Southern Wine Roads

New organic wines from Greece: dare to try?

I have been reviewing one Greek organic earlier on, and it appeared in my TOP Organic wine list, but I haven’t seen many of this sort on the supermarket or specialist retailer shelves.

To be honest with you, I haven’t really expected or was thriving to learn more about Greek wines specifically. Why? Well, in my mind they are really inconsistent – I have tried bone dry whites, sweet whites, really simple reds and some weird flavours (mostly portraying inexpensive wines or some corners cut at winemaking).

This feature is about a few red wines represented by a company called Southern Wine Roads.

Agiorgitiko Papioannou 2013Agiorgitiko Papaioannouorganic dry red wine from Greek defined region of  Peloponnesus. It is made of 100% Agiorgitiko grapes farmed in the region of Nemea. This very light and medium purple in colour wine has also very light cherry and violet aromas – very subtle and hard to notice. Flavours are quire playful and open up nicely with cherries and violets, yet there is some bitterness that is coming from maybe stems and stone?

The wine is young-ish, 2013, so the bitterness is not surprising; yet, because the fruit is not that abundant, the wine will not develop any further and should be consumed now. 

I recommend it served slightly chilled (like what you would do with Beaujolais), its 13% alcohol will not knock you down, and the acidity is very well masked and integrated into the wine providing a nice refreshing experience without a unnecessary kick.

I say, if you manage your expectations well (i.e. drink as a refreshing accompaniment to salads made with poultry on a good summer day), it would be pleasant. Organic wine is something you should embrace, and this wine can be your starting point.  

Penteskoufi Greek OrganicPenteskoufi 2014 is a red wine made from Mavroudi grapes,  organically grown on Kontogiannis family vineyards in the Peloponnese region in Greece.

Five ‘geeky’ facts about this wine:

– meet the fifth generation of winemakers; 

– explore rare and indigenous variety;

– try biodynamic viticulture.

Sounds good? Well, let’s move further to taste it!

It is deep ruby in colour. I must admit, the beginning of this tasting session, I thought it would be a good one,  but when I tasted it, it appeared as a really off putting with regards to a smell – a bit of too much of boiled egg aromas and some sort of carbon gas. I know what you may think right now (eggs’ smell screams ‘fault!’), but the wine has a screw cap, so I am not expecting it to be corked or faulty. Moving on.

The flavour is slightly better –  you get some grassy, red currant and under ripe plums notes. At this point, I started to think it is a problem of underripeness – it just ticks the boxes of not so much of fruit, some astringent tannins and some off flavours. 

The wine is not even acceptable, the faults must be addressed and never released in the current state. Is it an organic double trouble with inconsistency?* This one is definitely to be avoided.

* Inconsistency in this case means that the vineyard doesn’t have so many means (as pesticides etc) to ensure that all of their wine parcels would be free from faults and some of the latter are more probable than with a non-organic viticulture. Sounds quite complicated, but at the end, organic wines are more of a hit-and-miss than others.

Estate Papaioannou NemeaEstate Papaioannou 2007Nemea, Saint George made from Agiorgitiko grapes. Reading from the label, it won IWC Vienna 2010 gold medal, which is a reputable wine competition.  Not so much to get to know more about it on the bottle, so due to this very generic description, I crack on to tasting without much data.

Aromas are of a good oaky Rioja – such a weird feeling! It shows abundant fruit, oak and vanilla. Seriously, it smells like Rioja (almost). So wicked.

One thing that is off is its acidity. It is rather elevated, but not very integrated. That’s why you get this mellow vanilla-like flavour of strawberry and hints of plums, but then you’d notice an acidic kick. Yet even though it is unusual, it is not unpleasant at all!

This acidity screams food. I need it now. After having a slice of cheddar, and it rendered this wine down to much less acidic, it is now much more round and restrained. So as top tip to trying this wine, you should get it with a fatty red meat like lamb, or just at the end of your dinner with a mature cheddar. 

It is a funky wine with vanilla, strawberries, bits of bramble and oak – guessing, I will definitely say it was a Rioja, but it is an organic Greek red. Intrigued? You’re welcome!

P.S. I am still trying to compare this wine against some more prominent flavour rivals. Gran Reserva? Or Reserva? Let me know your thoughts!

Southern Wine RoadsDisclaimer: The wine was provided by Southern Wine Roads, the review was made solely by ‘I Blame The Wine’ and does not present an advertisement feature, but an editorial. The views presented above are solely of iblamethewine.com. The site accepts an opportunity to try new organic wines, but reserves the right to publish the review, or to dismiss it as irrelevant. Please contact for more information.

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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