94

2019 Argyros Estate Assyrtiko, Santorini

( £28, 14%, Bottle Apostle, Philglas & Swiggot, Tanners )

Oh to be sitting in a bar in Santorini drinking a glass of this amazing wine. But sipping it in London’s still a pleasure, reminding me of the lure of the Greek islands. Made from old, ungrafted bush vines grown on volcanic soils, it’s a stunning white from Matthew Argyros, demonstrating Assyrtiko’s classic combination of salty, briney aromatics, crunchy minerality and flavours of preserved lemons and wild herbs. Long, focused and beautifully balanced.

BuyDrinking window: 2020-24Similar Wines: £20-£30, 90-94, Greece, White, Assyrtiko

A Virtual Tour of Greece

by Peter Pharos
Let me invite you to a concert for the world’s smallest bouzouki. Rationally, I know full well that whining about not being able to travel in these circumstances is akin...
91

2017 Atlantis, Santorini

( £8, down from £12, 13%, Marks & Spencer )

Currently on a deal that has reduced its price by £4, this was worth buying at £12, but is especially so now. Made from Greece’s increasingly trendy Assyrtiko, with 5% each of Aidani and Athiri for company, this is a brilliant seafood white that’s crunchy, pithy and slightly salty, with lemon and lime zest fruit, an undertone of wild herbs and a long and very refreshing finish. If the summer ever starts again, drink a bottle outside in the sun. If not, imagine you’re on a Greek island. Drink young and well chilled.

BuyDrinking window: 2019-21Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Greece, White, Aidani, Assyrtiko, Athiri

In praise of Retsina

by Peter Pharos
An English acquaintance of a certain age, likes to bring up Nana Mouskouri every time we meet. He appears to find her not only an endless source of amusement, but...

Floral testimony

by Matt Walls
In the car park on my street there is a rose bush. Every so often when walking past I pause to cup one of the red flowers in my hand,...
90

2015 Gentilini Robola, Cephalonia

( £14, 13%, Oddbins )

Best known as the setting for Louis de Bernières’ novel, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, Cephalonia also makes some very tasty wines from indigenous Greek grapes. This tangy, bright, wild herb-scented white, made from Robola, will delight lovers of fiction and non-fiction alike. 

BuyDrinking window: 2016-18Similar Wines: £10-£20, 86-90, Greece, White

How the other half drinks

by Matt Walls
Is there a quicker way to get to know someone than by flicking through their music collection or browsing their bookshelves? Both feel like a little glimpse into their soul....
91

2013 Gerovassiliou, Malagousia Single Vineyard, Epanomi, Greece 2013, Epanomi

( £16.99, 13.5%, Wine Rack )

We have Vangelis Gerovassiliou to thank for rescuing the Malagousia grape from obscurity in the 1970s. This comes from his oldest plantings and it’s typically rich, textured and scented, with grapey, musky aromas, flavours of stone fruit and orange peel and a ripe, satisfying finish. At its best with spicy food. 

BuyDrinking window: 2015-16Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Greece, White, Malagouzia

Back to the future

by Simon Woolf
Fine wines are timeless – that elusive combination of elegance, complexity and gravitas, plus ageing potential in spades. Their prices unfortunately are not. Top rank Bordeaux, Burgundy or mature Barolos...

Guerrilla winemakers

by Matt Walls
One wine, in one place, for one year only. It’s hard enough making wine in the same place each year, so as winemaking philosophies go it doesn’t get much more...