Why we should be turning to sunny Greece for our summer wines

Some particularly attractive Greek wines deserve our attention, states Harry Eyres.

Greek wines continue to make – I was about to say steady, but perhaps the better word is stealthy – progress on the wine scene.

‘When “the most sensitive vinifier in the whole of Bordeaux”, takes on a new project on an obscure Greek island, it’s sensible to pay attention.

That fashionable restaurant the Chiltern Firehouse even has its own Greek sommelier, the impressive Katerina Grigoriadou. There is good reason for this: the country is a treasure house of unique autochthonous varieties and no one is yet charging silly prices.

Why you should be drinking them

When Stéphane Derenoncourt, the man Jancis Robinson once described as ‘some reckon… the most sensitive vinifier in the whole of Bordeaux’, takes on a new project on an obscure Greek island, it’s sensible to pay attention.

‘The unconventional, quietly spoken M. Derenoncourt has been responsible for two of the Bordeaux wines that stand out for me vintage after vintage’

The unconventional, quietly spoken M. Derenoncourt has been responsible for two of the Bordeaux wines that stand out for me vintage after vintage, Canon La Gaffelière and La Mondotte. Now, he has turned his attention to Tinos, a barren and rocky Cycladic island best known for religious festivals.

What to buy

T-Oinos Avgoustiatis 2017 (£29.99; www.thewinetwit.com) has immediately attractive freshness and a chocolatey richness – think Beaujolais with an eastern-Mediterranean twist. M. Derenoncourt, however, believes that clearer messages from the soil can be obtained from two other varieties, Assyrtiko and Mavrotragano.

Clos Stegasta Assyrtiko 2017 (£44.95; www.masterofmalt.com) is quite deep gold in colour, with great richness and density, some oak influence and this variety’s characteristic mineral intensity.

Clos Stegasta Mavrotragano 2010 (£74.99; www.thesurreywinecellar.co.uk) is extremely deep in colour, vibrant and graphitey on the nose (just a hint of a great Pauillac, such as Mouton Rothschild), dense and concentrated on the palate. Special stuff indeed.