Made since the 7th century BC, Greek wine is firmly embedded in the country’s culture. Not only does it boast a fascinating array of indigenous grape varieties, giving Greek wine a character all of its own, but it was also responsible for the arrival of vines across 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 drinkers starting to get to grips with the likes of elegant, zesty Assyrtiko from Santorini, full-bodied Agioritiko and powerful, ageworthy Xinomavro.
A host of new wineries appearing all over the country are testament to how far Greece has come along since the financial crisis of the late Noughties that crippled its economy. The majority are focusing on indigenous grapes, which may help explain the public’s new-found fondness for them, but it doesn’t hurt that wine bars in Athens or in some of the most popular island destinations – from Santorini to Crete – are also flying the flag for Greek wine.
This year’s IWSC results are proof that the big medals don’t always go to the usual suspects: Vinsanto from Estate Argyros was the top performer, with its notes of dried dates, caramel, wood, mocha and toffee. Kir-Yianni Cuvée Villages Xinomavro 2018 wowed with its ‘enticing fruit profile’ of sour red cherries, cranberries and blackcurrants; and Volcanic Slopes Vineyard’s Pure 2018 perfectly expressed the bright acidity of the Assyrtiko grape. All made with local varieties, and all Gold medal winners.
Every Greek wine tasted at the 2022 IWSC was organised by style and colour, before being blind-tasted by a panel made up of some of the finest palates in the business.
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.
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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