Cyprus Mail
Food and Drink

CYPRUS WINE REVIEWS

By George Kassianos

White Wines

2018 Pente Litharia Xynisteri, Ktima Vassiliades – Omodos

The name comes from an area of Omodos where the microclimate contributes to the unique maturation of the Xinisteri grapes, from aged vines on top of Afames mountain. Surpassingly fresh, herbaceous with vivid aromas of white flowers, ripe melon and citrus fruit introduce rich, zesty flavours of pink grapefruit, melon and guava, leading to a long, crisp finish buoyed by bright acidity and refreshing citrus and mineral tones. Irresistible now, this classic Xynisteri will age gracefully for the next three to five years. €10

2018 Playia , Xynisteri – Malaga – Assyrtiko, Ktima Vassiliades -Omodos

Playia means slope, the 2018 white blend is inviting and features aromas of passion fruit, lemon verbena and key lime, herbaceous with white flowers. Crisp and clean on the palate with flavours of lemon and pomelo with Granny Smith apple are lively and refreshing. An incredibly light wine but food-versatile, it’s a natural match for shellfish, seafood, and lighter summer fare of feta cheese and tomato. €8.50

2018 Riesling, Gerolemou Winery – Omodos

Riesling vinified in Cyprus, one of the surprises. It offers a clean, crisp bouquet, some sweet lime and mandarin, candied orange and lychee aromas, even with subtle mineral notes. The mouth-watering acidity is beautifully balanced by flavourful Omodhos Riesling fruit. On the palate, it’s light to medium-bodied, off-dry and stony, with mouthwatering acids and refreshing spritz. €13

2018  Sauvignon Blanc, Makarounas Winery –  Letymbou

Sourced from a single vineyard in the area of Ftena, I found this masterful white to be one of the best Sauvignon Blancs I have tasted this year.

By using a small vineyard parcel, this winery has crafted a wine that spoke to me of sunshine, rocky-clay and limestone soil, and exceptional fruit. Aromas of green apple, citrus chamomile and pineapple, while hints of lime create a sensuousness that works well with grassy notes followed by just-ripe peach and mango. Tinges of sunflower linger on the tongue through the finish. This wine is primarily fermented in stainless steel. The mid-palate shows a lively acidity and soft floral notes leading to a pleasingly persistent finish that would wrap nicely around a lemon-accented and herb dusted roast chicken and make a tremendously good pairing.

2018 Morokanella, Makarounas Winery – Letymbou

Produced from a single vineyard too, from young vines in the area of Katapani on a clay-limestone slope. The wine is sleek and nicely balanced surpassingly fresh with vivid aromas of white flowers, ripe melon and citrus fruit introduce rich, zesty flavours of pink grapefruit, melon and guava leading to a long, crisp finish buoyed by bright acidity and refreshing citrus and mineral tones. Irresistible now, this beautiful Morokanella will age gracefully for the next three to five years and beautifully accompany seafood, poultry, vegetables, and salad dishes. €11.90

2018 Ayioklima Xynisteri, Constantinou Winery – Pera Pedi

Brilliant straw yellow with green and golden hues; this wine is delightfully fresh, the nose has an appealing minerality which is evident on the palate, also attractively floral and fruity, full of citrus and mandarin followed by exotic fruit and aromatic herbs typical of the Mediterranean coast. On the palate, it is fresh and crisp with well-balanced acidity and a clean finish. €6.50

2018 Dry Xynisteri, Yiaskouris Winery, Pachna

The colour is pale yellow with a silvery glint. The wine is crystal and clear. The nose shows beautiful white flowers and yellow fruit, ripe with a touch of small candied fruit and lots of herbs. The mouth has a very expressive and balanced freshness. The flinty minerality springs with a light smokey taste in the mouth. Yiaskouris beautifully extends its aromas with amazing generosity. €7

2018 Sauvignon Blanc, Aes Ambelis winery

Vibrant, intense and effusive! Pale straw yellow with green highlights, this wine offers aromas of lemon grass, lime peel and elderflower, with background notes of white currant, honeysuckle and red pepper. On the palate, it is medium-bodied with white peach, gooseberry and citrus flavours and a dry mineral finish. €14.50

2017 The Young Mountain Climber, Spourtiko – Vouni Panayias winery

The story on the label takes us back in time when young Andreas and his friend were climbing the rocky Vouni region. Andreas, proud of this difficult achievement, was rewarded with the beautiful view around him. It was at this spot that he had a vision, that one day that he should be involved in winemaking using local varieties.

Spourtiko best justified its existence by fertilising the Maratheftiko. This fragile-skinned, green-gold variety is early to mid-ripening and surprisingly aromatic. Cold-soaked cool fermentation of uncrushed grapes as well as extended lees-ageing. Brilliant straw yellow with golden hues. This wine is fresh and lovely with appealing minerality, flowery nose, its aromas and flavours of ripe apples and citrus peel play delicately on the palate. €16.60

2017 Alina, Our Village Xynisteri – Vouni Panayias winery

Xinisteri is widely planted in Panayia. This white is dedicated to the village of Panayia and its heroic vignerons. Cold soak, wild yeast fermentation and extended lees work have created a layered complexity. The Xynisteri shows the fragrance of evergreen shrubs and herbs that typifies the Paphos forest. It hints at aromas of pine and mint coupled with ripe stone fruit and sweet citrus. The palate is at once vibrant and textural and finishes with lingering acidity. €16.60

2017 The Tsaousis (Police Captain) and Aspri Fraoula (White Strawberry) – Vouni Panayias winery

Same variety but two different names depicted on the label. This is a rarely seen variety undergoing cool fermentation in steel vats. It is sourced from family vineyards sitting as high as 1,150m. Straw yellow in colour, with greenish reflections, this wine offers intense and fragrant aromas of stone fruits, pineapple and aromatic herbs with a touch of minerality. On the palate it is fruity, fresh and savoury with citrus and mineral notes. Good overall balance. €16.60

2017 The Woman in the Old Wine Press Morokanella – Vouni Panayias winery

Morokanella is another rare variety, though it is becoming very popular. An ode to a woman seen here crushing the grapes using her feet. It was vinified in stainless-steel tanks and kept on its lees for six months. Straw yellow colour with light golden hues. Complex on the nose with floral notes, white flowers with stone and Mediterranean spices, sage, rosemary and mint. The taste is persistent, full and well balanced by the mineral and lemony notes and bright acidity. There is certainly a great future for Morokanella. €16.60

2017 King Chameleon Promara – Vouni Panayias winery

Humorous label of a chameleon dressed as a king, a reptile often found in vineyards famous for changing colour according to its environment. Promara is from Kampos tis Rigenas vineyards and is made protectively stainless-steel tank. This is a serious Promara that takes on the weight and intensity of a serious unoaked chardonnay with dried-apple and pineapple character. Full and layered with focused and lively acidity that follows through to a vivid and intense finish of fruit and acidity. €16.60

2017 The Biggest Mushroom Promara – Vouni Panayias winery

The Promara fruit is also taken from the same vineyard as King Chameleon but with a different vinification method that takes on an oxidative richness from alcoholic fermentation and maturation in 300-liter French oak barrels. Promara here reveals a yellow colour with green highlights. The nose is delicately minty with aromas of white fruits. The palate is frank and balanced with mineral and smoky notes. The finish is fresh and very charming. Andreas loves picking wild mushrooms, and all the family remembers when he managed to find the biggest mushroom in the region. €16.60

Red Wines

2017 Playia Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot – Ktima Vassiliades, Omodos

The Playia dry red blend cranks up the decibels on its big, bold, unapologetic flavours of mulberry, blackberry, black pepper and vanilla along with a rich medley of mint, liquorice and clove. Dry, medium body, juicy, it’s sure to rock any occasion.

2017 Shiraz, Vlassides Winery, Koilani

The colour is deep ruby with garnet highlights. Raspberry jam and citrus with soy and earthy undertone aromas are complemented by an all spice and a subtle meaty character. The palate is full bodied and rich. A smooth mouthfeel glides into a long silky finish with flavours of juicy blueberry, hints of tobacco and subtle gamey undertones. €11

2015 Cabernet Sauvignon-Lefkada, Ktima KEO – Limassol

A potpourri of aromas explode from the glass with notes of raspberry coulis, black cherry, cedar, cocoa nib, boysenberry, mint, graham cracker, and a hint of lavender, rose and bay. The palette follows with bright flavours of red cherry and strawberry jam before tertiary elements of coffee, dark chocolate, licorice and fresh plums take over. This wine is full-bodied, displaying archetypal Southern Troodos Mountain tannin balanced by an elegant structure. €8.50

Rosé & Sparkling Wines


Related posts

How to stop blonde hair from turning brassy

CM Guest Columnist

Chief scientist refuses to stay in his comfort zone

Theo Panayides

How to wear fashion’s trickiest colour

CM Guest Columnist

A minute with Alec Cumming Artist

CM Guest Columnist

Former GBBO winner says ‘baking is self-care’

CM Guest Columnist

Chillies: sizzling hot or super mild?

CM Guest Columnist