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Vice President Athenee Importers

Friday, June 20, 2014

Celebrate the Summer Solstice with Greek wines

After a long, cold and snowy winter in the Northeast, the weather has finally begun to cooperate and we will have a beautiful weekend - just the way to kick off summer!

Come summer time, I tend to drink refreshing wines - white, rose & unoaked reds.  Anything that's a bit heavier is kept in the cellar until the fall & winter months come back around.  Come summer, the best wines for the weather are high acid wines in any color.  They are refreshing and pair well with all cuisines.

As it typically happens with the wines we import, they are usually too young when we first get them in during the 1st quarter of the year.  I have gone back and started retasing several wines again to see how they have developed and I am really pleased with their progress.  In some cases, I have found some 2011 & 2012s in the wine fridge and I must say, I'm sad that we've moved onto new vintages 0 they are just starting to show their stuff!!!

With that being said, here is a snapshot of what I have been revisiting and drinking at home recently:


Ktima Pavlidis Thema White 2013 - I am a huge fan of this wine when it's got about a year of bottle age on it.  Right now, the Sauvignon Blanc is really showing on the nose and the Assyrtiko is still hanging out in the background.  For you SB lovers, you will REALLY enjoy this wine now.  For those that want more minerality, grab a few bottles and give it another few months - the SB will tone down and the pretty characteristics of Assyrtiko will come out.


Mercouri Estate Kallisto 2013 - This year this wine is SUPER! It's a blend of Robola & Assyrtiko from the farthest West you can get on the Peloponnese, near ancient Olympia.  It's got a bit of weight to it from the Robola and then great minerality from the Assyrtiko.  I have been having this with spicy grilled skirt steak and it's been fantastic.

Karavitakis Little Prince Red 2012 - This is one of our newest producers in the portfolio from Crete and I'm still getting my head around the Cretan grape varieties.  This is a blend of the Cretan grapes Kotsifali & Mandilari and it's 100% unoaked.  When you first open it, the wine can be a bit wild and gamey.  I have found that chilling it down a bit has done wonders for the flavors and aromas to open up and become really tasty. many of my "big red" wine drinking friends have been able to appreciate it's lighter weight for the summer.

As I keep revisiting my wines, I will post my findings.  If you come across any of these wines where you live, grab a bottle and try it.  Let me know what you think! 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Looking to the future - announcing our first Estate Kegged wine

In recent years, wine in kegs has become more accepted and available across the United States.  From Greece, there is currently one option, but it is kegged in the United States from wine that is brought in a bladder.  We are pleased to announce that our newest property, Karavitakis Winery, has decided to offer Greece's first Estate Kegged wine in the Little Prince White 2013.

Little Prince White 2013 is a blend of 65% Vidiano and 35% Vilana, two native Cretan grape varietals.  The kegs will be available as of July 1st in select markets - New York, Pennsylvania, Boston & Washington DC.  The wine will be in 20L slim Key kegs, which are 100% recyclable.  Be on the lookout for it on tap this summer!

Little Prince White in the bottle & in the keg

Little Prince White kegs being prepared for shipment at the winery