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Biblia Chora, Ovilos Semillon/Assyrtiko 2019
Assyrtiko 50%, Semillon 50%
Vassilis Tsaktsarlis and Vangelis Gerovassiliou
This barrel-fermented blend of Assyrtiko (native to Santorini) and Semillon is testament to the quality of modern Greek winemaking.
The distinctive and characteristic aromas of apricot and honey from the Semillon blend perfectly with the citrus and lemon notes from the Assyrtiko, with nuances of vanilla and nutty hints adding complexity. Elegant, with a creamy, waxy texture, this stylish wine is beautifully balanced by refreshing palate which leads to a long finish.
After a brief pre-fermentation maceration of the grapes, the wine is fermented in French oak barrels. A few months in their wooden (oak) residence and their contact with the lees highlight their varietal character and add a rich complexity.
Ktima Biblia Chora is the innovative creation of Vassilis Tsaktsarlis and Vangelis Gerovassiliou two of the most talented winemakers in Greece. The winery was established in 1998 and the privately owned vineyard lies on the cool climate slopes of Mount Pangeon, at Kokkinochori near Kavala. It has been farmed organically since day one. These exceptional, cutting edge wines are some of the best white wines in Greece, which have similarities to very good white Bordeaux not surprising as Vassilis Tsaktsarlis studied with Denis Dubourdieu; the king of modern white Graves.
Wine Advocate 93pts (2017) - The 2017 Ovilos is an equal blend of Semillon and Assyrtiko aged for five months in French barriques (one-third each of new, second and third use). It comes in at 13.5% alcohol. Grassy and green, as tends to be the case, this adds fine acidity and a fair bit of power to the equation. It's tense on the finish and solid in the mid-palate, but it's also precise, graceful and beautifully constructed. This bottling is on a roll these days, making it one of Greece's more interesting whites outside of Santorini and Mantinia. This should age for at least a decade from the vintage date—but those are things I always like to take in stages. It certainly drinks well now. There were 3,000 bottles produced from vines ranging from 17 to 19 years in age.