by Markus Stolz

Spotlight
on Greek wines

byMarkus Stolz
December 21, 2009, 6 Comments

Fiery Greeks under the Magnifying Glass

I 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 Greece, as well as many other countries. In order to ensure that the results are truly representative, I called Eckhard Supp, who ensured me that his ratings of 5 and 4 stars could be translated to 93 and 88 points on the 100-point scale.

Top average scores by grape varieties, an average of 7 different wines per grape variety were submitted. I excluded varieties where less than 5 wines were tasted:

Grape variety Average score

Syrah                            88
Xinomavro                   87
Cabernet Sauvignon 86.5
Assyrtiko                      86
Agiorgitiko                   85.5

The fact that Syrah has outscored all other varieties is remarkable. It just shows how dynamic Greece’s wine industry has become. Xinomavro as number two might also come as a surprise to many, I have argued many times that the best resulting wines have much more individual character than most other varieties. Cabernet Sauvignon scored high because of the outstanding scores received by Christos Kokkalis’ Trilogia, without this wine the variety would not have been listed here. Assyrtiko as the top white variety does not come as a surprise. The list would have not been complete without Agiorgitiko.

Best value wines for less than 10 Euros:

Winery                                                                         Points Price

Palivou Anemos Roditis                                         85         6,50 Euro
Palivou Anemos Agiorgitiko                                   83         6,50 Euro
Kir Yianni Petra Roditis                                           83         7,00 Euro
Sigalas Santorini Assyrtiko/Athiri                          87.5      9,00 Euro
Dalamara Aghechoros Xinomavro/Merlot           86         9,00 Euro
Tselepos Moschofilero                                           85         9,00 Euro

I have repeatedly stated that it is not easy to find great quality wines at low prices, but that this can be achieved if one knows where to look. I am glad that the wine critics agree.

Top scoring wineries that submitted 3 or more wines:

Winery              Average Score

Manousakis    87.8
Sigalas            87.4
Kir Yianni         87
Pavlidis            86.9 (8 wines submitted!)
Palivou             86
Tselepos         85.8

This is a great compilation of well-established and newer entries of Greek wine estates.

Top scoring wineries that submitted less than 3 wines:

Winery                     Average Score

Christos Kokkalis       93
Thimiopoulos              88
Parparoussis              87.5
Tetramythos                87
Claudia Papayiannis 87
Mercouri                       86.7
Dalamara                    86.5
Gerovassiliou             85.5

This list includes all, very old estates and brand-new entries, pioneers and new blood.

Other wineries that were also rated highly:

Winery                  Average Score

Biblia Chora:        84.8
Gentilini:                84.75
Katogi Averoff:      85
Papantonis:          83
Vatistas:                82.7
Wine Art Estate:   84.25
Zafeirakis:             84.3

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  1. Kostas KatsoulierisDecember 21, 2009, 8:25 pm

    Markus good evening,

    Thank you for the analysis it brings everything together very nicely. I have the following comments:

    1) If we did take out Trilogia and Cabernet dropped out, which variety would make the list?

    2) How were the wines picked out (as I noticed an absence of Antonopoulos and Alpha Estate of the more famous wineries)?

    3) Which of the wineries that made the list for those that presented less than 3 wines would have made the list for more than 3 wines if their full range had been presented? I know this is quite a difficult question as you would have to second guess what Herr Scheuermann would find – perhaps you have an idea of his taste / preferences?

    I would think that German critics will follow the Greek wine scene more closely now and hopefully their scores will prompt more German wine stores to stock Greek wines. Who knows maybe next time I fly through Muenchen airport I might find an Assyrtiko or Xinomavro next to the Reislings, Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays & Riojas – that would be a clear sign that we have arrived! Once more congratulations for your tireless efforts as they are now paying dividends! Mpravo Marko!

  2. elloinosDecember 21, 2009, 8:50 pm

    Kosta, you got a great set of questions!

    Next one in line of grape varieties was Chardonnay with an average score of 85.25. Other varieties even scored higher, but less than 5 wines were shown, so I did not include them. They were in alphabetical order: Grenache, Kydonitsa, Limniona, Malagousia, Mavrodaphne, Merlot, Moschofilero, Refosco, Robola, Roditis, Sauvignon Blanc, Tempranillo and Viognier.

    I picked the wineries, but although I tried my utmost, some wineries failed to submit samples, either by oversight or for other – to me unknown – reasons. Alpha Estate and Antonopoulos were among them.

    The last question I cannot answer, it is not up to me to second guess or speculate on the critic’s taste preference.

    This was a very important watershed for Greek wines, but a lot of more hard work and patience is needed until this will feed through to the wine stores. The fact remains that the perception of Greek wines is still suffering. An important first battle has been won, but I do not want to raise expectations. Trees do not grow in the sky yet, we have merely built a solid foundation. I will continue with all my efforts helping to increase this momentum. But I do share your dream of finding Greek wines next to Rieslings, Pinot Noirs etc. :)

  3. tobias cooks!December 24, 2009, 12:04 am

    I like the “Best value wines for less than 10 Euros” part a lot as I am always looking for such a price range for the food events I do. If you have any other wines you can recommend in that price range I would be thankful.

    Cheers
    Tobias

  4. elloinosDecember 24, 2009, 9:59 am

    Tobias, Skouras has a number of wines that fall into this price tag and that are quite easy to find. Also Gaia Notios are very good value for money.

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