My Greek wine education began with my friends E&M. E’s family is Greek and her frequent trips to the country the last few years have netted many opportunities to sample wine that she brings back to Istanbul. One of the wines she brought home last year was this Ktima Palivou Nemea Agiorgitiko 2014.
Ktima Palivou (Palivou Estate) is one of the two largest wineries in Greece’s Nemea PDO (protected designation of origin). Its main effort is with the Agiorgitiko grape variety but the estate also cultivates Rodites, Malagousia, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. In order to take advantage of the various microclimates and soils the estate has vineyards in various locations around Nemea. All of them are organic.
Before we talk about the Ktima Palivou Agiorgitiko let’s tackle the grape. And most importantly, how to pronounce it! Agiorgitiko (Ah-your-yeek-tee-ko) is one of the most common black wine grapes in Greece. It is cultivated mainly in the Peloponnese, specifically the Nemea PDO. There are many synonyms for the grapes, some easier and some more difficult to say! The one I’ve come across most often though is St. George.
Agiorgitiko commonly displays aromas and flavors of red fruits, blackcurrant, strawberry, sour cherry, plum, cherry, etc along with sweet spices, cloves, and cinnamon. Aging makes these wines more complex as they develop flavors of nuts, herbs, and tobacco. They have excellent aging potential.
Palivou Estate Nemea Agiorgitiko 2014 Tasting Notes:
The Palivou Estate Nemea Agiorgitiko is an excellent example of what this grape can do. After harvest it macerated for five days before aging a total of 12 months in a combination of French barrels (equal parts in new, second, and third use). The wine then aged an additional six months in the bottle before release.
The care they took here resulted in a big, (14% abv) complex wine showing off all the character of which the Agiorgitiko grape is capable. The nose is deep and layered with red fruits, vanilla, chocolate, toasted wood, green bell pepper, and whiff of meat. Tannis are a bit aggressive but balance well with the acid. Rich with a long finish the wine displays flavors of cherries and black currant, vanilla, and a lot of wood.