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Six wines from the Greek Wine Experience 
Nick Kontarines of the Greek Wine Experience recently sent me samples of some of the wines he is importing, from three different producers. They turned out to be quite varied in terms of style and quality. At one end of the spectrum are the classy Laloudi wines, which I was really impressed by; in contrast, the two organic wines from Hanoitis Estate were very poor, with what appear to be rather basic winemaking faults (although there is a possibility that these could have both been damaged or off bottles, of course). I could imagine the Laloudi wines doing pretty well in the UK market place, and they are very nicely packaged. However, one frustrating feature of many Greek wines (and all of the examples here) is that they don't have a vintage date on the label. Here are my notes:

Laloudi White, Monemvassia Winery, Laconia, Greece
This is a delicious, clean, crisp white wine, with a minty, herby, floral nose and citrus and spice flavours on the palate. Full flavoured and with a mineralic edge, this is quite a serious wine, with plenty of complexity. For those interested, it is made from a blend of the Moschofilero, Kidonista, Thrapsa, Petroulianos and Asprovaria grape varieties, all organically grown. Very good/excellent (£62 per case + VAT and delivery)

Laloudi Red, Monemvassia Winery, Laconia, Greece
Organically grown Mavraki, Agiorgitiko and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes go to make this attractive red wine. A medium bodied bright cherry red colour, it has a lifted, forward nose showing spice and herb notes with a slight medicinal edge. The palate shows spicy fruit with herbal notes, dusty tannins, high acidity and a dry finish. Quite complex, this reminds me a bit of Château Musar. Satisfying and leathery. Very good+ (£63 per case plus VAT and delivery)

Rodos 2400, CAIR, Rhodes, Greece
The CAIR cooperative is the leading winery on Rhodes, which is a pretty hot place to grow grapes. This is a bold-flavoured, crisp dry white wine with a herby, minty edge to the nose. The palate has an attractive, fresh bitterness to it. Tart and savoury with quite good balance. Very good (£50 per case +VAT and delivery)

Arhotico red, CAIR, Rhodes, Greece
A blend of Mandilaria, Syrah and Grenache, in an unusual-shaped bottle. A cherry red colour, this is a medium-bodied wine showing sweet ripe spicy fruit on the nose, with a southern-style herbiness. The palate has some bright fruit and a herbal, medicinal edge, finishing with dry tannins. Quite savoury, this is a lighter-styled red with good acidity. Good/very good (£60 per case +VAT and delivery)

Hanoitis Estate Dry White, Elatia, Greece NV
An organic blend of Roditis Asyrtiko and Muscat. This shows a highly volatile nose with a vinegary, unpleasant, part-oxidised palate. A faulty bottle at least, or perhaps a sign of poor hygeine in the winery. Very poor and completely undrinkable. (£49.10 per case +VAT and delivery)

Hanoitis Estate Cabernet, Elatia, Greece NV
A 100% Cabernet Sauvignon made with organically grown grapes. The palate brownish/red colour is unpromising, and it shows a touch of caramel and some volatile acidity on the nose. The palate shows a bit of light, cherryish fruit and juicy acidity. Rather thin and unappealing, and while not totally undrinkable, this is a poor wine. (£58.90 per case +VAT and delivery)

Contact details:
The Greek Wine Experience
7 Kingshill Close, Malvern WR14 2BP
Tel/Fax: 01684 566323

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