Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Greek Wines: Ktima Pavlidis winery

Ktima Pavlidis Estate, which was founded in 1998 by Christoforos Pavlidis, is situated in the region of Drama, in northern Greece, in a narrow valley on the footslopes of Mount Falakro. Their vineyards are situated in two different sites, Kokkinogia and Perichora, and the winery is situated in the north side of the Kokkinogia vineyard.

The intent of Pavlidis is to produce premium wines with a distinct and recognizable character. They grow indigenous grapes such as Assyrtiko, Agiorgitiko, and Limnio as well as international grapes like Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot. They even grow some Spanish Tempranillo which surprised me as I was unaware there was any Tempranillo in Greece.

The 2006 Ktima Pavlidis Thema White is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Assyrtiko and it sees no oak. It has a light yellowish-green color with a nose of citrus and a light grassy smell. On the palate, it reminded me somewhat of a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, a grassier flavor, but with plenty of crispness and a flavor of peach and pear. I did not care for this wine too much as I am not a big fan of grassy Sauvignon Blancs. I prefer more fruit but for those who like the grass, you will likely enjoy this Thema.

I was much more interested in the 2007 Ktima Pavlidis Thema Rose, made from 100% Tempranillo. This wine is made by a combination of two methods: skin-contact at low temperature and longtime pressing, and saignée from a tank in the phase of pre-fermentation maceration. The wine was a rich pink in color with an enticing strawberry smell. It was very much an Old World rose, dry and with restrained fruit flavors of strawberry and raspberry. It was moderately complex with a nice finish. It would make for an excellent summer wine, compatible with plenty of different foods. A wine I highly recommend.

These wines are available through Athenee Importers.

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