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Sunday, September 9, 2012

Submerging Thalassitis 2011

On September 1, 2012 a group of 4 divers, 1 over water photographer, 2 boat hands & a boat captain aboard "The Black Cat Bone" set out to submerge 1 ton (520 bottles) of Thalassitis off the coast of Santorini.  After sifting through tons of video and still shots, I have compiled this 7 minute video that I have uploaded to You Tube.

Yiannis P carefully guiding the cage into the water off Monolithos Beach, Santorini
The concept of submerging wine under the sea is not a new one - there are several winemakers doing this off the coast of France & Spain.  To my knowledge, Yiannis P & GAIA Wines is the only Greek winery to do so.

The project was an ambitious one and I am happy to report that the sinking of the cage went off without a hitch and not a bottle was broken on the way down.

In the coming days I will post my report in detail on this blog.  However, I wanted to share this video with you now so you can get a sense of the project we partook in.  It was a great experience and I can't wait to do it again next year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Under the Sea.....That's where Thalassitis will be..

Here and there you have probably heard of scuba diving winemakers submerging bottles of wine to see how they will age underwater.  Yiannis Paraskevopoulos from GAIA Wines decided to experiment for himself two years ago - he submerged Thalassitis 2009 off Kamari Beach in Santorini. 

This past May I was on the island with our buying tour group when Yiannis asked me to come to the island to help him do it again.  The setting was classic - an amazing warm late spring day, blazing sun and eating seaside at Nixteri on Kamari Beach.  Perhaps it was the food coma plus multiple glasses of wine or Crazy Donkey beer that was already in my system? I agreed to do it. 

After looking at my schedule, I decided the best time to do this was over Labor Day weekend.  I will be going to Santorini for approximately 72 hours to help my fellow avid scuba diver submerge 2011 Thalassitis.  It does pose an interesting question though - can wine age underwater in an anaerobic, low light, consistent temperature environment? 

My antics have already made for interesting conversation in addition to me getting some very strange looks from people who think I'm a bit crazy for agreeing to this.  Hopefully we will bring up a few bottles of the 2009 Thalassitis that's already down there to try - that is, unless the fish have made off with it.

Stay tuned for updates on Twitter and future blog posts chronicling our escapades.  We will also be shooting video too and will post that once we string it together.

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

GAIA Ritinitis Retsina label gets a makeover

Since the late 1990s when Athenee Importers began importing GAIA's Ritinitis Retsina, we have been using this label:

Starting  fall 2012 GAIA has decided to retire our existing label and move to a new design. 

The bottle will be clear and with a screw cap.  Pricing remains the same and we anticipate it making its way into the US later this fall.  The wine in the bottle remains the same - 100% Roditis.  It's the same base wine used to make their Notios White (a blend of Roditis & Moschofilero). 

What they do to make the retsina is take the vat of Roditis set aside for Retsina and infuse small amounts of pine resin into it.  The whole process looks like you are making a very large pot of tea.  The final product, while having aromas of menthol, eucalyptus and pine, also has citrus notes and pleasant acidity.  This is the perfect wine to pair with "difficult" cuisines like Indian.  It acts like a breath mint - take a bite of food and then a swig of Retsina and your mouth will feel fresh afterwards.

Once we get a bottle in our hands we'll upload it for all to see.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Introducing Estate Argyros' new Vin Santo line

Estate Argyros is considered one of the best producers of Vin Santo on the island of Santorini.  Yiannis Argyros produced his first vintage of Vin Santo in 1974 for his own personal consumption & for friends & family.  Several  years later the first Vin Santo was commercially released.

For those that believe Vin Santo is of Italian origin, they would be mistaken.  Historically, Vin Santo meant "Vino di Santorini" - or wine of Santorini.  Several years ago, Greek Vin Santo producers petitioned the EU to protect the name "Vin Santo" as a uniquely Greek product and to stop the Italians from using the name.  After presenting documentation proving the historical roots of the term, the EU courts granted the Greek petition.  "Vin Santo" can only be used be producers of the wine on the island of Santorini.  In Italy, the wines must be named "Vino Santo di (the origin)". 

The Estate previously released two different Vin Santo dessert wines - one a vintage dated and aged 20 years in oak and the "Mezzo", a wine aged for at least 4 years in oak before release.  Several years ago the family decided to expand the series to include 3 wines - 4 year, 12 year and 20 year.  The "Mezzo" has been effectively discontinued and here in the US we are selling through the last of the remaining inventory.  By fall, we will be rolling out the new line in it's entirety across the country.  The wines in this line will be based on the average amount of years the wine has spent aging in the barrel.  For example, the 4 year Vin Santo is the average age of wines in various casks (anywhere from 3-8 years old for argument's sake).  This premise continues with the 12 & 20 year aged wines as well.

The new wines & approximate retail prices are:
Vin Santo 4 year 2006 $30 (90 Points Wine Advocate)
Vin Santo 12 year 1998 $50
Vin Santo 20 year 1990 $125 (96 Points Wine Advocate)

Look for these wines to start making their way into distribution this fall.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Athenee Importers 2012 Road Show Recap

Earlier this month, 11 wineries imported by Athenee Importers participated in a 4 city road show that was open to media and trade only.  This year's events marked our third year of organizing it and has proven to be the best yet.  Perhaps third time's the charm?

This year's road show stopped in the following cities:
May 8th-Seattle, WA
May 9th-Portland, OR
May 12th-Chicago, IL
May 14th-New York, NY

Here is the list of participating wineries & Regions represented:
Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Naoussa
Domaine Porto Carras, Sithonia (Halkidiki)
Ktima Pavlidis, Drama
Domaine Vassiliou/Nemeion Estate (Nemea)
Domaine Harlaftis (Attica & Nemea)
Domaine Spiropoulos (Mantinia & Nemea)
GAIA Wines (Nemea & Santorini)
Mercouri Estate (W. Peloponnese)
Gentilini Wines (Cephalonia)
Estate Argyros (Santorini)
Cooperative of Samos (Samos)

In Seattle, Chicago and New York we also hosted a seminar lead by GAIA Wines Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. (You can download the presentation here).  In all three cities, the presentations were very well attended, which further solidifies the interest in Greece and the wines it produces.
Yiannis Paraskevopoulos leading the seminar in Chicago, March 12th

Overall, more than 350 people attended our events.  The majority were trade (buyers) of non ethnic accounts.  Interestingly, very few Greeks attended.  To me this means our portfolio is has truly crossed over to the mainstream market.  Unfortunately, in many instances, certain ethnic customers prefer to focus on the less expensive, lesser quality products.  Many believe that the majority of our portfolio is too expensive. It is quite amusing to me to hear this reasoning since there are many others working with wines from all over the world that believe the portfolio over delivers with regards to price & quality.

The events were organized by Athenee Importers. Teuwen One Image was essential to getting everything ready for the show.  Without that team of ladies, we would never had pulled off another successful year.  I thank Stephanie and her team from the bottom of my heart.  

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the participating wineries.  Without your support and belief in Athenee we would not be where we are.  We value all of you and appreciate your efforts in coming to the US and traveling across the country with us to spread the good word of Greek wines.
It was a tough schedule but we managed to have no snowstorms or bad weather delay the progress of the group.  By the time we made it to NY, we were enjoying 70 degree sunny weather.  A perfect end to a great week.

Until Next year!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Greek Spring Break at Tria Fermentation School

Thursday, March 15th 2012 Tria Fermentation School hosted a Greek Spring Break class for its students.  I led the class and had two guest speakers - Petros Markantonatos from Gentilini Wines & Apostolos Thymiopoulos from Thymiopoulos Vineyards.

The class was great fun - we were able to expose over two dozen attendees to Greek wines.  Many had never tasted anything Greek before, while others were exposed to some of the lesser quality stuff that unfortunately permeates the market.

Our lineup was:
Gentilini Aspro 2010 - welcome wine
Gentilini Robola 2010
Hatzimichalis Lefkos 2010
Assyrtiko Argyros 2010
Spiropoulos Red Stag 2009
Porto Carras Limnio 2010
Thymiopoulos Young Vines 2010
Thymiopoulos Uranos 2008
Samos Vin Doux 2010

Tria prepared a small plate for each attendee with an assortment of cheese, olives, picked veggies, almonds, salami & THE most amazing piece of fudge for dessert.

At the last minute, Michael McCaulley decided we should spring a retsina on the group as a surprise.  We used GAIA Ritinitis Retsina for this exercise.  In order for them to get a better understanding for retsina, I had each person eat an olive and then take a sip of the wine.  While several guests weren't fans, they could appreciate the wine for what it's worth.

In the beginning everyone was a bit quiet - I feel that they were listening and trying to get their feet under them as we explored Greece's wine regions and grapes.  However, as the evening wore on, the group became more animated and began chatting amongst themselves.  I always take that as a sign that the "lightbulbs" are going off in their minds.  Additionally, several attendees were asking about pricing on the wines.  once we gave them approximate retail prices, they could not believe that everything we tried was under $25 in Pennsylvania!

Educational events are always fun to be involved in.  What always inspires me to keep doing them is to watch people's reactions as they get more comfortable with the regions, grapes & wines.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank the crew at Tria for their constant support and for putting together great classes.  If you are ever in Philadelphia and have the ability to take a class, I highly recommend you do so.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Guest Post: Harvest Report 2011 from Estate Argyros on Santorini

Below is a guest post written by Estate Argyros on the 2011 vintage, which in their opinion rivals 2006.  To date I have tried the Atlantis White 2011 and am amazed by the aromas - something that was not as evident in the 2010. 

2011 Harvest report - Estate Argyros, Santorini
Vintage 2011 is considered as one of the best ever and is similar to the historical 2006.

The pruning started in November 2010 and it was completed in two periods, November and March

During the winter we had significant amount of rainfall and unusually low temperatures.
The beneficial winter rainfalls lasted from November to April and along with the low temperatures gave to the vine good boost and rest.

In spring time, mild conditions were favorable for flowering.
The bud break started around the 15th of April.
The climate enabled the grapes to ripen slowly to full maturity, giving the wine great finesse of aroma, crispness and structure. 

Summer was consistently cool.
Veraison was completed in late June.
The north breeze in July and August has moved development along nicely.

The harvest started on the 10th of August and ended the first week of September.
Αlthough, some parcels that were even two weeks behind were harvested in late September.
Probably, this was one of the latest harvests on record.
The crop was near the average.

The exceptional weather conditions of 2011 resulted wines with lovely freshness, intensity and concentration

Thursday, March 1, 2012

GAIA Wines Assyrtiko Wild Ferment - An interesting discussion

Recently I submitted GAIA Wines Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2011 for review.  The reviewer sent an e-mail asking about the oak treatment on the wine which then morphed into a discussion on the complexity of the wine.  Below you will find the question & answer. A fascinating read which only leads to the intrigue of this wine.

Perhaps you might comment…I have always found the taste on the Wild Ferment to be a bit different. I call it a “mushroom-y” nuance, a sort of darker tone. Assuming you agree, what do you most attribute that to? The yeast? The wood combination? All things together?

Also what is it you feel you get from the Acacia instead of, say, French oak?

One question raises - in most cases - a second one ! By saying "a bit different" I presume that you mean different from other Santorini wines. Well this is a wine that at the end of the day combine many different elements that lead to what I would describe as "complexity" and - obviously - difference from other wines that don't do so.
Please let me clarify.

Element of complexity 1.
Vineyards. In order to minimize risk of undesired strains we use a rather big number of vine plots/areas (consider that practically every 1.000 lit. of must originate from a different plot. For the 2011 vintage we have used Assyrtiko from 12 well separated vineyards).

Element of complexity 2.
Fermenting conditions. Half (50%) of the must is fermented in INOX vats at relatively low temperatures (16-18ºC) where the yeast strains work slowly creating esters, secondary / fermentation aromas. The remaining 50% ferments in mainly new (80%) barriques at significantly higher temperatures, reaching even picks of 26-28ºC. At these temperatures yeast work in a totally different pathways that help the expression of the primary /  varietal aromas. 

Element of complexity 3.
Choice of wood. As mentioned only 50% of must ferments in barriques. 
The brake down is :
20% of 300 lit. French Oak (Nevers), 
20% of 225 lit. American Oak,
10% of 225 lit. Acacia.
I like Acacia in Assyrtiko. I have tasted also on Agiorgitiko and it was a real disaster. But when used to Assyrtiko it provides depth to the wine and a distinct "flower-y" dimension, faraway from the "woodenness" of oak. 
The drill in the use of bigger barriques, American oak, acacia and used barriques (some 20%) is to provide to the wine a solid base for evolution without overpowering it with wood / oak. Obviously so many different types of wood add-up to complexity.

Element of complexity 4.
Wild Yeast. In reality we should be discussing "wild microflora" and not just wild yeast. IN the sulfur-rich Santorini soil it seems that microorganisms are well adopted and the SO2 added by the wine maker has less impact when it comes to yeast or even bacteria inhibition. In a study conducted some 15 years ago by a French faculty and myself on a spontaneously fermenting Santorini Assyrtiko must, we counted some 18 different yeast strains coexisting from beginning to the end of fermentation at equivalent populations without a Saccharomyces cerevisiae domination and in addition some lactic bacteria were even present and actively working (probably it's here that you may search the origins of your "mushroom-y" tone. Can't tell you really. I'm not so sure I can spot it. Is it truffles that you mean ?)
In a sense we do in a natural (and non controlled way) what the yeast industry is trying to initiate now days by proposing mixed strain or sequential inoculations, having realized that just one stain leads to rather boring results !

Hope that some answers have been given.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

1st Look - Mercouri Foloi 2011 with its Updated Label

With the 2011 vintage, the Mercouri Estate has updated several of its labels for a fresher, more modern look.  Within the next 2 weeks we will receive the 2011 Mercouri Foloi White in both 750ml & 375ml sizes.  This style of label will also start to appear on some of the Estate's other labels as well.

2011 Mercouri Foloi Label

2010 Mercouri Foloi label

The wine will carry the new EU appellation classification of PGI Peloponnese, which replaces the Regional Wine of Peloponnese classification of the previous system.

Mercouri Foloi White remains a blend of 85% Roditis grown on the higher altitude "Foloi" vineyards and 15% Viognier for aromatics.

It should make its way into general distirbution over the next month or so.  Those attending the Athenee Importers Roadshow in Seattle, Portland OR, Chicago & NYC will be able to taste it there.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mastiha Production - a fascinating process

Earlier this month I posted an announcement regarding a new distillery we will begin working with from the island of Chios - Stoupakis Chios Distillery.  I have been doing some research on the process and it's quite fascinating.  Mastiha production is still a labor intense process with a mastic harvest still done by hand.

Prepping for Mastiha harvest
Before tapping the mastiha tree, the area at the base of the tree is swept clear of any debris and foreign matter.

Prepping the ground
Once the ground is swept clean, a white powder is spread around the base of the tree to collect the mastic as it drips from the tree

Tapping the Mastiha tree
Incisions are made into the tree trunk at various points to encourage the flow of Mastiha sap

The Mastiha flows in drips down the tree where it then lands in the white powder.  Once it dries there, it becomes hard and forms clumps. 

Separating the Mastiha
The hardened Mastiha is then separated from the powder and sent to the distillery for further processing.
Here is an example of cleaned Mastiha before distillation.

Now that the Mastiha is at the plant, here is the production process:
Step 1: Sugar & Water are mixed together until the sugar is dissolved in the water

Step 2:  The natural Mastic oil  from the Mastiha sourced from the trees is combined with alcohol (96% ABV) whose agricultural origin is molasses.  They are stirred until the oil has dissolved into thealcohol base.

Step 3: The solutions in step 1 & 2 are combined

Step 4: Once combined, the mixture is filtered

Step 5: The finished product is then bottled and released

There you have it.  It's old school but the end product is delicate in aroma and flavor.  Can't wait to get it here in the next month or so!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Guest Post - 2011 Gentilini Harvest Report - Cephalonia

This post focuses on the Ionian island of Cephalonia and the Gentilini Winery.  You can also follow the winery on Twitter at @petrosgentilini

Gentilini Winery

2011 Harvest Report - Cephalonia

Cephalonia had 780mm of rain compared to an average of 1100mm so it was somewhat dryer than usual. However, this did not cause any problems.

The vines flowered well in May and it was dry and windy, perfect for pollination.
It rained in June, and the Robola grown in the valley was hit by Downy Mildew. However, the Robola grown on the slopes were spared. This is where we source our Robola.

The growing and ripening season was delayed by 10 days.

The Tsaoussi and Sauvignon Blanc were harvested in the 2nd week of August with good fruit and sugars.
The Robola ripened slowly, concentrating flavours, and came in around August 25.
The Agiorgitiko, Syrah and Mavrodaphne all came in during the first 15 days of September. All the reds had super concentrated fruit with a fantastic balance between sugar and acidity.

Overall the 2011 vintage was good in quality, although the whites were low in quantity.   

Marianna Kosmetatos, Owner - Gentilini Winery

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

New Olive Oil Producer - Lantzanakis Estate

With the turmoil happening in Greece, many growers of olives for olive oil have decided to bypass selling to the cooperatives and to strike out on their own.  For many years Athenee has been working with the Cooperative of Sitia for their wine & spirits and their olive oils.  The Sitia olive oils have been extremely popular here in the US.  The quality and flavor are recognized as some of the best in the world.

Unfortunately, we have been plagued by poor harvests the past 2 years and have had inconsistent inventory levels.  In order to keep customers happy, we have decided to begin working with a private grower in addition to working with the Cooperative. In the last quarter of 2011 we began importing small quantities of PDO Sitia 0.3 and USDA Certified Krya EVOO from the Lantzanakis Estate.  Pricing has been competitive and quality consistent - customers are happy and that makes us happy.

By April 2012 we will also begin importing the Estate's PDO Sitia EVOO with an acidity level between 0.5-0.7%.  The flavor is practically the same as the cooperative's - after all, they were selling it to the cooperative for bottling up until recently.

Lantzanakis Estate offers PDO Sitia 0.3 in glass bottles and in tin.  Krya USDA Organic EVOO is available in 500ml glass bottles only.  The PDO Sitia will be released in glass & tin as well.  We expect for this line to arrive in the US late March.  The olive oil is available in select markets across the country and online at http://www.sitiaonline.com/.

Guest Post - GAIA Wines Santorini & Nemea 2011 Harvest

This post will focus on GAIA Wines report of the harvest on both Santorini & Nemea.  On Santorini they produce the Thalassitis and Assyrtiko Wild Ferment.  Their main winery in Nemea produces the rest of the company's wines.  You can follow the winery on Twitter @GaiaWines.

GAIA Wines 2011 Harvest Report

Santorini 2011.

The main characteristic of the vintage was that July & August were rather fresh if compared to other years.  Probably the second coldest summer of the decade on the island, after the one of 2009.
That  resulted in rather slow maturation speed, fact that had a direct impact on the Assyrtiko attributes.
Grapes were extremely healthy, with a crisp acidity & minerality, as they always normally do. The bonus that derived form this rather “fresh” summer was the increase of the aromatic intensity. Wines have a more distinct fruitiness than what they do on a “conventional” harvest, such as 2010.

Nemea 2011.

An average to good vintage. An unusually wet spring led to a drop of production by an average of -25% (in some cases it drop even reached a staggering -40%) due to ravaging mildew infection.
Some sub-area of Nemea such as Koutsi or Asprocambos were exempted, mainly because of their elevation and the beneficial drying winds that prevail in these areas. In those areas Agiorgitiko matured slowly and reached good levels of sugars and polyphenols .
Pleasant aromas, soft tannins and a rather medium structure synthesize this 2011 vintage.  Definitely not as aromatic as the 2006, nor as structured as a 2007, or “accomplished” as a 2008, it remains far better that a 2009 and probably slightly inferior to a 2010.


Yiannis Paraskevopoulos, Owner & Oenologist GAIA Wines

Guest Post - 2011 Harvest report from Samos

I get many inquiries on how the harvest has been in Greece.  I have asked my wineries to provide me with Harvest reports.  As I receive the reports, I will post them here and then on my website, http://www.atheneeimporters.com/ in a section called Harvest Report.  I hope to have that up and running in the next week or so.

Here is the Harvest Report from UWC Samos:

UWC Samos

Vintage Report – Vintage 2011

2011 was a very good year for the grapes, one of the best we have seen the last years. 

The weather conditions were very favorable meaning that the rains during the winter were at a satisfactory and average amount and the summer was cool without instances of extreme heat.  The cool summer made the grapes mature gradually and naturally which led to a very satisfactory result quality-wise.

As far as diseases are concerned, compared to other vineyards in Greece, we had very little downy mildew (plasmapora viticola) which resulted in a slight reduction of the quantity and had no negative effect on quality. 

The harvest began August 8th and ended October 3rd   

Mr. Ilias Kariatoglou, Agriculturalist

Mastiha & Ouzo from Chios

After more than 2 years of searching Greece, Athenee Importers is pleased to announce that we will be launching Homericon Mastiha Liqueur and Kazanisto Ouzo from the Stoupakis Distillery from Chios.

Our anticipated launch date is April 1st in NY, NJ, DC, PA, Chicago, New Orleans and select cities on the West Coast.  Once more distribution agreements are finalized, we will post announcements on our website and on twitter @atheneewines.  

We will have both 200ml & 750ml bottle sizes available for both items.  See below.

The creation of Mastiha liqueur is a fascinating one that I am only just learning about.  Once I get schooled myself I will post my discoveries here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Release - Thimiopoulos Young Vines

Since the 2006 vintage, Athenee has been working with Apostolos Thimiopoulos to bring a new, modern version of Xinomavro to market.  This happened with the release of the Uranos 2006 (Ghi kai Uranos in Greek).  This wine - fresh, fruity, meaty, complex, great structure and body quickly captured the attention of the wine trade around the world. 

For those not familiar with Apostolos' story, his family have owned vineyards in Naoussa for over 50 years.  In the past, they sold their grapes to the local Cooperative or to other wineries.  However, Apostolos realized the potential in his family's lands to produce high quality wines.  The vines were on average 35-50 years old with established root systems and excellent drainage.  He convinced his family to stop selling the grapes to others and to give him the opportunity to make wine on his own.  His modern approach to Xinomavro makes wines like none currently in the market.  With the success of Uranos, we began exploring options for a second label.

About 5 years ago Apostolos began replanting plots of the family vineyards to increase vine density with the aim of increasing overall quality.   Now that the newly planted vines are coming on line, he needed to find something to do with the juice.  As it stands, the youngest vines he'll consider for use in Uranos is 15 years old.  As a result, he decided to release a light, fruit forward, fresh style of Xinomavro never seen before.  This is how Young Vines was born.

Young Vines is made from the juice of the vines that are between 5-15 years old.  It is meant to be more Pinot Noir - like in style.  It is fermented in stainless steel and then sees about 6-8 months in oak originally used for Uranos.  It's a refreshing wine to drink that has instantly won fans around the US.  We sold out of the 2009 in less than 2 months - that was an Athenee record.  We are now working with the 2010 and expect to remain in this vintage for the next 6-8 months. 

Like Uranos, Young Vines is made Biodynamically.  It is meant to be enjoyed in its younger years and is a great wine for heartier pasta and lighter meat dishes.  This wine is making its way into broader distribution channels - for now it's in select markets like Denver, Northern California, Seattle, Portland OR, Portland ME, New York & NJ.  More distributors are starting to come on board and we hope to have broader distribution as the year progresses.  Retail pricing ranges from $18 - $22 depending on which coast you are on.  You can buy it online through several retailers on both coasts.

This wine will be available for tasting to the trade during our Road Show 2012 events this March.  If you are trade or press in or near Seattle, Portland OR, Chicago or NY, be sure to register to attend.  Over 75 Greek wines from today's top producers will be open for you to taste.  Each winery table will be staffed by its owner, winemaker or very knowledgeable export staff.

Argyros Atlantis White 2011 - 1st tasting notes

2011 was a mixed harvest. For some, it was excellent. For others, hail and mildew (something unseen before this year) destroyed close to 50% of their crops. For Santorini, the harvest was overall quite good. Over last winter, the island received a fair amount of rain - something that is not always expected. Add in a consistent growing period, not too many extremes in temperatures, and you've got the recipe for good wines.

Argyros Atlantis White 2011 arrived in the US just last week. The label has changed slightly to accomodate the new EU laws and is classified as a PGI Cylcades.

It is a blend of 90% Assyrtiko and 5% each Athiri & Aidani for aromatics. The grapes are hand picked and then vinifed in the traditional white wine making method. The wines were fermented in stainless steel and then blended just before bottling. The resulting wine is pale yello in color. The aromatics arenmore prevalent this year as opposed to 2010-there are more ripe fruit and citrus notes than before. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied with a fuller mouth feel than 2010. The acidity is balanced and crisp. It is a pleasure to drink. Like 2010, the entire Atlantis line is in screw cap. The approximate retail price ranges from $15-$18 depending on where you are in the US.

It should make its way into general distribution within the next few months as distributors move out of 2010 and into 2011.

Thimiopoulos Uranos 2008 - a new look for the new vintage

The new look for 2008

In a departure from the original label from it's inception, Apostolos Thimiopoulos has decided to change the Uranos label to a more modern and eye-catching one.  According to Apostolos, the 2008 vintage reflects changes/improvements in the vineyard that have been taking place over the last few years.  With more of the replanted vines producing the quality of fruit that he desires, 2008 has seen an increase in production and in overall quality.