Crete and a life-affirming old vine red

Crete and a life-affirming old vine red

So where are we today? Crete. Specifically, 500m up a mountain on the eastern side of the island, in the Aggelis vineyard. This is the sort of place any winemaker worth their salt would just love to work with. The vines, which are ungrafted, were planted in the 1930s, and so are now approaching 100 years of age. Lyrarakis, the producer, are making some of the best value wines in the world right now - never mind just Greece - and are working with native, often almost extinct, grape varieties. The grape in this case is Liatiko, and the wine is quite superb. We've been trying to get hold of it for the last three years with no luck, but the 2017 has finally arrived, and it more than lives up to expectations.

Here is Julia Harding's note:

Seductive aroma of fresh and dried cherries and spice, a kind of wild authenticity and a light note of roses. In the mouth, this is rich and firm with the same ripe but fresh spicy cherry flavours and a more savoury, almost umami, undercurrent ... Another terrific vintage of this fresh, tangy and intense wine in which the winemaking seems so well matched to the vines and variety. A great deal more complexity and interest to come. I feel a little sad to have opened it...

17.5 points

Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com

Where else in the world could you get a wine with this much to offer from very old vines for less than £20? Drink it now or cellar it for ten years and watch it evolve in splendour.

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