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Wine Expert


Royal cellar

The wine director of “Les Caves du Louvre" in Paris adds some Greek spirit to his ideal wine list.

A free mobile application available in seven languages (among which English and Simplified Chinese) will help you navigate through the cellars built in the 18th century for Louis XV’s wine collection, right in the heart of old Paris. Back then, the King’s sommelier lived upstairs and a tunnel would actually connect the underground premises to the Palais du Louvre. What you will find now is “Les Caves du Louvre”, a groundbreaking high-tech wine experience meant to enchant and inspire even those who don’t drink at all. From one room to the other, you will employ all of your five senses to delve into the secrets of wine. And if you need help choosing what to drink after all, trust wine director Alexandre Savoie, who gives us his top wine selection from international and Greek domaines.
* www.cavesdulouvre.com

 

 


GREEK

Hatzidakis, Santorini 2014, Assyrtiko
If you happen to be on a terrace in Greece, especially on Santorini, having fresh, grilled seafood under the warm sun, there is but one wine to drink. It offers the citrusy aromas you need to balance out your dish, as well as the refreshing minerality to fight the hot summer day.

Thymiopoulos, Terre et Ciel 2013, Xinomavro 
Made from a local singular grape of the Naoussa region, in the foothills of Northern Greece, Xinomavro is typically very tannic with high acidity, but pair it with red meat and it’ll make you beg for more.


INTERNATIONAL

Champagne Duval-Leroy, Cuvée des Meilleurs Ouvriers de France Sommeliers
When deciding on the final blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 1er and Grand Cru Vineyards, the Duval-Leroy family asks great sommeliers who have the prestigious M.O.F designation to come and help. The end result is classic Champagne with a twist.

Domaine Pattes Loup, Chablis 2010
Thomas Pico started taking over his father’s estate progressively since 2006 and has been making outstanding Chablis ever since. Riper and richer than most of his counterparts’ wines, his Chablis has an exotic aroma but keeps the classic Chablis minerality.

Lise & Bertrand Jousset, Montlouis-sur-Loire, Clos aux Renards 2014
Chenin Blanc is the grape that turned me to white wine before sommeliers started talking it up. The 2013 vintage from this couple was difficult, but the 2014s are simply delicious with very pure pear flavours that you can’t miss. Fresh, almost crystalline, you will finish the bottle before you know it.

Benanti, Etna Bianco, Biancodicaselle 2013
Mount Etna on Sicily can look lunar with its volcanic soil and rare vegetation, but it is home to some very interesting wines. Benanti, one of the area’s pioneers, makes a white wine with the Carricante grape which is unknown anywhere else, a tribute to the terroir and the altitude.

Château Combaude Guillot, Pomerol, Clos Plince 2010
When most famous Bordeaux need a minimum of 15 years to lose their overly oaky flavours, this one will surprise you. Classic Pomerol with Merlot suppleness and rich fruit, but balanced with acidity and palatable now, even though it will last a couple of decades in the cellar if desired.

Domaine Jean Tardy, Nuits-Saint-Georges, Aux Bas de Combe, 2013
The great discovery I made on a recent trip to Burgundy are the wines of Guillaume Tardy, and this is the cuvée that most impressed me. Such finesse of texture where NSG is usually austere and tannic, it has just enough bite to make you hungry. Blackcurrant, spice, pepper and a violet bouquet, it is irresistible.

Saint-Joseph, Yves Gangloff 2013
I love Syrah; with its dark fruit, peppery, violet and gamey aromas, it will charm everyone, especially if it comes from the Northern Rhône. On top of that, it is the most crowd-pleasing red grape, in my opinion. Anyone who has tried Gangloff wines will say this is an easy pick.

Olivier Rivière, Rioja, Ganko 2012
Olivier Rivière, a Frenchman who has worked in many famous domains in France, finally settled down in this famous Spanish region in 2006. His cuvée Ganko is a Grenache based blend with ripe red fruit flavours, a smoky character and a hint of spice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cheers!

Would you like to taste the most interesting Greek wines? Here is a top 10 list compiled by Terry Kandylis, Head Sommelier at 67 Pall Mall, a groundbreaking wine club in London.

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2014 Vidiano Karavitakis

A beautifully rich style of white wine from one of the native grapes of Crete, displaying a floral and stony fruit character with notes of bruised apple and a textured palate, making it an ideal accompaniment to braised pork belly with cider sauce and comice pears.

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 2014 Moschofilero Mantinia Nassiakos

A light, delicate and refreshing white wine with a perfumed nose of roses and nectarines, perfect as an aperitif or to match with a green bean salad with nectarines and fresh almonds. 

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 2013 Assyrtiko de Mylos, PDO Santorini, Domaine Hatzidakis

An unoaked white wine with precision and power; the lees contact offers structure and makes it a wonderful match to any rich and oily fish, like sea bass and turbot. Try it with grilled turbot, with a creamy sauce and capers!

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Retsina Papagiannakos

A heavily misunderstood style of white wine, scented with notes of Aleppo Pine tree resin, but with a modern twist. Try it with fried red mullets and you have Greece on the table… 

 
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 2013 Mavro Kalavrytino, Tetramythos Winery

The Greek answer to a Pinot Noir? This red wine from an upcoming winery in Ano Diakopto will definitely change your mind about Mediterranean reds, with its fresh cherry character, light and soft tannic structure. Fancy a red with fish? Seared tuna with tomatoes and peppers makes for a combination you shouldn’t miss. 

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 2011 Naoussa Xinomavro, Domaine Diamantakos

For many, one of the best native grapes found in Greece. This wine from a young and talented winemaker will make you think about red fruits, sweet spices and notes of tomato, while its backbone on the palate will make it the best match to a slow cooked wild boar with homemade pasta “hylopites”, especially after a busy skiing day in Vermio. 

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2011 Grande Cuvée NEMEA, Domaine Skouras 

The native St.George grape, from one of the highest altitude vineyards in Europe, displays fragrant red and dark fruit notes, coaxed beautifully with the sweetness of the oak, unfolding elegance and power at the same time. Souvlaki anyone? 

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2011 Mavrokoudoura, Avantis Estate

A rare red grape from my native Evia island, a local clone of Mandilaria, found around Kymi. Ripe dark plums and sweet juicy figs with subtle notes of vanilla from the oak barrels. Matched with? Another Greek favourite, lamb “giouvetsi”.

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2006 Liatiko, Domaine Oikonomou, Sitia, Crete

Another native red grape giving a wine with a character of dried red fruits and herbs, almost tarry, reminiscent of a Piemontese red in style, persistent and layered on the palate. Pair it with raised hare with sweet shallot onions and spices, or hare “stifado” in Greek. 

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 1998 Vinsanto Argyros, Santorini

A dessert wine made from sun-dried, mainly Assyrtiko grapes from the leading producer of this style on the island of Santorini. Multidimensional and superbly complex, with a long lasting flavour of bergamot marmalade, toffee, caramel and walnuts. Pairing it with a walnut pie with candied clementines will give you a taste of heaven. 

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 Terry Kavdylis holds the title of Advanced Sommelier from the Court of Master Sommeliers and won the 2015 Best Greek Sommelier of the year competition.

67 PALL MALL is a private members’ club founded by wine lovers, for wine lovers. Housed in a magnificent building at St James, it boasts the most extensive wine list in England, with more than 5,000 wines – 500 of them sold by the glass. Across three floors, members can enjoy a wealth of facilities specifically designed with the wine enthusiast in mind, including wine education, chateau dinners and master classes. * www.67pallmall.co.uk 

 

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