Greek wine is going through a renaissance. Most famous of them all is the heralded ‘Assyrtiko’ grape, especially the citrus-laden, flinty stuff, from the picturesque island of Santorini. The quality of Greek wine is said to be improving: yields are being cut, and Retsina is being ridiculed. With so many indigenous grape varietals, it’s an exciting place to drink and learn. Here are two I enjoyed from the estate, Gerovassiliou:
Gerovassiliou, single vineyard, Malagousia 2015, Epanomi
This wine has certainly received a number of distinctions: Decanter Silver medal, Sommelier Wine Awards Food Match Trophy and Critic’s Choice Award, to name but a few. This was served seriously cold at our taverna, but the chill was unable to quench the immense power of the wine.
This Malagousia is potent, concentrated, linear and cutting. Delicious lemon and apple fruit, with intense minerality, akin to oyster shells, slate and nettles. Some gentle almond flavours provide a balance to this huge wine. This reminded me of good Chablis, crossed with Austrian Riesling. It paired perfectly with charred baby octopus. 91 points
Gerovassiliou, estate white, 2015, Epanomi
This blend of malagousia and assyrtiko is another award winner. It has a similar flavour profile to its 100% malagouzia counterpart, with citrus fruit dominating. Floral aspects are present (elderflower), and there is a slightly oily texture. In conclusion, this is a good bone dry white to be drunk cold, but lacks the finesse, focus and intense minerality of the 100% malagousia. 86 points.
Learning point: Malagousia > Assyrtiko (OK, not the most scientific test, but everyone likes it when the underdog wins).