Clark Foyster - Specialist Wine Importers - Greece

Our Wines

Greece

Estate Argyros , Santorini

The volcanic island of Santorini presents wine lovers with a fascinating environment to explore: rugged and spectacularly beautiful where dense, heavy black basalt and super-light, white porous pumice soils lie side by side. Arid and dramatically windy, the vines get their water from the morning dew that condenses inside the traditional basket shaped crown vines, designed to protect against the island's strong wind. The total absence of clay from the soil makes this a phylloxera-free island, and as a result many of the vines are 200, 300 years old. Really! All are ungrafted. Assyrtiko is the indigenous grape of Santorini with a marvellous ability to produce strong but vibrant, crisp, energetic and minerally wines. The Santorini Assyrtiko recently came away with the Regional Trophy and a Gold Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2015; a well-deserved accolade.

Argyros Estate now owns 65 hectares of vineyards, and the grapes from these vineyards are used for the Estate wines. In addition purchased fruit is used to make up 50% of the Santorini Assyrtiko. The general principle is to make wines without new oak influence, though there is some oak evident on the Estate Oak Fermented wine. In addition, we have also been utterly seduced by the world-famous Vinsanto (one word please!). The Argyros versions are much be-medalled worldwide and ally the magnificent acidity of the Assyrtiko to the powerful sugar concentration of dried grapes. They spend 4, 12 or 20 years in barrel before bottling. During this time they concentrate and oxidise gently developing sensational layers of complexity. .

White



Guide Retail Price per case of 6 (£)
ARASS15B Santorini Assyrtiko
2015
116.50
ARASE15B Estate Argyros, Assyrtiko 
2015
124.40
ARASE14M Estate Argyros, Assyrtiko 
2014 magnum 299.30
ARAID15B Estate Argyros, Aidani
2015
126.20
ARASO14B Estate Argyros, Oak Fermented Assyrtiko 
2014
136.20
ARPUR13B Pure, Santorini Assyrtiko
2013
192.90
Sweet




ARVIS08F Vinsanto, 4 Years Barrel aged
2008 50cl 167.60
ARVIS00F Vinsanto, 12 Years Barrel aged
2000 50cl 259.40
ARVIS92F Vinsanto, 20 Years Barrel aged
1992 50cl 405.50

 


Katogi-Strofilia, Nemea

An attractive pair of Peloponnese wines from a relatively new company formed in 2001 as a merger between two already well-established businesses: Katogi Averoff, a famous wine estate of North Western Greece, and Strofilia (=wine press). Strofilia began life as a small wine producer in Attica in the mid-1980s and the company used the same name when it opened Athens' first wine bar. Today the company makes a range of wines from Northern Greece, Attica and the Peloponnese. Both wines below are produced in Asprokambos, at 800m above sea level in the Nemea region. This is the source of the red wine: 'Mountain Fish' which comes entirely from the Agiorgitiko variety (St George), one of Greece's two best known red varietals, and the style is a deep-coloured purple, with a supple, fruity, modern appeal. The wine has a relatively short maceration and is not oaked, making it a popular choice for many customers with its friendly tannins and fruity appeal. The white wine, named 'White Dot' follows another classic Peloponnese style, and uses the Moschofilero grape of Mantineia. It's cool-fermented to accentuate the aromatic quality of the Moschofilero (blended here with 20% Rhoditis) and bone dry, with a very lively acidity. The two wines are attractively presented, with screw caps, and strike that sometimes elusive balance between being true to their region and terroir, but having a modern, attractive style and presentation.

White



Guide Retail Price per case of 6 (£)
KSWDO15B White Dot
2015
78.40
Red




KSMFI14B Mountain Fish
2014
78.40


Naoussa

Naoussa and its vineyards lie in the Northern Greek province of Macedonia. Tiny amounts of white and rosé are produced, but it is essentially a red wine region, thanks to the presence of a magnificent - but challenging - grape variety: Xinomavro. Comparisons are made with Nebbiolo, but might equally be drawn with Baga or Blaufränkisch.  It's a high acid grape, and needs barrel-ageing and oxygen, but with age it develops savoury, spicy, dry stewed fruit character. There are other pretenders to the crown, but for most it rules as Greece's most noble red variety, and is best-known in its home vineyards around Naoussa, sharing the landscape with apple, pear, cherry and peach orchards.

Diamantakos, Mantemi, Naoussa

George Diamantakos is a young man who has taken over the estate's 4 ha from his father. He is a great ambassador for the region, generous to us on our visits, and to his other fellow producers in the town. The estate comprises essentially two vineyard parcels planted in 1979 and 1981, on a well-drained limestone and soft schistous soil, rich in magnesium. The family abandoned their previous activity as peach farmers to plant vines after excavations discovered that under the orchard lay the remains of the School of Aristotle, which Philip of Macedon set up for his son Alexander ("The Great").

George's father began bottling his own wines in 2000. The wines spend a year in barrel, mostly French barriques, with an increasing number of 500 litre barrels. 2011 is a lovely vintage, ripe and fruity, with some savoury, tomato paste and perhaps slightly tarry notes. Tannins are firm and dry behind the wines viscosity and richness. The excellent vintages of 2012 and 2013 will eventually complete a trio of excellent vintages, which, we hope will compensate for the absence of any red wine in the very tricky 2014 vintage.

In fact the only wine produced in 2014 was a tiny quantity of white wine from a local grape called "Preknadi", or 'Freckle-face' after the speckled skin of the grapes. It's fermented in stainless steel and has a slightly viognier-like character and perfume.

White



Guide Retail Price per case of 6 (£)
DIPRE14B Preknadi
2014
116.40
Red




DINAO12B Naoussa
2012
125.40
DINAO11B Naoussa
2011
120.00

Karydas, Ano Gastra, Naoussa

Petros Karydas has an even smaller estate: just 2.5 hectares of north-facing vines drifting over the hill top and down to overlook George Diamantakos' vines below. Vines here too were planted in early 1980s on a chalk and clay soil. This family too originated as apple growers, but Petros' father - an Olympic skier at Innsbruck in 1964 - began bottling in 1992. Grapes here are late-harvested, as the hill-top location delays ripening, and north winds can be strong. The wines here spend 24 months in barrel - all French barriques, with 40% of them new. This is a very simple operation. Petros' wines are highly sought after in Greece and abroad - especially in the USA, and our allocation is very small. But this is one of the very top estates of the region.

Red



Guide Retail Price per case of 6 (£)
KANAO12B Naoussa
2012
125.60

Foundis, Nea Stranza, Naoussa

Nikolaos Foundi began this small winery as a hobby in 1992 while serving as president of the Naoussa co-op, which he founded himself in 1982. But the family first planted vines here in the 1930s, shortly after their resettlement here from Eastern Thrace as a result of the Balkan Wars. They now have 5 hectares, and produce six different wines and two red Naoussa wines from Xinomavro. The style here is old-fashioned, in the best sense of the word, and the wines age very slowly. A 1996 Nikolaos opened for us last September was in beautiful condition. The wine we have chosen: "Naoussaia" comes from a blend of three different vineyards, mostly a sandy loam, and limestone. It spends 4 weeks on the skins before pressing and going into barrel - French oak - for a year. Nikolaos is clearly a senior figure in the Naoussa wine community, modest, but highly respected. We started with the 2008 last Autumn, but it sold out quickly. We've moved on to the even better 2009. Marvellous value for a mature wine.

Red



Guide Retail Price per case of 6 (£)
FDNAO11B Naoussaia
2011
110.20

 

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