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Winner Details

 Greece

2017 Gold: 7 Silver: 5 Bronze: 0 Commended: 5
2016 Gold: 2 Silver: 8 Bronze: 1 Commended: 4

Sommeliers like Greek wines so we always thought that if the Greeks submitted half-decent numbers of wines to this competition, they’d pick up a good stack of medals. But even we didn’t expect this.

Seven Golds was an astonishing performance – that’s more than the Rhône, which is traditionally one of the hottest areas of the Sommelier Wine Awards!

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the white wines were the stars. Their combination of freshness, flavour and individuality, allied to some truly skilful, sensitive winemaking won over pretty much every team that tasted them.

If we had to pick a star variety, on this evidence it would be Malagousia, so it’s fitting, perhaps, that the man who rescued the variety from oblivion 20 years ago, Vangelis Gerovassiliou, got two Golds here, even if one of them was, ironically, for a Viognier!

STAR PERFORMER

Many congratulations to Papagiannakos, whose sub-£10 Attican Malagousia picked up Gold for the third year on the trot. Terrific effort!

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I adore Greek wine. The thing for me is the taste of the sea, of seashells, so they go with oysters, crab, shellfish, and the lighter styles go well with salads, light fish. The more oaky styles would work in more fine dining restaurants.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘Sometimes I forget about the red wines from Greece, but there’s a lot of great wine here, with good balance. They were easy to drink, with minerality and good acidity. Perfect for summer, at all price points.’ Julien Sahut, Sexy Fish

‘Where I am, the clientele is very old fashioned, so wines like this would have to be hand sold, people aren’t just going to select it off a list.’ Michael Fiducia, Coworth Park Ascot

‘I was very impressed. Great wines for everyday drinking and to enjoy with a serious meal.’ Stefan Kobald, Jason Atherton Group
‘Consumers always like to try new things, and a lot of these wines offered something unique without being too wacky.’ Giancarlo Cuccuru, The Ned Hotel

‘Greek whites compete well against other regions in terms of price.’ Tanguy Martin, La Trompette

Award winners

Found 17 wines

Greece

Strofilia, White Dot 2015, Peloponnese, Greece

Gold medal winner

A great-value Gold medallist, this showed ‘vibrant, white-fleshed aromas and good stony acidity – long and fresh, with expressive flavours’, according to Vinoteca’s Charlie Young, with Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group finding ‘green apple and fresh citrus on a smoky nose’. Coworth Park Ascot’s Michael Fiducia noted ‘lifted aromatics of honeysuckle, and fresh acidity’, while Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted described this as having a ‘beautiful, mineral style, with tropical fruit character and some creaminess, too’.

£7.72 Clark Foyster Wines, Matthew Clark

Papagiannakos, Kalogeri, Malagousia 2016, Attica, Greece

Gold medal winner

‘Pretty floral notes and a hint of fresh quince,’ began Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot in praise of this worthy Gold winner, with Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group noting ‘aromatic floral, pear drop and rose water aromas, no oak, apple and stone fruit character and high acidity on the palate’. The Don Restaurant’s Sebastian Agnello found it ‘lively with fresh green apple notes, and tingly acidity – the ideal partner for oysters’.

£9.70 Boutinot

Chrisohoou, Xinomavro 2013, Naoussa, Greece

Gold medal winner

Team leader Laura Rhys MS found this Gold-worthy wine to be ‘bold and dark with crunchy fruit, lovely spice and black mineral character with a taut tannin structure balanced by bright acidity’, while Mike Best of the WSET found it ‘really complex with an intriguing nose, savoury leather and bold hedgerow fruit, power, concentration and length but still with freshness and complexity’. ‘Lithe, long and grippy, with fragrant fruit – a match for lamb shank,’ concluded team leader Simon Woods.

£9.38 Southern Wine Roads

Kir Yianni, Paranga White, Roditis/Malagousia 2015, Macedonia, Greece

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Fantastic fruit and minerality led this to the Gold podium. ‘An intense, marine-saline nose, pineapple and grapefruit with honey notes on the palate and good balance’ left an impression on team leader Andrea Briccarello, while Michael Fiducia of Coworth Park Ascot highlighted its ‘elegant florality with soft Turkish Delight freshness’. Jason Atherton Group’s Stefan Kobald enjoyed ‘tropical fruit, pineapple, kiwi with citrus undertones, salty mineral touches and a slightly smoky edge’.

£8.86 Bibendum

Kir Yianni, Ramnista, Xinomavro 2012, Naoussa, Greece

Gold medal winner

Powerful and food-friendly, this wasn’t anything but a Gold, according to our judges. An ‘oaky, spicy, intense nose,’ said Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut, who found it a ‘full-bodied red with ripe tannin, good balance, lots of black fruit and sweet spices – in need of decanting but perfect for grilled meats’. WSET’s Mike Best agreed, finding ‘juicy, cherry fruit, intensely tannic but balanced, best paired with big, salty foods’.

£13.87 Bibendum

Gerovassiliou, Malagousia 2016, Epanomi, Greece

Gold medal winner

Fantastic consistency with a new vintage has earned this wine a place on the Gold List for a second successive year, standing out for team leader Andrea Briccarello with its ‘intense nose, feeling almost like a Margarita, dry and very mineral with good complexity and generous fruit’, while Vinoteca’s Charlie Young warmed to its ‘expressive and fruity nose, good leesy texture, great balance of weight and aromatic punch’. Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group highlighted its ‘aromatic and floral, herbaceous lychee, pear and kiwi with pomegranate notes, and well-integrated oak’. ‘This alongside Munster cheese, honey and farm bread would make me very happy all evening,’ added Tanya Mann of Linden House Stansted.

£13.47 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Gerovassiliou, Viognier 2016, Epanomi, Greece

Gold medal winner

A second Gold for Gerovassiliou in this category, this was ‘very much the intense, aromatic style of Viognier – a rounded and exotic fruit style with good complexity. A world-class effort,’ said impressed team leader Andrea Briccarello. Vinoteca’s Charlie Young noted its ‘apples and mineral, sweet pear aromas, great aromatics on the palate with some softness to the acidity, and finishing on a note of citrus’, while Sebastian Agnello of The Don Restaurant suggested it would be ‘ideal as an aperitif, with its ripe melon and elegant, fresh acidity’.

£14.37 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Strofilia, Mountain Fish 2015, Peloponnese, Greece

Silver medal winner

‘Lots of red fruit and floral touches on the nose,’ began Julien Sahut of Sexy Fish, who enjoyed its ‘freshness and lovely acidity on the palate, lots of cherry and redcurrant flavours with hints of light spices on the finish, perfect for summer’.

£7.72 Clark Foyster Wines, Matthew Clark

Papagiannakos, Savatiano 2016, Attica, Greece

Silver medal winner

Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group enjoyed its ‘green pear, melon and nectarine aromas with youthful oyster shell notes, fresh and long mouthfeel on a bright, beautiful wine’, while Sebastian Agnello of The Don Restaurant found it ‘aromatic, with lovely white flowers, candied peel and zesty orange notes’.

£8.54 Boutinot

Kir Yianni, Dyo Elies, Syrah/Merlot/Xinomavro 2013, Naoussa, Greece

Silver medal winner

Mike Best of the WSET found this to be ‘full of power and structure, bright red fruits and bold, firm tannins along with integrated high alcohol and acidity’, concluding: ‘Impressive and savoury and would suit something like roast beef fillet.’

£12.73 Bibendum

Gaia, Wild Ferment, Assyrtiko 2016, Santorini, Greece

Silver medal winner

‘Smoky, cheese rind character on the nose, showing oak usage with stone fruit on a rich and creamy, long palate,’ said Stefan Kobald of Jason Atherton Group, with Vinoteca’s Charlie Young highlighting a ‘savoury, Burgundy-like nose with richness and some upfront sweetness’, and team leader Andrea Briccarello picking up ‘sea shell notes, textbook Greek intensity and ripe nectarine with salt and lime notes on the finish’.

£19.28 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Gerovassiliou, Avaton 2013, Epanomi, Greece

Silver medal winner

‘Quite deep, dark fruits combined with notes of the pine forest, intense but well balanced,’ said Dan Cohen of Cépages Wine Bistro, while Mike Best of the WSET admired some ‘real polish on this wine, which will provide value at the premium end of a list and offers great excitement of something with real power and concentration, a superb match with well-aged steak’.

£15.31 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Markou, Kleftes, Savatiano 2015, Attica, Greece

Commended medal winner

Aivalis, Nemea 2014, Nemea, Greece

Commended medal winner

Monemvasia, Kidonitsa, White 2015, Peloponnese, Greece

Commended medal winner

Manolesakis, Exis, White 2016, Drama, Greece

Commended medal winner

Ktima Biblia Chora, Ovilos, Barrel Fermented, Semillon/Assyrtiko, Kavala 2015, Macedonia , Greece

Commended medal winner

 

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