Greek Wines: Up There with the Best

An indicative selection of reviews of more than 55 local wines by two widely respected and independent ranking websites


The rave reviews many Greek wines enjoy in the international wine rankings are testimony to the immense achievements of local winemakers, as this completely indicative selection of reviews of more than 55 local wines by two widely respected and independent ranking websites, erobertparker.com (RP) and jancisrobinson.com (JR).

SWEET 

SANTORINI

Domaine Sigalas | Vinsanto 2005

A rich, bright, orange-golden wine with a vivid and complex aroma developed by the classic technique of sun drying the grapes for up to 12 days before use. Aged for a minimum of 24 months in oak barrels. Scents of dried and sugared fruits dominate. An exquisite structure, acidity and finesse, with a strong aftertaste. Keeps well for several decades, best served chilled at 11C with strong cheese, dried fruit and bitter chocolate.

RP: 95/100  |  JR: 19/20

Also highly rated: Vinsanto 2004, Vinsanto 2003

Estate Argyros
| Vinsanto 4 Years Barrel-Aged 2007

Produced with 80 percent Assyrtiko, 10 percent Aidani and 10 percent Athiri grape varieties, it has a rich, copper-amber color and strong, fine, complex aromas of chocolate, honey, roasted coffee, dried fruit and dried nuts. Full bodied, buttery, well structured and balanced, with sweetness and acidity in harmony, this Vinsanto has a fine and long finish. A wonderful wine to accompany dark chocolate desserts that works well both as an aperitif and digestif. Excellent capacity for aging.

JR: 17.5/20

Also highly rated: Vinsanto 12 Years Barrel-Aged 1999, 12 Years Barrel-Aged 1998, 20 Years Barrel-Aged 1991, 20 Years Barrel-Aged 1990, Vinsanto 1974

Domaine Sigalas | Apiliotis 2008

A naturally sweet, dark red wine arising from the process of sun-drying the grapes for up to 12 days. Complex and rich with notes of spices, fruit and dark caramel. Well-balanced between sugars, tannins and acidity for a lasting aftertaste that goes well with strong cheese. Stores well for long periods.

RP: 94/100

Also highly rated: Apiliotis No Vintage, Apiliotis 2005

Gaia Wines | Vinsanto 2005

Assyrtiko grapes with small amounts of Athiri and Aidani are used for this wine, where the traditional drying process that characterizes Santorini’s wines is altered so that half the grapes are sun-dried and the other dried in the shade to retain a fruity freshness. Naturally sweet with notes of dried fruit, orange peel and smoky accents. This wine has a distinctive, deep honey color and perfectly complements dark chocolate desserts.

RP: 96/100

Canava Roussos | Vinsanto Santorini 2006

Deliciously sweet, golden honey colored, with notes of sun-dried figs, plum conserve and nuts dominating the aroma. Burnt caramel and vanilla take the lead in the flavors while a delicate sweetness edged by citrus rind lingers smoothly on the palate. Best served between 8–10C with nuts, fruitcake, conserves, bitter chocolate or as an aperitif.

RP: 95/100

Boutari | Vinsanto 2004

A sweet wine with a characteristic, orange-yellow color imparted by the sun-dried grapes and maturation in the barrel. This wine carries an intense, complex aroma. The palate is reminiscent of honey, candied fruit, raisins and spices. Satisfyingly well-rounded upon tasting, with rich flavors and excellent balance due to the acidity of the Assyrtiko grapes which dominate the varieties used. A particularly long aromatic aftertaste allows it to hold its own both as an aperitif and digestif.

RP: 94/100

Artemis Karamolegos | Vinsanto 2006

Rich and sweet with dense and complex aromas of dried fruits, chocolate, caramel, espresso coffee and walnuts. Velvety smooth on the palate without being overly sweet thanks to the acidity levels. Exuberant flavors and a complex, lingering finish. This mahogany-colored wine concentrates all the special traits of Santorini’s unique terroir. Chill to 6–8C and pair with chocolate or burnt sugar desserts, strong cheese and prosciutto with figs.

RP: 94/100

Santo Wines | Vinsanto 2007

A fine dessert wine from sun-dried Assyrtiko and Aidani grapes. The three-year maturation in oak barrels offers a mature and velvety character, switching between honey and lemon, raisins and sweet spices. Best served at 8C, with excellent aging potential. Partner with cheese cake, dried fruits, dried nuts or honey-based desserts.

RP: 93/100

SAMOS

Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos (EOSS)
| Nectar 2010

This complex Muscat has a deep amber color complemented by attractive orange hints. A dark, robust and sweet wine, very aromatic with notes of walnut, cinnamon, apricot, orange and plum and a smoky, nutty end palate. Crafted from sun-dried grapes to intensify the flavor. Its strong character works well with bold dishes such as duck l’orange, boar and quince or syrupy desserts. Ages very well.

RP: 93/100

Also highly rated: Nectar 2002, Nectar 1980

Union of Vinicultural Cooperatives of Samos (EOSS)
| Anthemis 2008

A sweet wine with a bold, orange color and hints of bronze. Aromas of honey, honeycomb, butterscotch candy, fruit preserves, and cherries sit in the background layered with cocoa to build a deep bouquet. Very well balanced, this wine has a palate that is fresh and harmonious. A fine dessert wine that shines in accompaniment to sweet pastries.

RP: 93/100

Also highly rated: Anthemis 2007, Anthemis 2006, Anthemis 1999

Pieria Eratini | Glykes Efhes Eratines 2013

A sweet version of the popular Greek Malagousia variety. With an amber color and sweet, delicate and revitalizing nose. Notes of apricot, peach, orange marmalade, honeysuckle, sage and honey form the base of the aromas. Sweet with a sour undertone, this wine is well-balanced and elegant. Enjoy chilled at 8–10C as an aperitif or with fruit-based desserts.

RP: 93/100

Gaia Wines | Anatolikos 2000

A sweet red wine with balanced and refreshing acidity. The smooth flavor is accompanied by a highly aromatic bouquet of dry raisins, dry figs, dark chocolate and coffee. Under correct storage, this is a wine that develops new dimensions as it matures.

RP: 93/100

SANTORINI

Gaia Wines | Thalassitis 2011

Produced from Santorini’s indigenous variety, Assyrtiko. A dry, full-bodied white wine, well-structured with crisp acidity, distinctive minerality and delicate honeysuckle aromas and the potential to improve with 2–3 years of correct cellar storage. Best served at 10C after being left to breathe for 30 minutes in a decanter. Enjoy with seafood, fish, shellfish or lamb. Comes in two versions: aged under the sea or conventionally.

RP: 93/100

Also highly rated: Thalassitis 2010, Thalassitis 2003

Domaine Sigalas
| Santorini Assyrtiko (Barrel Fermented) 2014

Dry white wine with a bright golden color of the Assyrtiko grape variety fermented in oak barrels. Aromas of wood, vanilla and citrus fruit combine to accentuate a robust, crisp flavor with a minerality that characterizes this grape variety. Ages well over five years and complements fish and white meat dishes as well as spiced sauces, smoked cheese and smoked salmon.

RP: 94/100  |  JR: 18/20

Domaine Sigalas | Santorini Assyrtiko 2014

Straw blond in color with hints of green and a citrus notes. Excellent structure with a depth of flavor and an acidity which brings the flavors to the fore and adds freshness. Pleasingly long aftertaste. Carries the characteristic mineral taste that is typical of the Assyrtiko grape variety and the soil of Santorini. Serve chilled with fish and light sauces.

RP: 93/100  |  JR: 17.5/20

Also highly rated: Santorini Assyrtiko 2011, Santorini Assyrtiko 2009

Domaine Sigalas | Mavrotragano 2013

A dry red wine with a deep color from the endangered Mavrotragano variety, which has been revived in recent years. A complex blend of red fruit and spices dominate the aroma. Rich and gentle tannins balance the acidity and prolong the aftertaste. Ages very well and develops as it breathes.

JR: 17.5/20

Estate Argyros | Assyrtiko Argyros 2014

A dry white wine with a crystal-clear yellow color, distinctively flavored with citrus overtones. The relatively high acidity of the Assyrtiko grape variety lends a crisp freshness with body, structure and substance. A pleasant white wine with a strong personality.

JR: 17/20

Avantis Estate | Dolphins Santorini 2014

Citrus aromas with hints of smoke and minerals dominate this dry white wine. It has a dense structure with notes of lemon blossom and a briny, refreshing flavor with a crisp, clean aftertaste and long finish. A wine that matches well with seafood and light Mediterranean cuisine.

JR: 17/20

Hatzidakis | Santorini Assyrtiko 2014

A white wine composed of a blend of Assyrtiko, Aidani and Athiri grape varieties. The three come together to create a harmonious aroma of lemon, tropical fruit, jasmine, apple and grapefruit. An intensely dry wine that is crisp with a great texture and balance.

JR: 17/20

Also highly rated: Santorini Assyrtiko 2013

Hatzidakis
| Assyrtiko de Mylos Vieilles Vignes 2014

A very well-balanced white wine made from 100 year-old ungrafted organic Assyrtiko vines grown in a monastery vineyard. Has a yellow color with light golden shades, strong aromas of mature fruits and intense minerality, contributing to a pleasingly long, lingering aftertaste. Serve chilled with shellfish, white meat and full-fat mature cheese such as parmigiano.

RP: 94/100

Hatzidakis | Mavrotragano 2011

A rich red wine with aromas of forest fruit, lavender, tobacco and mineral notes. Delightfully firm tannins with a lasting aftertaste. Serve between 16–18C with red meats and full-fat, mature cheeses. Has the potential to age in the bottle for at least 10 years.

JR: 17/20

Domaine Sigalas | Nychteri 2011

A dry white wine with a warm yellow color tinged with golden hues. Complex aromas of ripe citrus, honeysuckle, nuts and pronounced minerality. Full-bodied, with layers of flavors, balance and some residual sugar that adds a unique characteristic similar to sherry. A wonderful accompaniment to strong cheese, stews and duck.

RP: 95/100

Domaine Sigalas | Kavalieros 2013

A dry white wine with a bright, straw blond color and golden hues. A metallic hint dominates the aromas in harmony with citrus fruit, especially lemon, and touches of herbs and citrus blossoms. Rich body, refreshing acidity and a long aftertaste, where minerality dominates. Can be stored for up to seven years and is best served with seafood and light, white sauces.

RP: 94/100

Estate Argyros | Santorini Estate 2014

A golden-green white wine that has been aged in used French oak barrels to bring out complex fine aromas of roasted dried nuts, honey, butter, wood, fruits and an aftertaste of quince. A good combination of fruit and barrel provides balance on the palate and an interesting finish.

RP: 94/100

Hatzidakis | Santorini Cuvée No. 15 2014

Made from organically grown Assyrtiko grapes, this wine has a mellow golden color, delicate aromas of ripe, fresh citrus fruits and balanced minerality. With an elegant flavor characterized by the acidity of Santorini’s vineyards and a long aftertaste. Serve chilled with indulgent accompaniments such as oysters, salmon, tuna and flavorsome cheeses. Ages well for up to five years.

RP: 94/100

Estate Argyros | Mavrotragano 2012

A rich red wine from the rare Mavrotragano grape variety. Deep ruby red in color with aromas of cherry and tobacco. Full-bodied with a balanced taste and long finish. This wine partners well with red meat and spicy cuisine.

RP: 93/100

Gaia Wines | Thalassitis Oak Fermented 2011

Dry white, well-structured, with mineral flavors, well-combined with nuances of citrus, wood, vanilla, incense and acacia flowers. A wine with a striking personality. Enjoy with fatty fish, lamb and poultry at 8–10C. Properly stored, this wine will keep for 5–6 years. Decant half an hour before serving to enhance the aromas.

RP: 93/100

NORTHERN GREECE

Costa Lazaridi | Château Julia Merlot 2011

From the famous Merlot variety, yielding the best results within biological cultivation, comes this overflowing wine with the composite taste of small berries in the mouth. Complex aromas of small forest fruit, mint and eucalyptus. Very good concentration, fruity and round with firm, well-crafted tannins and n intense long finish. Ages well for up to 15 years.

JR: 18/20

PGI Drama

Pavlidis Winery | Thema series

A deep red, almost purple wine composed of 60 percent Syrah and 40 percent Agiorgitiko grape varieties. Intense overtones of cherries and plum dominate the aromas, followed by scents of chocolate, smoke and vanilla. Generous in the mouth, with good balance and lively tannins contributing to a velvety structure. Long and fruity aftertaste, with a light touch of oak. A complex wine which improves with age.

JR: 18/20

PGI Florina

Alpha Estate | Omega Late Harvest 2009

Composed of 85 percent Gewurztraminer and 15 percent Malagousia varieties, which are allowed to remain on the vine to dehydrate and intensify the aromas and flavors. A full-bodied, full-flavored white wine with notes of rose petals, pear and apricot and the spicy floral aromas of the Gewurztraminer grape. A refreshing taste with a lasting finish. Serve chilled with fruit-based desserts, blue cheeses and foie gras.

JR: 17.5/20

PGI Imathia

Kir-Yianni | Dyo Elies 2011

A deep red wine composed of 60 percent Syrah, 30 percent Merlot and 10 percent Xinomavro varieties. Aromas of ripe cherry and blackberry dominate in this vintage, produced during a year with particularly good conditions. Spicy notes are lent by the Syrah variety while vanilla and smoky notes come from the oak-aging process. This wine has velvety tannins and a lingering, spicy afternote. Pairs well with red meat and game.

JΡ: 17.5/20

PGI Drama

Costa Lazaridi | Château Julia Assyrtiko 2014

A fresh and vibrant white wine from the Assyrtiko grape variety. Pale yellow in color with hints of green, this wine has a delicate bouquet of white flowers and metallic notes blended with aromas of lemon and flint. Refreshing and pleasant with good volume and acidity, this wine compliments shellfish, sautéed mussels and seafood risottos.

JR: 17.5/20

PGI Florina

Alpha Estate | Sauvignon Blanc 2014

A classic sauvignon blanc with a fresh, light yellow color. The aroma is characterized by notes of gooseberry, passion fruit, melon, lychee and honeysuckle. Round and mellow on the palate, balanced and with plenty of finesse. A richly textured wine with superb length and balance and lingering finish. This wine acts as the perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes.

JR: 17/20

PGI Thrace

Anatolikos Vineyards | λ2 2014

An organic dry white wine composed of 90 percent Assyrtiko and 10 percent Malagousia varieties. This wine has a vibrant yellow-green color, with dominant aromas of citrus fruit, pear, apple, green tea and honeycomb. Rich and well balanced in flavor, which rounds off on the aromas of the Malagousia grape. A good accompaniment for seafood and white meat with subtle flavors.

JR: 17/20

PDO Naoussa

Dalamara | Paliokalias 2012

A dry red wine from the regional Xinomavro variety of grapes aged in oak barrels. Earthy tones, cherry, sun-dried tomato and notes of red berries, typical of this grape variety, dominate the aromas. With firm tannins and a well-structured flavor, this wine improves with age. Allow to breathe for several hours after opening. Serve with game and red meat.

JR: 17/20

Also highly rated: Paliokalias 2009

PGI Epanomi

Gerovassiliou | Avaton 2012

A dark, ruby-red wine from a blend of three Greek indigenous grape varieties: Limnio, Mavroudi and Mavrotragano. First mentioned in the 5th century BC, Limnio is the oldest recorded Greek grape variety. Simultaneously robust and velvety, with blackberry, notes of spice and a dry, lingering finish. Best when served between 16–18C and keeps well for long periods. Pairs well with hearty stews and game.

JR: 17/20

PGI Florina

Alpha Estate
| Alpha Xinomavro Reserve Vieilles Vines 2011

A cherry red wine with notes of sour cherry and a nutty undertone from a very old variety of the Xinomavro grape. Deep and intense in flavor with firm and smooth tannins and good acidity. This wine has the potential to age very well. Allow to breathe for several hours before serving to really make the flavors shine. A wonderful partner to red meat and game dishes.

RP: 94/100

Also highly rated: Alpha Xinomavro Reserve Vieilles Vines 2008

Naoussa

Foundi Estate 2007

A typical red wine from Naoussa that highlights the best attributes of the Xinomavro grape variety. The dominating aromas are of red fruit and tomato layered over a spicy note. Rich tannins and with a velvety finish.

RP: 94/100

Kir-Yianni | Diaporos 2011

A robust red wine made with a blend of 92 percent Xinomavro and 8 percent Syrah grapes. Deep red in color with an excellent volume and concentrated aromas of red fruits, violet and vanilla. A wine that truly showcases the strengths of the Xinomavro variety in a year that produced an outstanding vintage. Its character develops as it ages. A perfect match for veal, game or truffle-flavored mature cheeses.

RP: 94/100

Biblia Chora Estate | Areti 2008

A deep ruby wine of limited production matured for 12 months in new oak casks. Its rich cherry aroma typical of the Agiorgitiko variety combines wonderfully with vanilla, cedarwood and spice notes. A well-rounded taste with excellent tannins and a lasting aroma.

RP: 93/100

PELOPONNESE

Regional Wine of Lakonia

Monemvasia Winery | 300 2007

A complex red dry wine composed of 70 percent Agiorgitiko and 30 percent Mavraki varieties grown in the vineyards of Velies. 300 has a deeply structured flavor with notes of pepper, blackberry and dark cherry mixed with subtle oak. Robust tannins give a rich, opulent feel on the palate. Serve between 16–18C with game or red meat.

JR: 17/20

Also highly rated: 300 2006

PGI Corinthia

Aivalis | Assyrtiko 2014

A classic dry white wine with a bright color, earthy aromas and hints of banana, peach and citrus. This wine is delightfully full-bodied and well-rounded in flavor. It partners well with seafood and white meat.

JR: 17/20

PGI Lakonia

Monemvasia Winery | Asproudi 2014

A refreshing dry white wine from the heirloom Asproudi variety of grape which is famed for its highly aromatic nature reflecting notes of citrus, pear and apricot. This wine has a clear yellow color, floral aroma and a discreet, balanced taste. A light and vibrant wine that’s perfect with summer salads, seafood and white meat.

JΡ: 17/20

Monemvasia Winery | Monemvasios 2007

A robust dry red wine composed of 90 percent Agiorgitiko and 10 percent Mavroudi grape varieties. Good acidity, rich in color and good, ripe tannins. Typical Agiorgitiko flavors dominate, such as cherry and gooseberry, while the Mavroudi enhances the fruity notes and lends an intense freshness. With a velvety texture and hints of vanilla and oak flavors imparted from the barrel maturation process. A well-rounded wine that goes well with red meat, red sauces and cheese.

JΡ: 17/20

Mercouri Estate | Chortais 2005

A sweet, red dessert wine with a bold color. The aromas carry overtones of caramel and chocolate with a rich, velvety flavor. Harmonic and firmly structured with fine tannins. The balanced sweetness of this wine matches well with fresh or dried fruit, blue cheese, chocolate or on its own as a dessert wine.

RP: 94/100

Also highly rated: Chortais 2004

Kalavryta

Domain Mega Spileo | Red 2010

An intense red wine made from 60 percent Mavrodafni and 40 percent Mavro Kalavritino grapes, with a deep red color. Complex aromas of laurel, white pepper, gooseberry marmalade, leather and a sweet wooden background of vanilla and chocolate. A wine with a well-balanced finesse and gentle tannins. Very well structured with a long and pleasant finish. Allow to breathe for one hour before serving.

RP: 93/100

Domaine Skouras
| Megas Oenos Labyrinth 99-10

A well-structured dry red wine that leans towards purple and terracotta hues. With a dense, complex aroma centered on red fruit and spicy notes of clove, cinnamon and black pepper as well as herbal tones and cedar. Deliciously full bodied on the palate with good tannins, vivid acidity and a smooth, elegant finish. An exquisite aftertaste that lingers for a long time.

RP: 93/100

Domaine Skouras | Megas Oenos 2012

A dry red composed of 80 percent Agiorgitiko and 20 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with an intense, red-purple color. The aromas are dark and concentrated, elaborate but elegant with fruits such as blackberries and raspberries plus spicy undertones. Silky on the palate with robust tannins and balanced acidity. The aftertaste is complex and long lasting.

RP: 93/100

CENTRAL GREECE

PGI Evia

Avantis Estate | Plagies Gerakion 2011

A smooth red wine composed predominantly of the Mavrokoundoura grape variety with some Syrah. A clear, bright and purple color with aromas of stunning intensity such as ripe black-and-red fruits and a sweet-spicy character reminiscent of vanilla, cinnamon and clove. Finely balanced on the palate with fine-grained tannins and acidic fruit notes. This wine has a lingering afternote and evolves well when stored for up to 5 years.

JR: 17.5/20

Avantis Estate | Malagousia 2014

A fresh white wine with a soft lemon-green color with pronounced notes of grapefruit and lime, peach, pear, lemon blossom and hints of minerality. This wine is produced from the especially aromatic Malagousia variety that was near-extinct until its revival in the late 20th century. It has a fruity palate with sharp acidity and aromas of white fruit, citrus and rose.

JR: 17/20

Avantis Estate | Syrah 2013

Considered a typical example of Greek Syrah, this is a deep ruby-red wine with a complex aroma that develops as it breathes. Notes of spice, pepper, cinnamon and tobacco dominate. Full-bodied and with a complex flavor of prunes, raspberries and blackberries and hints of vanilla. Fine-grained tannins add a pleasantly lingering finish.

JR: 17/20

PGI Attiki

Mylonas | Savatiano 2014

A fresh, low-key dry white with a crisp character and tropical fruit and peach aromas. Clear with a mellow lemon color. This wine has a good acidity which is fresh in the mouth, balanced with good length and exceptionally good value for money. Best consumed within a year of purchase.

JR: 17/20

La Tour Melas | Palies Rizes 2013

A dry red with a deep red color. Clean, nicely rounded flavors that are vibrant and lingering with very good tannins and a fruity end note. A very well-balanced wine that ages well.

JR: 17/20

Tsantali | Rapsani Reserve 2004

A dry red wine composed of equal parts Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto grape varieties. The aromas are dominated by blackberries and plums, elegantly infused with spices, hints of leather and licorice. The intense deep purple color highlights the rich palate with firm tannins and balanced acidity. This wine has a luscious finish and excellent aging capacity.

RP: 93/100

AEGEAN

PGI Lesvos

Methymnaeos
| Chidiriotiko Blanc de Noirs (Orange) 2014

A dry organic white wine from the Chidiriotiko grape variety with complementing notes of orange and citrus. Elegant, earthy afternotes with strong minerality that originates from the volcanic soil of western Lesvos where the vineyard is based. Best served chilled as a stand-alone wine or with salmon, duck or sushi. Equally good as an aperitif or after-dinner wine.

JR: 17.5/20

Methymnaeos | Chidiriotiko 2013

A ruby colored dry red wine. The aromas combine Muscat, honey and red roses with tones of forest fruit and cinnamon. Lightly oaky. Distinct, earthy minerality, stemming from the volcanic soil of western Lesvos where the vines are grown.

JR: 17/20

PGI Cyclades

T-Oinos | Clos Stegasta Assyrtiko 2013

A crisp white wine made from organic Assyrtiko grapes. This wine is characterized by a fresh, mildly fruity personality with notes of orange zest and warm, oaky tones. An elegant palate with a generous finish and refreshing acidity.

JR: 17/20

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