Wine Picks, Etc

New Wines of Greece: Complex and Unique Flavors to Sample

If you haven’t already, it’s time to explore the wines of Greece, home to 300 indigenous grape varieties growing in some of the most diverse terroir in the world. The new generation of Greek winemakers have studied at the best places in the world, and have returned to Greece to develop wines with a true sense of place, that are remarkably diverse with unbridled character. You’ve probably been seeing more and more varieties embraced by top sommeliers for their elegant and nuanced traits. To get a true idea of the scope, check out New Wines of Greece and learn about the special growing methods—and to see some gorgeous photos. newwinesofgreece.com

[1] Santo Sparkling White Wine Brut Methode Traditionnelle 2012 A world premier in the sparkling category for Santorini Assyrtiko. This limited production is super-bubbly, fresh and sophisticated. Jump-start your party with a toast of this and put a smile on everyone’s face. Tasting notes: Clear and crystal, with light yellow color and elegant continuous bubbles. Rich aroma of fresh white-flesh fruits, coupled by notes of honeycomb and honey. Balanced and round taste, with impressive acidity that gives it fresh and pleasant character and long aftertaste. About $22. santowines.gr

[2] Domaine Sigalas 2013 Kavalieros Single Vineyard Assyrtiko A nice, light sipper, with aging potential. Tasting notes: Bright, straw-blonde color with golden highlights. Complex, aromatic nose, with notes of citrus fruit (ripe lemon), flowers and herbs. Characteristic and minerality. Rich body with refreshing acidity and a long finish. About $30. sigalas-wine.com

[3] Gavalas Winery 2014 Santorini Dry White Wine A favorite of the tasting, from the vineyard considered to be the oldest in Greece. Because of limited rainfall and powerful winds, Assyrtiko vines are trained to weave themselves into ground-hugging, cylindrical nests—so that the fruit can mature, protected in the centre. Tasting notes: distinctive, dry white wine, characterized by a bright yellow–white color. On the nose delicate aromas of pear, lemon and pineapple. On the palate, the wine is smooth, rich, fruity and full-bodied. It has a balanced acidity and along aftertaste. Delightful, and wonderful to sip on its own or with dinner. About $18. gavalaswines.gr

[4] Dougos Rapsani Old Vines Red Wine 2011 Located at the foot of Mount Olympus lies one hectare of lush greenery and vineyards with 29 varieties of vine. This award-winning classic red, is matured in French and American oak barrels for 18 months and in bottles for another year. Let it open for some time before drinking to get the full effect. Tasting notes: Our Old Vines Rapsani produced from low yields and top-notch quality grapes is savory and mineral with a core of herbs and incense along bright red fruit. Well structured and elegant on the palate it will reward cellaring. About $20. dougos.gr

[5] Hatzidakis Mavrotragano 2013 Dry Red Wine This is an earthy, complex red that’s full-bodied with a soft tannins and a light sweetness. Made of 100% Mavrotragano, a dark-skinned variety grown only on Santorini. Traditionally cultivated for the production of sweet red wines, it now has blossomed as a high-quality dry red. Tasting notes: Intense red color with bright hues. Red forest fruit aromas, bitter chocolate, tobacco and minerality. A mascular palate with a tannic character and long aftertaste. Potential aging in the bottle for at least 10 years. About $39. hatzidakiswines.gr

[6] Katogi Averoff 2008 Dry Red Wine This environmentally-friendly wine is lightly earthy, with a fungal nose. Perfectly pairs with red meat, grilled lamb, sausages and ham. Tasting notes: A complex red with deep, attractive highlights. A distinctive bouquet arises from a balanced blend of the various fragrances with that of the oak. In the mouth, a soft fullness accompanies the rich aromatic qualities provided by the varieties and a long maturation in barrels at low, stable temperatures. About $17. katogi-strofilia.gr