Greek wine has been made since the 7th century BC, and is firmly embedded in the country’s culture. Not only does it boast a fascinating array of indigenous varieties, giving Greek wine a character all of its own, but it was also responsible for vines being planted throughout the Mediterranean.
Greece has always been rightly proud of its own grape varieties, and has steadfastly refused to fill its vineyards with acre upon acre of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Faith in its local grapes is being rewarded, with consumers starting to get to grips with the likes of elegant, zesty Assyrtiko from Santorini, full-bodied Agioritiko and powerful, ageworthy Xinomavro.
Greece has moved on from the financial crisis of the late Noughties that crippled its economy, with a host of new wineries appearing all over the country, the majority of whom are focusing on indigenous grapes, which may explain the public’s new-found fondness for them.
This year’s IWSC results are proof that the big medals don’t always go to the usual suspects: Assyrtiko is the star performer in Estate Argyros Cuvee Monsignori 2018, with its notes of freshly cut grapefruit and lemon on the palate. Alpha Estate Single Vineyard Turtles Malagouzia 2020 wowed with its aromatic aromas of ginger, rose petal and sweet spice; and Estate Argyros First Release Vin Santo 2013 impressed with waves of dried fruit, coffee and caramel notes. All made with local varieties, and all Gold medal winners.
Every Greek wine tasted at the 2021 IWSC was organised by style and colour, before being blind-tasted by an panel made up of some of the finest palates in the business. Chairing the panel was Sarah Abbott MW, joined by fellow Masters of Wine Alistair Cooper and Matthew Forster. Other judges on the Greek panel were Master Sommeliers Eric Zwiebel and Svetoslav Manolev, C&C Group’s Harriet Kininmonth and Enotria buyer Richard Lewis.
Greek wine has an identity all of its own, so if you’re yet to experience its charms, there’s no better time. Here is our list of the best Greek wines selected from this year’s IWSC.
Eight award-winning Greek wines from the IWSC 2021
- Estate Argyros, Cuvee Monsignori 2018. Santorini; 95/100
- Estate Argyros, First Release Vin Santo 2013. Santorini; 95/100
- Alpha Estate, Single Vineyard Turtles Malagouzia 2020. Florina; 95/100
- Kir-Yianni, Diaporos Xinomavro 2017. Imathia; 95/100
- Ktima Pavlidis, Thema 2018. Drama; 90/100
- Domaine Papagiannakos, Assyrtiko 2020. Attiki; 90/100
- Ktima Akrani, Athiri-Muscat-Chardonnay 2020. Kos; 90/100
- Nikos Douloufakis, Dafnios Vidiano 2020. Crete; 88/100
How do we judge these wines?
We run a tightly structured, rigorous wine tasting process. That means that each wine sample is pre-poured into numbered glasses and assessed blindly by the judges. Most importantly, our IWSC wine judges are experts in their field, who work across all sectors of the wine industry. For evidence, see our full list of judges.
How do we score these wines?
Only the best wines sampled receive a Gold or Silver award. For example, to win Gold, wines have to score between 95 and 100 points. Meanwhile, Silver wines range from 90 to 94 points. Click here to read more on our scoring system.
More from Club Oenologique
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Top Rated Bottles
Estate Argyros, Cuvee Monsignori 2018
Estate Argyros, First Release Vin Santo 2013
Alpha Estate, Single Vineyard Turtles Malagouzia 2020
Kir-Yianni, Diaporos Xinomavro 2017
Ktima Pavlidis, Thema 2018
Domaine Papagiannakos, Assyrtiko 2020
Ktima Akrani, Athiri-Muscat-Chardonnay 2020
Nikos Douloufakis, Dafnios Vidiano 2020
An armchair tour of the great Greek wine regions
Wine Handpicked by IWSC
10 of the best Moldovan wines
Wine Club O Collection
The rapidly evolving wines of modern Greece
How native grapes are putting Marche back on the map
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