Made from the indigenous Savatiano grape, appropriately grown near the ancient Temple of Artemis, long associated with Dionysus, the god of wine, this deeply coloured wine offers complex, elegantly scented floral notes, stone fruit and citrus fruit. Stone fruit, lively citrus and some green fruit flavours evolve in the mouth with a suggestion of bitter almond on the refreshingly dry finish. A lovely wine from another Greek variety that deserves to be better known.
Light mint, crushed cassis, wild scrubby herbs and elegant purple florals fill this Xinomavaro through the mid-palate. It's Barolo-esque up front, even pouring with a brown tint in the glass. However, as soon as you get to the finish, the raging, grippy Xino tannins take over, stripping this of easy drinking pleasure if you're not consuming with lamb or ribs. There's a lovely freshness that carries this compact wine, though those tannins require serious protein or a day in the decanter to mitigate now.
Made from 100% Xinomavro, this wine is a dead ringer for a quality Barolo — for half the price. Full-bodied and complex, there is cherry, plum, herbs, tomato paste, tar, leather and rose. Grippy, there is high acidity, so best serve alongside beef brochettes or braised lamb chops.
Paranga always over-delivers for its price-point. A blend of Xinomavro, Syrah and Merlot, this medium-bodied red features plum, cherry, spice, black pepper, herbs and some cocoa. Very good length with enough punch to pair alongside lasagna or a meat lovers’ pizza.
Deep ruby in colour with a cedary nose of vanilla oak, ripe plum, lightly spicy with floral and graphite notes. This bargain-priced wine is medium-bodied, dry, with the flavour of red plums ending on grainy tannins with nicely integrated oak and a firm tannic finish.
From the Peloponnese region comes this assemblage of 40% Mavrodaphne, 40% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Agiorgitiko. Intense and somewhat over-ripe, there is cherry syrup, blackberry jam, plum, vanilla, spice, mint and laurel. It is an unmistakable style which will flatter many, especially for the price. Drink or hold.
Most Assyrtiko is vinified in the stainless steel, unwooded, purity of fruit style. That said, the wooded versions are on the rise, and in my esteem, this is the one that leads the pack, qualitatively. Full-bodied, this wine doles out honey, salty minerals, quince, pineapple, peach, banana and spice. There is strong Assyrtiko acidity on the palate which meshes with creamy notes. Excellent length. Lobster and cream-based dishes all the way!