about Greek white wines at present.

1) They come from unique grape varieties with a long history

2) They are cheap

3) The flavours are quite different from what we are used to, and modern techniques achieve high quality.

In particular, the Athiri grape is interesting. It grows predominantly (I think) in Rhodos. There is a valley style and a mountain style available. The flavour has floral and earthy notes with nice acidity on the finish.

The star variety is probably Assyrtiko, grown in Santorini with a 2500 year history. A similar flavour profile to the Athiri, but more elegant. Fruit (pear) is very much in the background, which make these wines great food wines. I tasted the line-up of leading winery Domaine Sigalas and would happily drink their whites at any time. There are three on offer: an Assyrtiko-Athiri blend, very light and refreshing, the Santorini, 100% Assyrtiko, and the Santorini Barrel, which has more complexity.

I find these wines more interesting than their Spanish or Italian counterparts. The grapes are grown on heavy vulcanic soil, and have a lot of minerality in their character.

Score: around 90/++

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