Ktima Gerouvassiliou, Malagousia, Epanomi, Greece, 2019

£16.75

We have set sail for Thessaloniki in northern Greece. In 1981 Evangelos Gerovassiliou happened upon the Malagousia variety and saw huge potential. Which for us wine drinkers is a damn good thing indeed as the variety nearly became extinct. Now he is considered The Godfather of Malagousia and his remains the absolute bench mark of this super grape.

The Epanomi region of Northern Greece is one with a Mediterranean climate (that might not come as a surprise however this region is also mountainous and can have heavy snowfall in the winter months) and also the mediating effect of sea breezes which help to keep everything in check between fruit and freshness. On the subject of Greek wine, no longer is it just Retsina (which, in fairness, has pulled it’s socks up recently). They are churning out some excellent wines from all over the mainland as well as the Islands, in particular Crete and Santorini, and are fast becoming one of the most exciting wine producing areas, not only in Europe, but worldwide. Alongside maybe English wine, nothing quite smells and tastes like Greek wine and long may that continue because on the face of it they are producing some proper amazing labels.

At Ktima Gerovassiliou, the single, private vineyard is cultivated with great care and enthusiasm, which leads to constant research and experimentation with Greek and international varieties. New technological advances blend well with tradition throughout the vine growing and vinification processes to produce high quality wines that carry all the distinct characteristics of the terroir of Epanomi. The climate is Mediterranean with mild winters and hot summers, tempered by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three sides by the sea, which is three kilometres away, while its west side faces the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the beaches of Pieria.

The Malagousia (pronounced Mah-lah-gou-ZYA) grapes were macerated on the skins to extract the desired level of aromas and flavours. The must was static settled and the majority was fermented in stainless steel at controlled temperatures of between 18 to 20°C; while 20% was vinified in seasoned French oak. Clarification took place by gravity. The wine was then matured on the lees for approximately two months with regular bâtonnage (lees stirring) which imparted texture and complexity.

Nose:

Unique. Smells fab! White pear and tinned peaches. Lemon zest, touch of tropical fruit and honey. White flowers, jasmine and spice.

Palate:

Opulent and bursting with vitamin D. Bold, soft but with great acidity and structure. Properly impressive