Retsina aside Greek wine has never been, nor ever will be, mainstream.
This may, ironically, be a good thing, as there isn’t much of it to go around.
An adventurous few may be vaguely familiar with the Assyrtiko of Santorini, but I’ll bet my Byzantine Bouzouki you’ve never heard of the Robola of Cephalonia.
The Sclavos family’s Vino di Sasso (wine from the stone) is 100% organic, hand harvested, Robola, from ungrafted vine stock, on precarious limestone scree, from the slopes of Kefalonia’s Black Mountain (Ainos).
Biodynamic methods have been employed for the last 20 years and the vineyard is accredited by the DIO.
Vinification is with indigenous yeasts, and maturation is for one year in Allier oak barrels. The wines are bottled without filtration, or fining, and no sulphur is added, except in wetter vintages (and even then, only in very small quantities).
So, what’s it taste like?
Well, it’s got plenty of ooomph– which belies it’s 12.5% alcohol – and a broad, creamy, malo mouthfeel that’s cut through with a fresh, spritzy, flintiness. There’s also the kind of herby, scrubby, garrigue-like feel – together with a smidge of pepper – that reminds you of good white Rhone, together with a bitter almond finish redolent of Italy’s Ribolla Gialla – which (despite the odd assertion) is no genetic relation.
As Frankie Valli would say …. ‘Greece is the Word’