Monday, 30 November -0001

Wines of the week: Eastern Mediterranean

Written by Henry Jeffreys

In January I predicted that this year’s big story would be the appearance of Eastern Mediterranean wine in our shops… and lo, it has come to pass. We have been here before, of course; in the late 1990s, Oddbins was convinced that Greece was the new Chile and invested heavily in some unusual and delicious wines. Sadly they didn’t think about marketing: many of the wines had labels entirely in Greek script so were illegible to those without a classical education.

Atlantis Santorini, 2011 (Marks & Spencer, £10.49) This vibrant white is made on the island of Santorini and, though there is probably no scientific basis for it, you can taste the sea salt and the tang of volcanic rocks. It smells of lemons and it’s exceedingly dry. Happily, the label is in good old Roman script for those of us without the necessary learning.

Anfora Trio 2010 (Marks and Spencer, £7.49) From Greece’s ancient enemies/cousins, the Turks, this is a blend of an indigenous grape, Kalecik Karasi, and Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. This is a fragrant, light-bodied red with hints of violets and boiled sweets. Moreish – or should that be Moorish?

Cattunar Malvasia Istarska 2010 (The Vin Bin, Surrey, £14.99: This little beauty is from Istria, now part of Croatia, but previously part of Italy. It reminds me of some Southern Italian whites with its spicy honeysuckle taste and heady, full-bodied texture.

Puklavec & Friends Sauvignon Blanc 2011 (Waitrose, £8.99) Made in Slovenia, this is a supremely elegant take on Sauvignon Blanc. On the nose it’s all white peaches and then mouth-wateringly crisp.

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