Doric Wine White 2021
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Press 4 White • April 2023 Direct Press Selection
Giorgos Balatsouras has been farming and vinifying rare local grapes, with organic certification, since 1998. He inherited his vineyards from his family in the village of Koniakos about 300 km or 190 miles northwest of Athens, near the ancient site of Delphi and Lake Mornou. Giorgos started making wines in his family's traditional style to preserve the traditions of Greek villages that have been disappearing over time. The village and vineyard are located in a fir forest at an altitude of around 800 meters, and is an alpine and pristine environment. Giorgos’ passion even drove him to single-handedly save the local red grape variety Kosmas aka Gousmadia from extinction by having Greek authorities recognize it officially.
This Doric White Wine by Giorgos is definitely a mountainous wine as indicated by the presence of local fir trees on the palate and nose as they use the fir branches to help maintain the cap of the fermenting destemmed hand selected grapes for 6 days in open wood fermenters. There’s no climate control here and no additives, sticking with the rural and traditional practices of Balatsouras’ family. The wine is made up of the traditional Roditis variety and a small amount of Malagousia is added as a blending grape. The fir resin also supports an almost unsulfured bottling.
This is a truly natural wine on the palate giving off first an impression of the freshness and slight pithiness of fresh squeezed orange juice, orange marmalade. The fir trees are reflected in the aroma as well but just sneaking in under the fruit and refreshing alpine minerality. On the palate this is an energetic and lively wine. Fresh citrus is lifted and bolstered by the fir, zippy acidity, and a saline finish with just enough tannic grip to stand up to light fare. This is perfect for the transitional weather we are having in New York at the moment. Jeremy Hernandez