Rosés from the Peloponnese, Central Greece and its Neighbors

On our recent trip to Greece,  we tasted more high-quality rosés from Peloponnese than any other wine region.  Most of the top rosés were made from Agiorgitiko an indigenous grape grown in Nemea, and the prink-skinned  Moschofilero,  grown in the  area of Mantinia.   We also enjoyed rosés made from  the indigenous grapes of Mavrodaphne, Sideritis, and Mavrofilero.

In our tastings of the wines from Central Greece and its neighbors, we found noteworthy rosés from Evia Island and Thessalia.

In general, the wines are made direct press from grapes grown specifically for rosé.  As a result, they are fresh and generally low in alcohol. US Importers are noted, when known.

The Wines from the Peloponnes

Achaia Clauss 2021 Rosé of Mavrodaphne PGI Achaia 92 Sourced from a vineyard planted in 1950, this is the best Mavrodaphne rosé tasted on our trip and one of the best rosés overall. The bouquet is fresh and mineral-like with hints of red berries. It’s softly textured, superbly balanced and has a floral character with nuances of rose petals and light red berries. Finishes clean, crisp and with a continuation of the floral theme.

Bosinakis 2021 Ieria Rosé PGI Arcadia 89 Light pink. Opening with perfumed aromas of roses, citrus, and watermelon, this single vineyard rosé of Moschofilero is bright on the attack and flavorful on the palate. Sees 24 hours skin contact. 13.5% alc.  Made by siblings Sotiris (the winemaker) and Katerina Bosinakis (shown here).

Driopi 2021 Rosé PGI Peloponnese 92  Starbright, pale pink. A rosé of exceptional purity and refinement.  Effusive aromas recall red cherries and berries that are mirrored on a mineral-like, super fresh palate, finishing bright and long.  Made from 100% Agiorgitiko from a 750m high vineyard; given very brief skin contact. Driopi is the Nemea project of Yannis Tselepos, the king of Mantinia. His sparkling rosé, also made from Agiorgitikio, is reviewed below. Importer: Cava Spiliadis

Gaia 2021 4-6 Agiorgitiko Rosé PGI Peloponnese 91 Made of Agiorgitiko with 4-6 hours skin contact, this blush pink colored rosé is reticent on the nose but bright and fresh on the attack with pale cranberry and cherry skin flavors on a firm, round palate. Finishes clean and brisk with good length. The fruit is sourced from an 800m high vineyard. 12.5% alc. Gaia 2021 14-18 Agiorgitiko Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90  As the name suggests, this Agiorgitiko based rosé sees 14-18 hours skin contact, resulting in darker color than the 4-6 rosé. It’s also from the same vineyard. The red berry fruit is also more evident on a slightly sweeter palate. Excellent acidity and freshness. 13% alc.  Gaia was established in 1997 by agronomist Leon Karatsalos and enology professor Yiannis Paraskevopouolos. They also make wine in Santorini.  Importer: Winebow

Giannikos 2021 Swan Rosé PGI Peloponnese 89  This light reddish rosé is 100% Agiorgitiko. It’s very aromatic with scents and flavors of raspberry and candied cherry. The palate shows bright acidity and freshness, and the finish is dry and richly flavorful.  Importer: Sandalo Organic Estates

Ktima Mercouri Rosé

Mercouri 2021 Lampadias Rosé PGI Illia 90   Light bronze-tinged pink. This 60/40 blend of Agiorgitiko and Syrah offers scents of red berries and rose petals. It’s perfumed and floral in the mouth with strawberry and watermelon notes. Very clean and very dry finish.  pH 3.0, 12.5% alc. Importer: Athenee

Moropoulos 2021 Moschofilero Rosé PGI Arcadia 89 Very pale Champagne color with light citrus and floral aromas.  Delicate, light and clean on the palate with penetrating flavors of rose water.  Made in an understated style but very good. 12.5% alc.

Palivou 2021 La Vie en Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90  Blush pink. A fresh and vibrant wine revealing light scents of strawberry and rose petals with an earthy/herbal edge. There pure, dense fruit on a well-balanced palate with good acidity. Finishes firmly with nuances of red berries. All Moschofilero grown at 400m elevation with 2-3 days skin contact and then fermented in stainless steel.  Trained in Beaune, Evangelia Palivou (shown here) is the winemaker.  Palivou 2021 Vissino Rosé PGI Corinth 90  This 100% Agiorgitiko is light red in color with aromas of red plum and cherry. Darker in color than La Vie en Rosé, it’s very flavorful with bright acidity and very good freshness.  The grapes spend up to 3 days on the skins before fermenting in stainless steel. Importer: R&R Selections

Parparoussis 2021 Petite Fleur PGI Achaia 91  Made of 100% Sideritis with 10-12 hours of skin contact, this is a refined, elegant rosé. The nose reveals subtle red fruit. It’s crisp on the attack with tangy acidity and flavors that evoke pink grapefruit and red berries. Finishes clean and long with prominent mineral notes.  Athanassios Parparoussis founded this winery in 1974 after graduating from the University of Dijon; today his daughters Erifili and Dimitra make the wine and manage the family business.

Semeli 2021 Oreionos Helios Rosé PGI Korinthia 88  Light pink. This Agiorgitiko based rosé is made saignée style. Red cherries and berries show on the nose and the softly textured palate. Good freshness but a tad high in alcohol. 13.7% alc.

Dmitri Skouras

Skouras 2021 Peplo Rosé PGI Peloponnese 92  Platinum blush.  Shows an attractive stony mineral like nose with nuances of red berries and flint, but it’s the satin like and precise mouthfeel that makes this one of Greece’s best rosés.  An elegant wine with dense floral-inflected red berry flavors that slowly expand and finally finish very long and intense. A rosé that can age for at least three years. Made from equal portions of Agiorgitiko, Syrah, and Mavrofilero grown in high mountain vineyards. The Agiorgitiko is fermented in acacia barrels, while the Syrah is fermented in stainless steel, and the Mavrofilero is made in egg-shaped amphora with skin contact. The winemaker is Dmitri Skouras (shown here), son of the founder, who did his wine training at Montpelier.  Skouras 2021 Zoe Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90 In contrast to Peplo, the Zoe Rosé is meant for casual, easy drinking. Light salmon colored with floral notes on the nose. It’s softly textured with medium acidity, making it oh-so-easy to drink. A 70/30 blend of Agiorgitiko from an 850m high vineyard in Corinthian and Moschofilero from a 750m high vineyard in Matinia.  The grapes are cofermented. Importer: Diamond

Winemaker Konstantina Spiropoulos

Spiropoulos 2021 Limna Vineyard Rosé PGI Peloponnese 92   Blush pink. Showing a strawberry and summer watermelon nose, this single vineyard, 100% Moschofilero rosé reveals a very flavorful attack and mouthfilling, tangy-edged palate of orange citrus and strawberry.  Finishes very long. Sourced from a 35-year-old vineyard, fermented using ambient yeast, and aged 3 months on the lees.  Made for restaurants.  Spiropoulos 2021 Meliasto Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90  Pale pink with rose petal, watermelon and a hint of orange citrus on the nose. Flavorful, finely focused palate. Made of 85% Moschofilero and 15% Agiorgitiko from high altitude vineyards and given a 15-hour cold soak prior to fermentation.  Excellent long, rich finish. Spiropoulos 2019 Ode Panos Rosé PDO Mantinia 91  Light salmon pink in color with a clean nose of red berries.  A beautiful 2019 vintage produced a beautifully balanced, vibrant and fresh sparkling wine with a creamy mouthfeel and fresh red berry flavors.  A blend of 90% Moschofilero and 10% Syrah.  pH 3.16, 9 g/L RS, 12.5% alc. Importer: Athenee

Troupis 2021 Route Gris Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90 Pale pink. Shows a light red berry and floral nose. The palate is pure and mineral-like, very refreshing and delicious. All Moschofilero given 14 hours skin contact and fermented 50/50 in stainless steel and used oak, after which it’s blended and aged in concrete tank. pH 3.25 13.2% alc.  The winemaker is Dmitri Akrivos (shown here).  Importer: DNS

Tselepos NV Amalia Rosé PGI Peloponnese 90  Pale pink fading to the rim and showing light scents of fresh red cherry.  Bright and brisk on a leesy palate. Made from 100% Agiogitiko from the highest (900-1000m) vineyard in the Asprokampos region, whole bunch pressed.  About 11 g/L RS. US Importer: Cava Spiliadis

The Wines from Central Greece and its Neighbors

Domaine Dimitris Migas 2020 Muscat Tyrnavou Rose PGI Tyrnavos ($15) 88+ iThe 2020 Muscat of Tyrnavos Rose is a fragrant semi-dry rose made of Black Muscat, an indigenous grape grown in the region of Thessaly. It offers aromas red berries and rose petals and is nicely concentrated on the palate. A wine that would pair well with Thai and other spicy dishes. Tyrnavos, located in the Larissa prefecture, is most famous for its Tsipouro; Muscat and Roditis are the most popular grape varieties. Importer: Abelaki

Gkirlemis 2021 Limnio Rosé Varietal Wine 89  Pale, blush pink. Showing floral and cherry aromas this rosé is dry and crisp on a clean, fresh palate with light red berry flavors and bright acidity. Made from the Limnio grape grown on 200ha of estate vineyards at 400-550m elevation on the slopes of Mount Othrys just outside Domokos overlooking the Thessalian plain; aged on fine lees for 3 months. 12.5% alc.

Stamatis Nicolaou 2020 Lalari Rose PGI Evia ($25) 89 The 2020 Lalari Rose is a blend of 60% Grenache and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon. It displays an eye of the partridge color with aromas of red berry fruit and minerals. It is light-bodied and crisp on the palate with good acidity and a dry finish. 13% alc.  Sourced from the island of Skyros. Importer: Abelaki

Vriniotis 2020 Iama Rose PGI Evia ($22) 91 This rose is sourced from 100% Vradiano, an indigenous grape of Greece. It is light salmon in color and offers excellent flavors of light red berry fruit. It is nicely concentrated with fresh red berries on the palate, excellent acidity, and a crisp finish. Vriniotis is a family winery of about 40 ha of 150-400m high vineyards overlooking the Aegean Sea, located in Gialtra in Northern Evia. The wines are made by Konstantinos Vriniotis. 12.5% alc. Importer: Abelaki






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