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Winner Details

 Greece

2018 Gold 3        Silver 4                 Bronze 3              Commended 10
2017 Gold 7        Silver 5                 Bronze 0              Commended 5 

Last year, Greece’s performance was freakishly good (the country picked up more Golds than the Rhône!), so this year’s results should not be taken as a step backwards. In fact, the country’s overall awards count, including Commendeds, was its best yet, and proof of a steady improvement across the board.

As usual, the whites outscored the reds on the Gold List by their customary ratio of 2:1, but our tasters were happy with both styles. Yes, the reds veered towards the tannic, but provided this was explained to customers and the wines were matched with the right food, our judges saw no problems with that.

Not an especially cheap part of the competition (last year’s wines were generally better priced – we had four Golds under a tenner) but an undeniably interesting one, with charm and character.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘The top end of the white flight was good, with well-made wines. The highest price would maybe be good for a tasting menu.’ Lionel Periner, team leader

‘Definitely on the up, and definitely food wines. The reds have got good tannins, and they’d work well with a lot of dishes.’ Tom Forrest, team leader

‘On our list we just have Santorini, but I think there’s more potential from Greek whites in general.’ Linh Ziolkowska, Yauatcha City

'You can taste the hot climate of the country. The reds have a very tannic style, but they’re food-friendly wines. I think Greek wines are an up-and-coming trend.’ Eva Krenkova, Restaurant Sat Bains

‘The good ones were amazing. Some more earthy, others full, rich and ripe. The tannins were a challenge, or would be for consumers, so you’d need to put them next to the right food.’ Euan McColm, Beaverbrook

Award winners

Found 20 wines

Greece

Gerovassiliou, Avaton, Epanomi 2014, Macedonia, Greece

Gold medal winner

A hit with our judges, this Macedonian red struck Gold with its ‘opulent and modern’ style, thought Hakkasan’s Olivier Gasselin, who further praised ‘savoury, juicy tannins and cocoa, smoke, cigar leaves and cedar notes’, while Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club found the oak ‘well integrated’, along with ‘ripe red and black fruit, as well as some spice from the oak’. Team leader Tom Forrest agreed, finding ‘crunchy red fruit and some toasty spice’. Its ‘pronounced intensity’ made it a match for chicken breast with chilli sauce, thought consultant Javier Azcona.

£15.89 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Alpha Estate, Ecosystem, Single Block, Aghia Kiriaki, Assyrtiko 2016, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece

Gold medal winner

A unanimous Gold, according to an impressed team of judges, with Christoph Hons of Park Chinois finding ‘peaches, orange, mango and yellow fruit notes’ and describing this as ‘very crisp on the palate with vanilla and herbal richness, yet refreshing acidity to balance’, while Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS thought it was ‘vibrant, with fresh green flavours throughout, great drive and balance, a weighty mid-palate and a clean, fresh finish’.

£14.33 Hallgarten & Novum Wines, Maltby & Greek

Aoton, Roditis 2015, Attica, Greece

Gold medal winner

Unquestionably Gold, this was made in a ‘spicy, Chenin-like’ style, thought team leader Martin Lam, observing a ‘golden colour and rich, dry, honey and flower aromas with a dry, floral palate’, while Yauatcha City’s Linh Ziolkowska enjoyed its ‘lovely camomile and tropical nose with honeydew melon and honey notes, then pronounced, fleshy peach and pineapple on the palate’, which made it ‘very easy to drink’. With its ‘waxy lime-fruit nose and lovely peachy fruit in the mouth’, this was, for team leader Angela Reddin, a great match for vegetable risotto.

£8.50 Southern Wine Roads

Gerovassiliou, Malagousia 2017, Macedonia, Greece

Silver medal winner

‘Rose petals and lychee on the nose,’ began Woodhead 17’s James Fryer, finding ‘an oily texture on the palate with waxy lemon and green melon, salty minerals on the finish with a hint of perfume’, while for Yauatcha City’s Linh Ziolkowska it was a ‘very enjoyable glass, with a pronounced floral nose, nice freshness and a long finish’.

£13.55 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Gaia, Wild Ferment, Assyrtiko 2017, Santorini, Greece

Silver medal winner

Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS found ‘acacia and fresh buttery aromas, with spices from oak, cooked apples and pears and blossom hints, with great drive on the palate’, and Manuel Ribeiro of The Bybrook at The Manor House Hotel enjoyed its ‘ripe peach, apple, vanilla and butter aromas’ and found it ‘intense and complex, with citric notes on a good, oaky palate’, with ‘hints of toast and honey on the finish’.

£20.56 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Alpha Estate, Ecosystem, Reserve, Vieilles Vignes, Single Block, Barba Yannis, Xinomavro 2014, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece

Silver medal winner

For Eva Krenkova of Restaurant Sat Bains, this had ‘jammy red and dark fruit on the nose, leading to juicy, silky tannins joined by some rosemary and mint’. Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm, meanwhile, liked its ‘lovely earthy tones and delicate tannins’.

£13.19 Hallgarten & Novum Wines, Maltby & Greek

Alpha Estate, SMX 2015, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece

Silver medal winner

Team leader Tom Forrest was taken with this red blend’s ‘spicy aromas with dark cherries and berries, leading to juicy, dark fruit flavours that are well integrated with some oak’, and described it as ‘culminating in a smooth finish with a kick of charcuterie spice’.

£13.40 Hallgarten & Novum Wines, Maltby & Greek

Papantonis, Meden Agan 2014, Nemea, Greece

Bronze medal winner

‘Fresh and powerfully structured, with red apple joined by a gamey note, as well as some pine needles and spice,’ said an impressed Davide Dall’Amico of Royal Automobile Club. ‘A lovely wine, from its earthy nose to its fine-grained tannins and minerality,’ added Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm.

£9.25 Wine Lovers Colective

Kir Yianni, Assyrtiko 2016, Florina, Greece

Bronze medal winner

Bleeding Heart Group’s Chris Delalonde MS liked this wine’s ‘nose of acacia and spring flowers with candied peel herbaceous notes, then vibrant character with ripeness on the mid-palate, chalky mineral notes and a touch of spicy heat on the finish’.

£10.37 Bibendum

Kir Yianni, Ramnsita 2013, Naoussa, Greece

Bronze medal winner

Eva Krenkova of Restaurant Sat Bains liked this wine’s ‘raspberry and marmalade notes joined by some bay leaf and thyme’, while Beaverbrook’s Euan McColm found that herbal character and ‘black olive notes complemented juicy, ripe fruit, leading to a long finish’.

£14.59 Bibendum

Barafakas, Idea, Roditis/Malagousia 2017, Nemea, Greece

Commended medal winner

Vakakis, Tetractys 2016, Samos, Greece

Commended medal winner

Idaia Winery, Vilana 2016, Crete, Greece

Commended medal winner

Gerovassiliou, Viognier, Epanomi 2017, Macedonia , Greece

Commended medal winner

Papagiannakos, Old Vines, Savatiano 2017, Attica, Greece

Commended medal winner

£8.95 Boutinot

Papagiannakos, Kalogeri, Malagousia 2017, Attica, Greece

Commended medal winner

£9.79 Boutinot

Kir Yianni, Paranga, White 2017, Macedonia , Greece

Commended medal winner

£9.39 Bibendum

Minos-Miliarakis, M 2017, Crete, Greece

Commended medal winner

Minos-Miliarakis, Fumé, Vilana 2016, Crete, Greece

Commended medal winner

Minos-Miliarakis, Vidiano 2017, Crete, Greece

Commended medal winner

 

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