Greek Means Good: WSJ Reporter Hails Ancient Country's Wines


It's been said that Greeks are the biggest fans of Greek wine and that the rest of the world isn't missing out on anything if they say no to vino from the land of Mt. Olympus.
However, a recent story by The Wall Street Journal wine guru Will Lyons said that it may be time to rethink what you known  (and don't know) about the many-isled Mediterranean country's wines.
“There are times when a wine knocks even a critic sideways, surprising with both its flavor and its quality. This happened to me a few weeks ago,” Lyons wrote yesterday. “I was handed a white wine at a tasting … it had a particularly unusual and enjoyable flavor. And it was from Greece.”
The wine in question, an Assyrtiko from Santorini, had a “pale yellow color, floral aroma, cushion-soft texture and crisp, refreshing, salty tang” that left Lyons “in raptures.”
Surprised by the surprising wine, Lyons chatted with fellow wine writer Mark Squires about the country's vino scene.
“Greece is your classic emerging region,” Squires told Lyons, as detailed in the WSJ story. “When you look at what is happening in Greece, this is a country that is simply a great wine-producing region – they just don't have much to prove it with yet.”
Lyons said the country has a trio of red varietals: Agiorgitiko, Limnio and Xinomavro. He described the wines with a variety of terms: full-bodies, smooth, herbaceous and savory. 
“There are also plantings of French varieties like Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot,” he wrote.
Lyons also recommend three white varietals: Assyrtiko, Moschofilero and Roditis. 
“Look out for Assyrtiko, which makes bone-dry, floral-scented wines,” he wrote.
He also pointed out that Moschofilero offers the drinker a light-bodies and aromatic wine, while Roditis features a full-bodied, fresh experience.
The country's wine regions span from north to south. Lyons gave special attention to Santorini's wines.
“Its volcanic soil and coastal winds produce wines of stunning complexity and cripsness – enough to shock a wine critic,” he wrote. 
Lyons recommended three wines for those interested in giving Greece a go: a 2013 Gaia Thalassitis Assyrtiko, a 2013 Tetramythos Mavro Kalavritino and a 2013 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko.
Of the Domaine Sigalas, Lyons wrote, “I was immediately drawn to its refreshing, mouth-quenching acidity and its long, sea-salty tangy finish.”

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