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The (Greek) Wine Society

A tough dilemma, Tannatastic :~}

Whichever you open is going to be at least very good, but if it were me - and depending of course on how many bottles of each you have to enjoy - I’d personally be keeping the two Hatzidakis ones for some while yet. I’m confident thney’re both going to develop into something monumental, especially the Skitali.

I’m prejudiced though, as 1) Hatzidakis is one of my favouritest estates in the whole wide world, and their wines age really well IMO*; and 2) I can only purchase limited quantities and so tend to leave them a while.

I’m personally - other opinions are available - less keen on Argyros wines; not to say I don’t like them, but they’ve never to date quite wowed me like Hatzidakis wines have. That said, I’ve not had an Argyros wine for some time now, so I may well be out-of-touch with their more recent wines.

I’ve had just the one of the 17 Skitali to date, and it was for my tastes sensational and then some; a bit of a beast in the sense it really is a powerful wine. You can sense the longer time on the lees too, I think. Lots of acid and a bit of oily/waxy body, and though I’m certainly no expert, I’m saving the few I’ve got for longer term as I’m sure they’re going to go interesting places.

  • My sample size is relatively limited here, so pinch of salt suggested. But even a standard Hatzidakis 2014 which I had a few months ago was still going really well, and had more going on than the bottles I had when they were younger. Kudos Wines have them in stock if you’re interested [along with some Tatsis Xino 2009, which I’m umming & aarghing over. And some Paliokalias 2010 too FWIW].
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…it is then! :smiley:

I will report back later.

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Sounds sensible, I tried the Cuvee no 15 earlier this year and though nice, it didn’t give much away even after a decant and I think it’s some way from its best.

I have just one bottle and I’m going to try and leave it 5 years at least.

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Some good discounts in bin ends. These stood out for me:

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/plakoura-mandilari-domaine-lyrarakis-2017

https://www.thewinesociety.com/product/mavrotragano-hatzidakis-2017

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Several indeed. I put together a mixed case of Lyrarakis wines and added a case of the Rosé, Lyrarakis 2020(Kedros Liatiko Rosé, Lyrarakis 2020) to my reserves, to drink later in the year. Great prices.

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Which seems to throw up yet another small glitch with the website; I already had a bottle of this in my basket (I was uhming and ahhing as to whether to buy a bottle for a couple of weeks), saw this new price, added an extra three, but then all 4 bottles were then priced as the original price in my basket. I would have assumed
(wrongly?) that the information should have changed with the addition of the new bottles.

A good tip off, thank you. At £25 a bottle, I couldn’t resist putting a 2nd case of the Mavrotragano into reserves. Such a lovely wine.

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Worth a read IMO. Where my knowledge overlaps I agree, and the rest rings true to me
https://timatkin.com/in-praise-of-assyrtiko/

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I appreciate I didn’t come back on the Argyros - safe to say it was ok, but not as good as other Santorini we’ve had, and certainly not as good as the Hatzidakis Aidani. I hope TWS stock future vintages of it (the Aidani).

And moreover, it gives me the chance to praise TWS and their selection of Greek wines over the last 12 - 18 months, having been on Crete these last couple of weeks, it highlighted the immense value that the Society has managed to provide. It also provides an opportunity to put some holiday wine snaps on :smiley:

From a highlights perspective we tried three different Assyrtiko/ blends, and whilst the Moschopolis 6 (with a dash of blanc-de-noir Xinomavro) was a pretty good wine, and certainly the standout, none really represented the QPR of the Karavitakis one that TWS knock out…

We also tasted through the full Manousakis range, including their Assyrtiko, but I wasn’t particularly blown away by any - and I wasn’t keen either that much of their range is Rhone-varietal based. I thought the blanc-de-noir Romeiko was the best, my partner thought the (very Gewürztraminer-y floral) Muscat de Spina was a standout (sadly no photo, my storage is playing up)…

I also discovered that I really like Kotsifali, especially the Loupakis one, however, what I really don’t like is having thought I could buy some bottles from my usual Greek supplier then discovering, on trying to complete the transaction, that delivery was significantly more than the cost of a full case. Maybe a plea to the TWS god’s may help one appear on the list, purely in the name of research, in future? :smiley:

But of course, saving the best until last, on our last night we went to Salis, on the Venetian Harbour in Chania old town, who have a magnificent, telephone-directory sized wine list. We started off with a sparkling blanc-de-noir Xinomavro, which apparently Maltby and Greek sell (I wasn’t that taken TBH)…

But let’s be honest, after the hype of spring this year, there was only ever going to be one winner. By some distance, the wine of the holiday (and only €40 on a wine list in restaurant that considers itself a cut above, and also in a tourist hot-spot I thought reasonable)…

Really, the talk is of Naoussa being there one day, but actually, considering this is already 8 years old I’d say they were already there. A fine wine. More of the 2016 were added to an order whilst sat on the beach on our last day. I do hope the '17 makes it onto the list :smiley:

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Looks like someone’s been having a good time :~}

Very interesting re the Markovitis, and good too that it can be picked up here relatively easily. I’ve got some of the 15s in reserves, but not reeled one in yet. I hadn’t realised they’ve since put some 16s on the list too.

As for Chania - a lovely place indeed. I’ve not been there for a long old while now, but one of my favourite “life memories” is taking the overnighter from Piraeus to Chania in Springtime, and smelling the pungent heady wafts of orange & lemon blossom before you could see the coast. Magical for a smell-person like me :~}

I must admit that loving it so much as I do and having found it so easy & “this is my place” rewarding to stay there for three happy years, I always thought I’d end up living in Greece, perhaps even Crete itself, and sometimes wonder how I landed up in rural Herts instead. I’m happy as a pig in the proverbial here I should say and it’s all worked out beautifully, but not remotely what I thought my dwelling-place would end up being! At least one can easily plunder the WS for decent Greek wine :~}

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Still there, but being superceded - believe it or not - by the not-so-humble Avocado. Apparently they can fetch a much higher price on the international market. Blast those pesky woke millennials (where’s the ‘shakes fist’ emoji when you need it?).

Pity, the fresh orange juice we had there was the best I’ve ever had.

Not unique to Greece I don’t doubt for a minute, but I have never myself worked anywhere since [Sri Lanka aside] where the fruit is so gorgeous, fresh & abundant. My first flat in Athens, in the red light district as I quickly found out but a very communal place as a result [Odos Filis for any Athens aficionados], had a street market every Wednesday, right on the street outside. You could pick up bucketloads of the most amazing freshly-picked fruit for peanuts. Veg too of course. I have to force myself to eat fruit in this country as 9/10 it’s cardboard pulp. Even the veg there was sweeter than the fruit here! I do miss those joyful days of simple joys. With wine & cigs for peanuts too, and cheerful tavernas all around, it was certainly a very good place to be :~}

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Argyros are at their best with Vin Santo, which are wonderful, agree that their other wines I’ve tried are solid but not in the same league as a few others mentioned here.

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Had a bottle of the Oeneps Xinomavraw 2019 this evening and what a fabulous wine. Fruit jumps out of the glass…loads of red fruit, earth and a lovely perfume. Cherry, raspberry, earth and something menthol on the palate. Tea like tannins. Right up my street. Sadly now out of stock …if you’ve got this in the rack, you won’t be disappointed

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So apparently it’s Xinomavro’s turn to have an international day :partying_face: :partying_face:

A short, but interesting piece, with bonus video.

@horsleym, any special Xin’s for you on a Monday?

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Good for future availability, bad for future prices…?

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This kind of buying not particularly sticky I think. Might cause a bump in sales but buyers will buy whatevers mentioned next time rather than just continuing to buy Greek wines.

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My major concern with a huge upsurge in demand like this is actually downward pressure on quality - from a purely economic perspective, if producers get rewarded for piling 'em high and selling them cheap, then they will, by expanding the region and diluting the product - the Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc effect if you will.

On a recent visit to the parallel universe of the UK I had a bottle of this I’d had for some years - the 2010.

It was stunning. Probably my wine of the year (OK, this year it’s been entirely limited to what I’ve opened myself).

Seriously fine wine, in any case. Could have aged longer too. Reminded me a lot of a top-quality Etna wine (obviously even with the price increase nothing from Etna can even get near to competing). On the second day it seemed to put on a little body. Superb stuff.

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Good to know re: the Hatzidakis Mavrotragano @suiko (and nice to hear from you also!)
I nabbed a 6er of the 2017 when reduced to £25/btl recently now sitting in Reseves. Will keep them there for a good while I think, esp. based on your comment on the 2010.

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