“During similar tasting events to date, the standard of Greek wines turned out ordinary. However, on two separate occasions now, the wines organised by Markus Stolz were a thrust. I was able to award 5 stars out of 5 to several wines, and was likely even too conservative in my judgement.”
These are the written words of Eckhard Supp, a well-known German journalist and wine critic, who last week published the report “WorldWine Highlights: Greece” (link in German).
Mario Scheuermann, who is one of the top wine critics in Germany, today released a detailed report covering the wines presented by me. He awarded consistent solid scores throughout. More than 60 wines were awarded with scores between 82 and 93. To put this into context, less than a handful of all the wines I showed scored just below the 82- point mark. The wines came from 21 estates from all over Greece and included a great number of grape varieties. The newsletter by Scheuermann with more than 10 pages was his most comprehensive for all of 2009. It was sent out to more than 2000 subscribers. A summary of the newsletter in German can be found here.
I have repeatedly argued that Greek wines deserve much more recognition. Many of Greece’s finest growers are virtually unknown abroad. There still exist a number of misconceptions in regards to wines from Greece, and my hope is that these will be overcome.
I wish to emphasise that nearly every single wine that I organised for the two tasting events received high scores. Most were in the 83 – 88 point range. This is a more than solid result. I spent a lot of time during my year meeting with growers and hunting for exciting quality wines. I am glad this effort yields results. Reports on the two tasting events can be found here and here.
In my experience, the wine critics in Germany are amongst the most critical in the world, rarely scoring as high as their respective US and UK counterparts. For example, several of the wines included in the above mentioned reports received distinctively higher scores from Mark Squires (Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate) or the Wine & Spirits Magazine.
As far as I know, this is the first time ever that Greek wines caught so much positive attention in Germany. Michael Pleitgen, who runs the Wine & Spirit Education Trust programme in Berlin, had already reported about his positive impressions in November. The German wine critics have openly spoken, and their message is loud and clear.
I will report in more detail later this week.