Happy New Year!
We’re very pleased to announce our first virtual taste-along of 2021 for your diaries:
#TWSTaste: ‘A tasting of two new Greek wines’, Thursday 21st Jan, 8-9pm
In support of our new What To Drink In 2021 offer, we’ve picked two new Greek wines from the same producer out of the range and we want to take this opportunity to taste them together!
The two wines we’ll be trying are:
Kompsos Liatiko, Karavitakis 2019
Kompsos White, 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
How do I take part?
If you’d like to join us, here’s what to do:
- Order one bottle each of the above wines and make sure they’re delivered by Thursday 21st January.
- Reply to this topic letting us know if you’re attending - feel free to post a picture of your bottle, we love seeing all your photos!
- Chill or decant your bottles ready for the event - and if you like, prepare a special meal to serve alongside them.
- Log into the Community shortly before 8pm on Thursday 21st January - you’ll find a topic called LIVE FROM 8PM: #TWSTaste ‘A tasting of two new Greek wines’ where the event will take place. Feel free to begin chatting to your fellow members on the topic before we start!
- We’ll guide you through the tasting from there - it’s all done in written format (you can share photos too!) so don’t be shy to share your thoughts on the wines!
If you’re new to The Community and need help with how to use the forum for the tasting, have a read of our guide ‘How To’ - Take part in our virtual #TWSTaste events’
Who’s joining us?
- I’ll be there!
- I’m hoping to join.
- I can’t make it this time.