The wines of Lyrarakis, Crete, Greece
Interesting wines from one of Crete's leading producers


A family-owned winery in Crete, Lyrarakis was established in 1966, but it wasn’t until 1992 that they first bottled their own wine using the Lyrarakis name. They are based in the Peza appellation, in the village of Alagni, Heraklion.

Vineyard area is comprises of 14 hectares, with gravel over limestone soils. The warm climate is tempered by the altitude, which averages 550 m.

Manolis Lyrarakis is a champion of local varieties, some of which have been rescued from near exctinction. International varieties are also grown.


Lyrarakis Vilana Pyrovolikes Vineyard 2016 Crete, Greece
100% Vilana. Fresh, lively and pure. A bit spicy and nutty with nice pear and melon richness. Good acid and focus. 89/100

Lyrarakis Plyto Psarades Vineyard 2016 Crete, Greece
100% Plyto. Distinctive, herbal and unusual with some waxy characters and slightly pithy, bitter notes. Nice fruit though. 87/100

Lyrarakis Vidiano Ippodromos Vineyard 2016 Crete, Greece
100% Vidiano. Nutty, waxy and detailed showing citrus fruit with some white peach. There's a bit of mint, too. Lively stuff. 89/100

Lyrarakis Melissaki Gero-Deti Vineyard 2016 Crete, Greece
Slightly honeyed with lively citrus fruit. Stony and a bit waxy with lots of flavour. Unusual and delicious with some herby characters. 90/100

Lyrarakis Thrapsathiri Armi Vineyard 2015 Crete, Greece
Spicy and a bit nutty with lively citrus and pear fruit with some cedary oak. Maybe a bit too much oak? 88/100

Lyrarakis Dafni Psarades Vineyard 2015 Crete, Greece
Dafni is a white variety whose name translates as bayleaf in Greek, and Lyrarakis saved it from extinction in the 1970s. Distinctive mint and rosemary herb character to the lemony fruit. So fresh and distinctive. Herbal and interesting. 91/100

Lyrarakis Liatiko Kentros Vineyard Rosé 2016 Crete, Greece
Very pale in colour. Stony and savoury with nice cherries and plums, as well as some herbs. Has a creamy edge. 88/100

Lyrarakis Mantilari Plakoura Vineyard 2014 Crete, Greece
Cherries, plums, spice and a bit of chocolate here. Spicy and stony with some damson and herb characters. Tannic and interesting. 90/100

(wines tasted 03/17)

Lyrarakis Okto White 2011 Crete, Greece
13% alcohol. Lovely floral grapey aroma is pretty and quite Muscat-like. The palate is fresh with some bitter pithy notes offsetting the grapey fruit. Dry and crisp. 87/100

Lyrarakis Okto Rosé 2011 Crete, Greece
Red/pink colour. Lovely vibrant fruity cherry and red berry fruit here. Sweet, fresh and well defined with nice fruitiness. Juicy and vibrant. 88/100

Lyrarakis Okto Red 2010 Crete, Greece
13% alcohol. A blend of Syrah, Kotsifali and Mandilari. Sweet, supple, ripe cherry and plum fruit with a nice spicy twist. Ripe and supple, showing lovely fruit purity and balance. 86/100 03/12

Lyrarakis Assyrtiko 2011 Crete, Greece
Fresh and quite intense with a nice herby edge to the fruit, some citrus and a hint of grapefruit. Very pure and precise, this is a nice fruity style. 88/100

Lyrarakis Plyto 2011 Crete, Greece
Plyto is an old white Cretan variety. Attractive fruity nose of melon, herb and citrus. The palate is dry but has a nice texture with rounded peachy fruit. Lovely purity here. 89/100

Lyrarakis Four Fouras 2010 Crete, Greece
14.5% alcohol. A full yellow colour. Intense, rich and nutty with plenty of oak evident. There are notes of vanilla, spice, nuts, coconut, apples and peach, with some honeyed richness. Very distinctive and may age in interesting ways, but a little difficult now. 88/100

Lyrarakis Symbolo Grande Cuvée 2008 Crete, Greece
15 months in oak. Ripe yet restrained berry and plum fruit on the nose. Nice purity with supporting spicy oak. Fresh and grippy, showing firm tannic structure, with a sophisticated feel to it and good fruit purity, but it does need time for the spicy oak to integrate. 90/100

Lyrarakis Malvasia of Crete NV Greece
Authentic to a famous old wine, this is made by drying grapes for nine days in the sun before fermentation. Aged for one year in new oak. Orange/bronze in colour with a very sweet, ripe, grapey, spicy character, and tangerine and apricot fruit. Some tannic structure as well as notes of tea and herbs, and some orange peel. Sweet, spicy and complex, and in need of time to integrate fully. 90/100  

(wines tasted 03/12)

UK agent: BBR

See also:

Gerovassiliou, Greece


Sclavos, Cephalonia
Hatzidakis, Santorini
Thymopoulos, Naoussa
Mylonas, Attica
Tetramythos, Pelopponese
Lyrarakis, Crete
Sigalas, Santorini

Doulofakis, Crete




Wines tasted 03/17 and 03/12  
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