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Ancient World tasting - 24th October 2019

Indigenous Greek White Grapes

We'll be opening three indigenous Greek varieties, with the Savatiano and the Kydonitsa new to the shelves, served alongside long-standing shop favourite: Malagousia.

-Vassiliki Akriotou has her own micro-winery with vineyards among the snow capped mountains. The Savatiano is from 45 year old vines, a true expression of the mountainous terrain.

-Kydonitsa is Greek for quince and is a rare, old, local variety. On a peninsula, surrounded by sea, this wine is heavily influenced by the Mediterranean. Mouthwatering, tropical, with a hint of nuttiness.

-The Malagousia is another wine influenced by the sea, this time in the North. Made with a blend of ancient and modern techniques, this grape was on the verge of extinction in the 1970's before Evangelos Gerovassiliou resurrected it. The wine is aromatic and made with a little skin-contact and barrel age, giving it a floral yet rich, mineral feel. Try matching it with Salt and Pepper Squid.

High Altitude Cyprus

Xynisteri (Sin-ees-ter-ee) Another wine that is much-loved in Highams Park, Kyperounda winery is the highest in altitude in Europe with terraced vineyards at over 1400m. Grapes are picked later and a portion is aged in barrel, giving it an intensity with a touch of spice.

Slovenian Biodynamic Pair

Guerila is a modern winery located in the Vipava Valley, working biodynamically and growing historic, indigenous grape varieties, many of which are rarely seen outside Slovenia. Everything is hand-picked, naturally fermented and then bottled unfiltered with just a minimal sulphur addition, creating wines that are delicate, mineral and full of freshness. We’ll be pouring two of their flagship “Retro” range, the white is a blend of indigenous grapes and the red is a refined, smoky style of Cabernet Franc.

Bordeaux Meets Bulgaria

Four thousand years ago merchants came from Troy to purchase famous wine from this region. The continental climate is offset by the cool breezes from the mountains, creating excellent conditions for winemaking. Domaine Bessa Valley has been created by a famous Bordeaux Chateau, we’ll be tasting their Bordeaux-style blend with a year of oak age: full-bodied yet incredibly smooth.

Agiorgitiko - "Blood of Hercules" - Young and Old

This is a great comparison of Agiorgitiko (Ah-yor-YEE-te-ko) from two very different vintages and regions of Greece. In its youth, the wine is full-bodied with rich yet very soft tannins, as in the case of the Gaia 2017. The Monemvasia 2009 has been aged for a year in oak, followed by nine years at the winery, giving it beautiful soft, stewed fruits and herbaceous, spicy edge - a wine to take some time over!

Xinomavro: Greece's Answer to Nebbiolo

Pronounced See-no-mav-ro, we have two wines from ungrafted, pre-phylloxera, ancient bush vines from Northern Greece. The cooler, more exposed climate allows the wines to maintain a real freshness. Both wines spend 2-3 years in large cask before release, much the same as many top Italian reds. The Alpha Estate 2015 is a younger, fruitier example, while the Markovitis is a little more austere in its youth, although following nearly two decades to mature the 1999 vintage has softened and developed huge complexity, earthiness and aromatics.


The Barovo 2015 is a blend of two grapes: Kratoshija is genetically very similar to Primitivo and Vranec translates to "black stallion, so it won't surprise that this is the full-bodied finishing wine of the tasting. From a single vineyard and aged for 18 months in new French Oak, this wine is rich with ripe red fruit and toasty, vanilla notes before a long, long finish.

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