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What our expert thought of Agiorgitiko by Gaia




the tasting

The Tasting


Mid-crimson in colour, this is a properly vivid red while still being a bit paler than I was expecting from the dark Agiorgitiko.  I suspect the winemakers have been careful to avoid extracting too much tannin in a wine intended to be drunk relatively young.
 
It has a lovely, lifted nose filled with spices and wild Mediterranean herbs: liquorice, pepper and garrigue.  There’s also a floral note of violets, and some very subtle smoky oak that’s more cedarwood than vanilla.  Behind those top notes are nicely pure black and red fruits: dark cherry, strawberry and raspberry.
 
In the mouth it’s pure-fruited and very fresh.  Mouthwatering juicy acidity is not what I expected from this grape, but this wine has it.  Ripe red and black fruits ‐ cherries and plums ‐ are supported by lots of herbs including bayleaf and tobacco.  Oak is barely detectable, though I suspect it does contribute to the array of peppery spices that season the other flavours.
 
Really fine, beautifully integrated tannins underpin the palate with a satisfying gravelly structure and little hints of pencil lead.  They also add an appealing touch of bitterness to the finish, which is spicy, savoury and gratifyingly long.


Assessment


This tastes really different!  You can tell right away that it isn’t made from any of the usual suspects; the spicy-fruity character of Agiorgitiko shines through.  But despite being so distinctive it’s beautifully balanced.  Those deceptively straightforward cherry and plum flavours disguise more than enough complexity to repay thoughtful drinking.
 
It’s rare to find this combination of elegance and character from any winemaking country, and when you do it usually costs rather a lot.  But not from Greece!  Until the rest of the wine-buying world catches on, we can enjoy extraordinary wines like this for remarkably ordinary prices.



Tasting notes

Appearance
clear medium crimson
Nose

Intensity medium+

Aromas herbs (garrigue), spice (liquorice, pepper), floral (violets), black fruit (cherry), red fruit (strawberry, raspberry), subtle oak (cedar, smoke)

Development developing
Palate

Sweetness dry

Acidity medium+

Body medium(+, just)

Tannins medium+, but super-fine & velvety

Intensity medium+

Flavours red and black fruit (cherry, plum), herbs (bay, tobacco), spice (pepper, clove), mineral (gravel, graphite)
Finish

Length long

Flavours spicy, savoury, slight bitterness from tannins
Other notes
Very distinctive, but elegant & balanced. Super nose - complex. Well-structured, savoury, satisfying.


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