A Guide to ageing Greek wine
Originally published in The Vineyards and Wines of Greece 2017 this is a guide to ageing Greek wines produced from autochthonous varieties. Assyrtiko and Xinomavro obviously get the lion’s share but quite a few other varieties show solid potential to develop complexity and a multi-layered character after some bottle ageing.
Drink your Santorini 6-10 years after the vintage and go even further for top-examples. Tinos Assyrtiko seems to be is at least as age worthy. Assyrtiko from mainland Greece is fruitier and the safe drinking window is 4-6 years after bottling. In the classic dilemma between stainless steel or oak, my vote goes to the unoaked styles.
Although I have tried Moschofilero from mid 90’s that was quite interesting, I would recommend to enjoy these intensely scented wines during the first 2 years of their life, with some exceptions going up to 3-4.
Age the top examples up to 5 years following the vintage and drink up the more immediate styles during the first 2-3 years.
Drink the basic stuff during the first 1-2 years and cellar those from Attica low yielding bush vines for up to 6-8 years. You will be amazed by its nutty Semillon like honeyed character and lovely texture.
Enjoy this upcoming variety fresh during the first 3 years of its life.
Still unexplored to a great extent but best examples show strong potential to improve between 3-5 years following the vintage.
Fruity Nemeas 1-3 years and seriously structured ones up to 10 years.
This is a very promising variety. In general, you can enjoy it when youthful but top examples from Achaia and Cephalonia go up to 6-8 years.
For Naoussa I would suggest to start drinking them 4 to 6 years after the vintage and get the maximum pleasure at 10 to 15 years of age. Top examples could go beyond two decades. More refined wines from Amyndeon could be enjoyed younger and age up to 8 years. Rapsani and Goumenissa wines are on the same track with Amyndeon.
Yiannis Karakasis MW 29/9/2017