3 x 7:Wines to Match with Summer, by Yiannis Karakasis MW

Posted by Yiannis Karakasis MW 04/07/2018 0 Comment(s) Suggestions, The Master's Voice,
3 x7 [Wines to Match with Summer]
by Yiannis Karakasis MW
  As we get deeper into the heart of summer, the consumption of wine becomes more and more challenging. Especially on very hot days. And nights. However, there are certain general principles we need to bear in mind, depending on our preferences. 
General principles include: 
* An ice bucket to chill the wine. This includes all types of wine, even reds! We want to enjoy them cool and not 'boiling hot'. 
* A decent wine glass; this does not mean you need to splash out and buy the most expensive glass on the market.  
* Lots of cold water to keep yourself hydrated.
* Responsibility and caution when consuming wine.
  So what do we drink in the summer?  A rather baffling question, particularly if you have to choose a wine from Greece and Grapes, that has the most complete selection available; more than 1000 Greek labels to choose from.
Whites: They tend to monopolize summer preferences, so they make up the largest share in sales. Preferably elegant, not full-bodied wines, with a maximum alcohol level of around 13%, without intense oaky aromas. Try a light Assyrtiko, a creamy Vidiano from Crete, Robola of Cephalonia, a delicate Malagousia, a good quality Savatiano or Roditis.
Rosés: The classic pool-side and summer evening wines are becoming all the more appealing, and are slowly being recognized as having their separate position, as do the whites and reds. They are seen more seriously. Rosé wines will attain the position they deserve through the constant efforts of producers. Their greatest advantage is their versatility with food that goes from vegetables and on to BBQs, pasta and sea food, fried red mullets. Grilled octopus!
  Look for authentic wines that are based on Greek autochthonous varieties with tension and acidity, and do not judge wines just by their colour. What glitters is not always gold, and the dark rosés can be excellent, if the 'bubblegum/lollipop' recipe is avoided. They are often wines that pair easier with food than their colourless Provence type cousins. 
Reds: The least chosen in summer, but always part of the game.  Think of a black fish, such as a black seabream or a dusky grouper paired with a Mavrodaphne or a Limniona. I'm certain you will be thanking me later on. Here, the secretet is to use soft wines with acidity, but which are not too tannic. Slightly chilled.
[Suggestions 3x7]
The 7 Whites 
Under 10 euros
1. Bosinakis Mantinia 2017
Constantly one of the most reliable wines of Mantinia and a wonderful Moschofilero, that can even age and give a more complex profile in its second or third year following the vintage. A classic summer wine.
2. Vouni Panagia Alina Xynisteri 2017
A true diamond of the Cypriot vineyard, that is found at up to 1.150 meters altitude and is made of vines which are 70 years old. Despite the low alcohol, the wine has great structure and intensity, with explosive lime and peach aromas, and lemony acidity.
3. Zoinos Epiloges Debina 2016
The most inspired wine of this winery, which gives Debina a boost, and expresses it with intensity, body and depth of fruit flavours.
Under 15 euros
4. Kourtis Nychta? Vidiano - Asyrtiko 2017
A different approach from Apostolos Kourtis and the upcoming wine region of Pieria. Vidiano combined with Assyrtiko that mature on the lees for about 2 months. Also a cult label that allows much room for discussion. Nychta mean night in Greek. 
5. Vriniotis Assyrtiko Sur Lies 2017
An Assyrtiko outside Santorini, but literally from another planet. Mineral, elegant, but with a touch of ripe fruits, it is definitely among my top 5 choices outside Santorini. Limited amount of bottles, only proactive consumers are rewarded. Matures beautifully.
Under 25 euros
6. X-BOURGO Assyrtiko 2017
If you are not aware yet about the distinctiveness of the Tinos terroir I would suggest not to waste more time and get to explore its wines as soon as possible. X-BOURGO is 100% Assyrtiko that matures on the lees. Explosive nose, minerally scented, with notes of biscuits around a core of extremely pure fruit. Taut, thick, yet tense and precise; it almost flows like the water of a river. An outstanding wine that confirms the huge potential of the island. Over 25 euros
Over 25 euros
7. Tselepos Laoudia Santorini 2016
A different approach of Santorini that is vinified in amphoras. Expressive aromas, quite mineral, with earthy notes (that may have developed because of the amphoras), that continues with elegance, sharp acidities and a salty long-lasting aftertaste. 
The 7 Rosé wines
Under 10 euros
1. Bizios Rousala Bio 2016
A rosé wine made of Agiorgitiko grapes from the mountainous vineyards of this terroir, with spunk and personality. Also comes with a great price!
2. Zafeirakis Limniona 2017
Wonderful rosé from Christos Zafeirakis and the up and coming Limniona  which combines floral aromas with sour bright red berries and pomegranate.
Under 15 euros
3. Thymiopoulos Rosé de Xinomavro 2016
From the winemaker with the Midas touch, we have a rosé from the Xinomavro variety that partly matures in oak for 4 months, gaining a more complex character. Telltale Xinomavro class! Incredible value.
4. Troupis Tomi 2017
Some recent rosé vinifications of Moschofilero are amazingly interesting and I personally believe they display the potential of the variety. The aromas of quince, dried apricot and red apples are followed by crunchy acidity in the mouth and an aftertaste of citrus zest. Delicious!
5. Alpha Rosé 2017
One of the wines that paved the way for Greek rosé and which maintains its value over time. Xinomavro of Amyndeon at its finest with purity of fruit and precision.
Under 25 euros
6. Skouras Peplo 2017
A “smart” wine from George Skouras that managed to quickly become the talk of the town. A combination of two Greek grape varieties (Agiorgitiko, Moschofilero) with an international variety (Syrah) that mature separately in stainless steel, amphora and acacia. Savoury with bright acidity and soft finish.
Over 25 euros
7. Biblia Chora Biblinos 2017 Magnum
A wine from Ktima Biblia Chora in the Pangeon terroir en magnum from a variety which, at present, has not been identified, and has no correlation to existing varieties, as far as is known from the research conducted so far. Lightly perfumed, focused and crispy. A rosé with personality.  
The 7 Reds 
Under 10 euros
1. Parparousis Oinari 2015
One of the top “value for money” red wines, Oinari from excellent Parparousis winery in the Peloponnese combines Mavrodaphne and Agiorgitiko perfectly. Alcohol 13%
Under 15 euros
2. Rouvalis Tsigello 2017
Tsiggelo is the quality clone of Mavrodaphne a fantastic variety associated until very recently with sweet wines. Well not anymore as it is capable of producing fascinating dry reds wines of unparalleled class. The wine is one of the most modern expressions of Mavrodaphne, with intense herbal and dark chocolate aromas on the nose, combined with juicy dark fruits. Production of 3000 bottles matured in amphoras. Alcohol 13%.
3. Thymiopoulos Naousa Alta 2015
It is truly remarkable how Apostolos Thymiopoulos can manage to give  Naoussa such balance, deliciousness and a fruit maturity. This wine has the character of the cool climate of the Fitia vineyards in Naoussa and despite being light, it has substance, showing the energy of this mountainous terroir. Alcohol 12,5% 
4. Sant'or Krasis 2015
An own-rooted Mavrodaphne from upcoming Sant’or producer. This one comes from vines that exceed 50 years of age. Ηerbal and earthy on the nose with plenty of structure on the palate. Will age over the next 5 years.  Alcohol at 12%.
Under 25 euros
5. Zafeirakis Limniona 2016
Another great effort by Christos Zafeirakis with the Limniona grape variety, which in a blind tasting would easily pass off as a Pinot Noir or Cru Beaujolais. Alcohol at 13%. 
6. Katogi Averof Rossiu di Munte Vlahiko 2014
A very special wine from rare Vlahiko variety found in western Greece. Generous and forward it brilliantly combines aromas of ripe cherries, mint and crushed pepper. Textural and elegant with just 12% abv. Who said that Greece produces heavy and alcoholic reds?
Over 25 euros
7. Petrakopoulos MOV Prephylloxera Mavrodaphne
From 60 year old prephylloxera vines in Soularri of Paliki Cephalonia this is an extraordinary, concentrated, dry Mavrodaphne elevating the variety at the top. Bright black fruit framed by herbal hints, with a well-integrated oak. Thick and full bodied on the palate without sacrificing elegance. A rare wine of character and personality. With an alcohol level of 14%, it caters to the coolest nights of the summer.

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