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Today it is our pleasure to highlight four fascinating summer-friendly organic wines from Greece. Greece has a long, varied, and unique viticultural tradition, with grapes grown throughout the nation's mainland and its islands. Unique indigenous varieties, as well as more recent additions, produce wines that express a wide variety of terroirs and microclimates and continue a tradition that reaches back to antiquity.
These wines are just a sampling of what's going on today in the world of organic and natural Greek wines. They are fresh, friendly, and interesting, and maybe a bit off the beaten path. Most of all, they are perfect wines for sunny days and warm evenings this summer. Fresh, refreshing, and unique, I hope they will pique your curiosity about Greek wines as we continue to explore this exciting and expanding category in the coming months at Chambers Street Wines!
Papras Bio Wines, in Thessaly near Mount Olympus, is producing exciting wines with the local specialty, Black Muscat of Tyrnavos. Their aromatic rosé made from this grape, the 2018 Papras Oreads Rosé, shows the telltale citrus and crushed grape notes of Muscat on the nose but is dry and salty on the palate with notes of blood orange. The sparkling Melanthia has a delicate mousse and bright notes of mandarin orange, spice, and grape. Both are refreshing quaffers for the summer.
In Achaia in the Peloponnese, Sant'Or is making fascinating wines from local varieties, including the only varietal wines of the local Santameriana grape. Their amphora-aged, skin contact 2018 Santomeri Santameriana orange wine is especially interesting, with a honeyed texture and notes of apricot and green herbs.
Lemnos, in the Aegean Sea, has an exceptionally long history of viticulture: the quality of the island's wine was mentioned in the Iliad. Garalis produces Terra Ambera, an elegant and expressive skin-contact Muscat of Alexandria grown on the island's volcanic soils that balances the energy and aromatic intensity of Muscat with the savory, mineral character of the volcanic terroir.
Come taste these fascinating and refreshing skin-contact wines that are perfect for summer this Friday, 6/21, with Maria from Eklektikon!
This dry rosé of Black Muscat comes from Tyrnavos, near legendary Mount Olympus. The nose shows classic Muscat character with macerated grapes, crushed orange and intense floral notes. On the palate expect salted blood orange and fleshy red berry, complemented by bright and fresh acidity. A beautiful and characterful medium bodied rosé for late spring drinking, either on its own or with light food. Ben Fletcher
This unique bubbly is made from Black Muscat of Tyrnavos, grown on the south slopes of Mount Olympus. All of the vines at the Papras winery are farmed organically, and harvested by hand. The Muscat lends bright and intense aromatics of rose, white flower, and underripe orange to this refreshing, slightly off-dry sparkling wine. The mousse is soft, complimenting the slightly spicy and citrus-driven palate. Drink well chilled before dinner, with spicy Thai or Chinese foods, or on its own this summer! Ben Fletcher
This wine comes from the nearly unknown Santameriana grape, found only in the village of Santomeri, where the Sant'Or Winery is based. Sant'Or produces the only varietal wine from this grape, which Panos Dimitropoulos has worked to recover from obscurity. For the skin contact wine, the grapes are macerated on the skins for 20 days, before maturing it for 6 months in clay eggs. The resulting wine is medium to full bodied, with some delicate tannic structure and notes of apricot, bitter herbs, and honey. Ben Fletcher
This orange wine of Muscat of Alexandria hails from the volcanic isle of Lemnos, famed for its wines since antiquity. Terra Ambera shows floral and juicy orange notes on the nose with a more savory, high acid palate that concludes with ashy volcanic minerality. Aging on the skins for 8 days in stainless steel tanks lends this wine a delicate structure that makes this especially friendly with food. Drink this fascinating expression of Muscat with flavorful Greek or Middle Eastern dishes that highlight fish, like calamari with garlic and olive oil, or even pork or chicken souvlaki. Ben Fletcher