A lean, elegant, and aromatic white hailing from the foothills of Mount Olympus.
Producer: Domaine Zafeirakis
Region: Tyrnavos, Greece
Grapes: 100% Malagousia
Lighter Body, Aromatic
Flavors: Ripe peach, citrus, white jasmine.
Pairings: Fresh salads, light fish, pasta.
“Beautiful, bright, fresh, and floral,” Mann said. “It’s so aromatic and perfumed that you think it might be sweet, but it ends up being very dry and very crisp with bright acidity, which makes it a wonderful food wine.” The nose is chock-full of stone fruits and white blossoms, but the palate is light and lean, with a crisp saline minerality on the finish. A great bottle for fresh salads, young cheeses, and light fish dishes, it’s also an excellent wine for watching end-of-summer sunsets on the beach.
Malagouzia (say: mah-lah-GOO-zee-yah) is an aromatic variety unique to central Greece; in fact, the grape was near extinction until recently, when a group of winemakers committed to preserving Greece’s native grapes put their efforts behind reviving Malagouzia. Cristos Zefeirakis was one such producer, and he founded his domaine in honor of his family’s four previous generations of winemaking history, choosing the village of Tyrnavos, in the foothills of Mount Olympus, for his heritage estate. Though Greece might not always occur to us as one of the world’s most important winemaking countries, its vinous history dates back to between 4,000 and 6,000 years, and the Ancient Greeks are attributed with elevating grape-growing and winemaking from their most rustic practices to something more closely resembling what we’re familiar with in modernity. Today, Greece is one of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming regions, with a bevy of rare native grapes, unique winemaking styles, and a variety of climates and soil types lending themselves a wide range of styles and expressions. As far as Malagouzia is concerned, Cristos’ interpretation is considered one of the best in Greece. “Zefeirakis is putting Greek wines on the map for the rest of us,” Mann said.