Greek Mini Expo 2017
In the world of wine Greece has come from zero to hero in not much more than a decade. What Greek wine is about, increasingly, is indigenous grape varieties. HUGH JOHNSON
It is quite possible that some of the vine varieties grown today were the same as those experienced by participants in classical symposia (much more hedonistic gatherings than their modern namesakes) and Dionysian revels. (One common and widely spread vine at least owes its name to its Greek origins: Malvasia is a corruption of the Greek port of Monemvasia, through which many ancient sweet Malvasias passed.) JANCIS ROBINSON
I see many parallels in the vinous revolution of Greece and the more recent surge of popularity in the wines of Italy’s south and islands like Sicily. Ancient varieties re-discovered and loved again with producers applying considered and thoughtful winemaking to express the terroir of these incredibly interesting, unique and delicious varieties.
Like the wines of Spain before it we are starting to see a lot more quality conscious producers flowing into the country. The Tyranny of distance unfortunately means its still slightly slow going here in Australia which is somewhat surprising given the large ex-pat community. But what we are seeing is the increasing quality and diversity of Greek wines. In particular we are lauding the focus on native varietals over blends with the addition of ‘international varieties’.
Passion, distinctive varieties and careful viticulture and winemaking were much in evidence. On the whole, I took most pleasure in the whites, from wines based on the summery floral Moscophilero (also spelt Moschofilero) to the intensely indescribable beauty of those based on Assyrtico, oaked and unoaked. But the reds were good and varied too, demonstrating the quality and breadth of styles now being produced: many international varieties but also a renewed emphasis on indigenous ones such as Xynomavro and Aghiorghitiko (variously spelt). Antonopolous’ Mavrodaphe was pure delight. JULIA HARDING MW, www.jancisrobinson.com