food & drink
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class-leading sauvignon blanc

SAUVIGNON Blanc is ubiquitous. Though it does not scale the heights of Riesling, Chenin Blanc, or Assyrtiko, it scores high in awakening one’s senses. It brilliantly matches oysters and other metallic- iodine-tasting shellfish. Passes the goat-cheese salad test. It’s pungently aromatic and crisp, with rare exceptions it fails to deliver the middle part of the story, though.

Yet, its popularity grows by the mouthful. It has the knack to remind you of its presence. An actor delivering fireworks in the first act but lacking the firing power and stamina to enthrall his audience through to the end.

The Kir-Yianni vineyard and winery of Amyndeon

The Kir-Yianni vineyard and winery of Amyndeon are located on the shores of lake Vegoritis, defined by the mountains of Kaimakcalan and Vitsi. The winery was created in order to stimulate an underdeveloped area, which was put on the map thanks to the systematic efforts of the founder of the winery, Yiannis Boutaris. Today, Amyndeon, a traditional but, until now, neglected viticultural zone, has evolved into one of the most promising Greek winemaking regions. It has a characteristic microclimate and soil, suitable for the production of top-quality wines, due to the high altitude of the area and the four lakes surrounding it.

Boutaris Winery

Kir Yianni Estate

Old vines carry wisdom. They go a long way in covering up imperfections. In fewer words, they say more. I recently advocated that the way forward for Amyndeon is the micro-parcel route. Thanks to its sandy-clay topsoil lying on limestone bedrock, there are nuances to explore.

Droumo was planted in 1990. It is one of the earliest of its kind. Moreover, it is in the right microclimate. With no maritime influence from the Ionian or Aegean, this 550-700m landlocked plateau has the diurnal temperature difference to protect and enhance the attractive aspects of Sauvignon Blanc profile.


Last year’s was not an easy vintage. Cloud cover and harvest rains left their mark. Yet, in certain instances, that lent a helping hand. Such as this reviewed wine. Chief oenologist Antonis Kiosseoglou has brought stability to Kir Yianni. He now understands its numerous vineyard sites, how to blend them, or not.

Droumo is the first; others may follow. This applies to Amyndeon and Naoussa. So, if you are in the mood for a Sauvignon Blanc on the Burgundy axis, look no further than this maiden release.

It has a perfumed, cool-climate blackcurrant allure. Crunchy, concentrated fruity acidity, padded out with yeasty complexity. Bone-dry flintiness. Notable depth. Whetstone. Persistent zesty frame. Single-vineyard signature. Class-leading Sauvignon Blanc. Best 2015–2019.

My Greek Review rating: 4star

manessis215For the past 18 years Nico Manessis has specialised as a commentator on Greek wine and adventurer in the Greek vineyard. As a true descendant of the “stradioti” Marino Manessi in the service of Venice, he bravely undertakes his wine crusade on the civilised side of “taking no prisoners”.

The author of the Greek Wine Book series and the website Greek Wine World is one of My Greek Review’s regular contributors.


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