Greece use to be noted only for its rustic country wines and resiny Retsina. But Greek wine has undergone a renaissance, blending new wine techniques with their traditional practices. Dijon-trained winemaker George Skouras started his winery in 1986 in Pyrgela, Argos, a quaint village nestled in the Nemea region of the Peloponnese, where he became a leader in the modern Greek wine revolution. Working with both indigenous and international varieties, Skouras started producing very high quality Greek wines. Wineries like Sigalas and Alpha Estate weren’t long to follow suit.
2012 Domaine Skouras Zoe White $12
Roditis 70%, Moscofilero 30%
From 25 year old vines at 3400 feet elevation, this white blend of two indigenous varietals is fermented in stainless steel with a short ageing over fine lees. The Zoe white has a fresh, crisp acidity, lively and aromatic, with aromas of fresh flowers, hints of squash blossoms, avocado, orange, lemon blossom and touches of jasmine and mint.
2012 Domaine Sigalas Santorini $19
Assyrtiko 75%, Athiri 25%
On the island of Santorini, Domaine Sigalas tends 50 year old vines of Assyrtiko and Athiri. It is fermented in stainless steel, and has a nose of ripe citrus fruit and earthy and savory flavors with a lip-smacking texture. The wine was featured in this week’s NY Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/29/dining/reviews/white-wines-as-greek-as-the-sea.html?ref=dining&_r=0
2011 Domaine Skouras Zoe Red $12
70% Agiorgitiko, 30% Moscofilero
Skouras boasts one of the highest red wine vineyards in all of Europe, The Zoe Red comes from 22 year old vines in high elevation vineyards (2000 to 2,100 ft).It has vibrant aromas of ripe cherries and raspberries with hints of sweet spices and rose petal. The wine is medium bodied with moderate high acidity and the slightest hint of very ripe tannins.
2010 Domaine Skouras, Nemea, St. George $16
80% Aghiorgitiko (St. George), 20% Cabernet Sauvignon
Skouras’ St. George ages for 18 months in French oak. The nose reveals aromas of blackberries, black raspberries and ripe strawberries with just a touch of anise and spices such as clove and cinnamon. The finish is moderately long, full of red fruits with a touch of sweet vanilla, black pepper and elegant tannins.
2008 Alpha Estate, Axia Red $20
Xinomavro 80%, Syrah 20%
Alpha Estate is located in the Amyndeon plateau at 2000 ft elevation. The winery is set up for gravity transfer. The Axia Red ages ”sur lie” for seven months with regular stirring, nine months barrel, and fifteen months in bottle. It has spicy bouquet (vanilla, pepper, clove), and ripe blackberry. The wine has a big mouthfeel with rounded tannins, balanced acidity and a long aftertaste.