The wine reporter Andrew Neather recommends Diamantakis Vidiano 2010
HARD TIMES FOR GREECE
What would a fresh economic crisis mean for European wine? In Greece, which now looks more likely than ever to crash out of the euro, winemakers are already struggling to cope with the fallout. Athens-based blogger Markus Stolz (elloinos.com) reports that the market for wine at more than €5 has “imploded” as Greek shoppers turning to budget bag- and box-wine options. But a Greek meltdown would be grim news for the rest of us too, especially for the struggling eurozone economies. Where will the Spanish or Portuguese wine industries be in a couple of years’ time if that happens? We must hope that those countries’ innovative, quality-focused producers manage to ride out the hard times — and that we will be able to toast prosperity’s return with a glass of theirs rather than wine out of a box.
2010, Crete (Berry Bros, St James’s Street or bbr. com, £10.95)
Vidiano is one of Greece’s numerous interesting indigenous grape varieties, a very obscure white from Crete. Big, complex, honeyed, almost oily, a highly individual and very attractive wine.
Pavlidis Thema red
2008, Thraki (Berry Bros, £13.95)
This red from Drama is a blend of the native agiorgitiko grape and syrah: powerful,spicy and ripe, yet very well balanced and not too heavy.
Bodegas Castro Bergidium, Legio
2010, Bierzo (Waitrose, £8.99 reduced to £5.99 until 20 May)
Bierzo, in the Spanish north-west, is one of the country’s newly trendy wine areas. This red from the local mencia grape is packed with juicy red berry fruit, balanced with attractive acidity.
Dirk Niepoort “Drink Me” 2008,
Douro (Selfridges, £12.99)
Dirk Niepoort has established a name as one of the stars and iconoclasts of Portuguese wine, making some massive, impressive (and expensive) Douro reds. This, his entry-level wine, is still serious: big and bold but with plenty of freshness and cherry fruit.