by Markus Stolz

Fiery
Greeks

byMarkus Stolz
December 15, 2009, 10 Comments

“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.

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  1. DemetraDecember 15, 2009, 11:37 am

    nice!!

  2. Kostas KatsoulierisDecember 15, 2009, 9:15 pm

    At last! The secret is finally out, Greeks really can make good wine – good red wine at that. Up to now, it was Greek whites that were favoured over reds but it is very interesting to see the reaction of the German critics. The true top marks though surely go to you, Markus, as without your tireless efforts, these good reviews may have been a few years away or indeed may never have materialised. Congratulations! I would love to see the full list of wines and scores. As somebody whose mother hails from Elia prefecture I am very proud that the 93 went to Trilogia. Goodness knows how I will keep my hands off it this Christmas!

  3. elloinosDecember 15, 2009, 9:48 pm

    Kosta, I am planning on writing a more detailed report, I can also forward you the newsletter by Mario Scheuermann, although it is of course written in German. I am delighted that the wines from Greece have finally caught the attention of the German wine critics – and they are not easy to please. I also know that it will require a lot more work, effort and time to really built upon this momentum. Today marked a significant watershed, and I will do my best to further enhance the image of Greek wines. As for Christos Kokkalis, he is a dear friend and certainly deserves the high scores, his wines have been on the radar screen of the critics for many years.

  4. Kostas KatsoulierisDecember 15, 2009, 10:23 pm

    Dear Markus, feel free to send me the newsletter from Herr Scheuermann. It will be an incentive to practise my German and I will more importantly learn some German wine terminology!

  5. Thomas PellechiaDecember 17, 2009, 3:46 pm

    Good luck on a potential rise in business, Markus.

  6. elloinosDecember 17, 2009, 3:56 pm

    Thomas, it is an important first step, as the wines from Greece have never received positive feedback from the German wine critics in the past. I guess it has a lot to do with putting in the effort and being able to select a solid representative range of exciting wines. I am well aware that this only marks a beginning to raise awareness. I am patient and certainly look at the longer term prospects. But I am also proud that the tide starts changing.

  7. Thomas PellechiaDecember 18, 2009, 4:08 pm

    Markus,

    You know the old saying: a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step…

  8. Spotlight on the fiery Greeks | ELLOINOSDecember 21, 2009, 3:38 pm

    [...] have analysed the findings of the German wine critics, who earlier reported their scores on over 60 Greek wines, and caused surprise and furore in both Germany and [...]

  1. Spotlight on the fiery Greeks | ELLOINOSDecember 21, 2009, 3:38 pm

    [...] have analysed the findings of the German wine critics, who earlier reported their scores on over 60 Greek wines, and caused surprise and furore in both Germany and [...]