Wines of Greece – September 2023

Recently I have become something of a fan of Greek wines, particularly the whites.

The flagship Santorini Assyrtiko is generally excellent; however its reputation has meant that prices are now getting rather high for regular drinking.

It is worth trying some of the many lesser known grape varieties as there are a few gems that are under the radar for many people.

Some of the highlights for me were the following:

Alpha Estate (Macedonia) Single Vineyard Hedgehog Rose 2022 – a lovely pale style rose, although at c.£25 RRP it may be a bit overpriced compared with the competition

Boutari Santorini Assyrtiko 2021 – a really nice lighter style Assyrtiko with good depth of flavour

Domaine Hatzimichalis (Central Greece) Assyrtiko Alepotrypa 2022 – at c.£17 RRP this is a good example of how quality Assyrtiko can be found outside of Santorini. Pale, fresh acidity, intense aroma, good length and hints of salt and nuts on the palate.

Parparoussis Winery (Peloponnese) Gifts of Dionysis 2022 – probably not to everybody’s taste as I found it distinctive and hence interesting. Slightly herbal with a lingering finish.

Rouvalis (Peloponnese) Asprolithi 2022 – pale, with good mouthfeel and plenty of flavour, from the Roditis grape, very reasonable at c.£14.

Coop of Samos Grand Cru 2022 – a muscat dessert wine of pale colour, a light mouthfeel and subtle sweetness. Worth trying at c.£15 RRP

Estate Argyros Vinsanto Late Release 2002 – a lovely smooth, intense dessert wine; however I can’t see me paying the £102 RRP!

My overall personal favourite for value, somewhat surprisingly was Greek Wine Cellars (formerly Kourtaki Wines) Mavrodaphne of Patras NV with an RRP of just £7! I had tried a few really good intense dessert wines then tasted this cheap sweet red and enjoyed it just as much.