Lyrarakis 2017 Liatiko AggelisRegular price £19.95
The Aggelis vineyard is the sort of place any winemaker worth their salt would love to work with. Planted in the 1930s with Liatiko (a native Cretan grape variety) the vines are ungrafted and sit at around 500m altitude. In the hands of the team at Lyrarakis, this special place yields a quite brilliant wine. With aromas of cherry fruit and dried herbs, a little spice and great balance, this is a delight on release but would be asbolutely fascinating with a few years, perhaps even ten, of bottle age. The price of this wine in world terms is extremely low for the quality. Make no mistake, it is world class.
Lightish ruby with the more mature colour typical of Liatiko. 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. The tannins are compact and just slighly grainy at the moment. 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 pointsJulia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, 23/03/2019
Planted in the 1930s. Ungrafted vines. Fermented with indigenous yeasts in old barrels. No temperature control. Unfined. Minimal sulphur.