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LIVE FROM 8PM: #TWSTaste - A tasting of two new Greek wines, Thurs 21st Jan 8-9pm

Good afternoon/evening everyone!

Welcome to tonight’s LIVE virtual tasting of two new Greek wines.

If you’re new to The Community and need help with how to use the forum for the tasting and what the tasting involves, have a read of our guide 'How To - Take part in our virtual #TWSTaste events

Our What to Drink in 2021 offer is out now, so we thought this #TWSTaste would be a lovely opportunity to try two new wines included in this offer, from Karavitakis winery in Crete.

The wines we’ll be trying tonight are:

Kompsos White, Karavitakis 2019

Kompsos Liatiko, Karavitakis 2019

A NOTE FROM OUR BUYER FOR GREECE, MATTHEW HORSLEY:

‘Since taking over the buying for Greece in April last year, I’ve been amazed by the diversity and quality available from across this fascinating country. Whilst I’ve been lucky enough to taste great examples from better known regions such as Naoussa, Rapsani and Santorini, it’s been the island of Crete that has impressed me the most. Hardly surprising given winemaking on Greece’s largest island dates back over 5000 years!

The island itself is split into north and south, divided by a line of mountains running west to east, with the north being cooler and wetter, and the south hotter and drier thanks to the winds flowing up from north Africa. But despite being Greece’s most southerly island its average temperatures are lower than those of Santorini, for example. It’s thanks to these mountains which make such high-quality viticulture possible, with vineyards planted at altitude in much cooler meso-climates, something not possible on many Greek islands.
But it’s the myriad of indigenous varieties that make Crete so exciting, made more so by the increase in focus on quality and estate production rather than the co-operative model that dominated Crete throughout much of the 20th Century.

Vidiano seems to be the clear winner amongst the whites, giving a style more about texture and weight than overblown aromatics. As a single variety it produces wines with plenty of stone fruit flavours (peach, nectarines, apricots), sweet herbs and tropical notes, with a creamy mouthfeel and balanced acidity. In a blend it acts as a great stage, providing weight and creaminess that other more overt varieties can perform on. I think this shows really well with the move extrovert malvasia (30%) and assyrtiko (30%) in the Kompsos white.

Liatiko is Crete’s finest red grape although its most famous expressions are typically as a sweet fortified wine. However, there’s been a recent trend in the production of dry liatko with wonderful results. Despite its typically light colour, it offers a full bodied, sweetly fruited (cherries, strawberries, raspberries) and spicy (coves, cinnamon, nutmeg) red wines. The Kompsos red is vinified mostly in stainless steel, with 10% of the wine fermented in open top barrels for 12 days to bring some oak character. The grapes come from limestone vineyards in Chania in western Crete at 450m altitude.

These are just two of the new wines we’ll be releasing from Crete over the next couple of weeks – in our February list we’ll be offering a delicious and affordable assyrtiko from Karavitakis, as well as a mandilari and thrapsathiri, two extremely rare but incredibly exciting grapes that I can’t wait for members to try.’ @horsleym

Who’s on hand to help tonight

We have some staff attending tonight, so please feel free to use the below usernames and tag any of us if you need a hand (and if you’re new to The Community, please don’t hesitate to ask any questions you might have!)

@laura - Community Manager
@MrLaura - one of our wine advisers in Member Services

Here’s how things will work:

  1. We’ll post a poll to see who’s here - please let us know, and feel free to say hi and start chatting before we start.
  2. To begin, we’ll invite you all to pour a glass, have a swirl and take in the aromas, and post your thoughts and first impressions. Take your time and have a good swirl and sniff.
  3. We’ll then taste the wines together, one by one and ask you to share your own tasting note. Do add any additional food matches and/or your thoughts on how well the wine is drinking now, and how much longer it might age. Anything goes, and there are no wrong answers!
  4. After this, we’ll possibly have time to ask for your mark out of 10, favourite wine of the two or final thoughts.

And after that, if you want to continue chatting about the wines then please feel free!

Looking forward to tonight’s tasting and to try these wines! See you all there! :smiley: Feel free to start chatting below and we’ll get going officially at 8pm.

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Great - the white’s in the fridge.

Looking forward to it

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Really looking forward to tasting along with you all this evening! The white can be served straight from the fridge. For the red i’d suggest opening and hour in advance and serving ‘cellar cool’ around 15-16degs. Mine is in the fridge currently and I’ll probably take it out 30mins before drinking… see you later!

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Both bottles are in the fridge (the red about to come out), and I’m raring to go!

We’ll get going properly at 8pm, but for now let me leave this poll here so you can mark when you’ve arrived!

  • I’m here and will be tasting along
  • I’m here for the fun of it but won’t be tasting
  • I’m lurking, not posting

0 voters

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Er, two small glasses of the white already downed here. Have made some notes already, hope that isn’t cheating !

The red will go in the fridge shortly to get it down to 15 degrees ( or thereabouts ).

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We might have jumped the gun a little (darn those early shifts) but the white has been a delight, and we are just about to approach the red…

In relation to the white, our committee (of 3) felt like it was very light, refreshing, and made us all pine for those summers where we could be on a beach somewhere… we didn’t have it with food but could imagine it would suit a lot of nibbles quite well, especially wish we had some feta to sample it with!

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i’m here already making notes on the white, greece is one of my favourite regions

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I may have had a few glasses of each already… :crazy_face:

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If most of you haven’t been able to resist trying the wines already, I’m taking that as a very good sign! :joy:

'fraid I’ve had half a glass of the red with my dinner. But I will hold my peace until the appropriate time! :smiley:

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i had been waiting but get the feeling that may have been a mistake now

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…it would be rude not to

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I’ve been waiting too! :smile: The wines’ll be a nice surprise for us!

Good evening everybody and welcome to our first TWSTaste of 2021!

I fancied having a go at hosting duties tonight so I’ll be leading us through this Cretan voyage of discovery. Think of me as your Odysseus. :smiley:

If everyone is ready, have a sniff of the white and tell us what you think!

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No yours is the correct behaviour. We’re the naughty ones!

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Just poured the red … looks almost like a rosé to me. Intriguing …

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ill try hold of a little longer then

I like how the fruity and honey notes are balanced by the mineral notes coming through in the white.

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Mrs CC: fruity, pear drops and a lovely hint of leather

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Getting a bit of waxy citrus and some white fruit and flowers. There’s something herby about it too.

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