This Christmas may be different with coronavirus measures encouraging more low-key celebrations. But we will still need some great wines to pair with a carefully prepared Christmas table or to kick back and uncork while watching our favourite holiday movie. And at a time when buying local is of increased importance, try some of these local wines.
2019 Kamanterena Winery, Project X, Single Vineyard Xynisteri, PDO Laona Akamas, Abv 12.5%
Kamanterena Winery at Stroumbi has embarked on a project with Tempo Beverages (Cyprus) Ltd in a vineyard of Xynisteri called Eagle Rock, Project X.
The wine has a light golden colour with bright hue, aromatic herbaceous and white flower notes balanced seamlessly with those of stone fruit and citrus. The palate expresses intense fresh grass and tropical fruit characters, leading into a crisp but lingering finish. The wine shows a precise balance of structural and natural acidity with vibrant varietal flavours, a true expression of the vintage and the vineyard. Pair with octopus carpaccio or grilled sea bass with olive oil and lemon or salsa verde. €13
2018 Vouni Panayias, Promara, P.G.I. Pafos, Abv 12%
The 2018 has a pale yellow colour with a silver hue. The nose becomes complex with an array of aromas of light mixed tropical fruit with herbal notes, white flower notes along with light citrus that come from the Promara grape. Pears and dried mangos complete the nose with touch of vanilla and ash, while the mouth is citrusy and with a touch of stone fruits. Overall, the palate is balanced with crisp, refreshing acidity and a lingering finish. The wine is friendly and gentle with some soft mineral notes at the end. Age for a few years, you will not regret it. Enjoy with split yellow pea soup and bacon bits, baked sea bass with vegetables or broiled paprika, lemon and pepper chicken breast, grilled pork, burgers or veal. €15
2019 Tethys, Xynisteri Single Vineyard, PDO Krasochoria, Abv 11%
One of the most amazing things about this wine, created by Andreas Kyprianou, owner of Vinocultura and Rous restaurants, is the use of concrete egg. The egg shape harkens back to the ancient vessels used to ferment wine originally. With no corners, the wine is free to circulate during fermentation. The shape also gleams the utmost in fruit flavour and colour for the wine.
Bright straw-yellow colour. Aromas of pineapple, passionfruit, peach, pear, orange, clementine, orange blossoms and jasmine with a sea spray. On the palate, vibrant and fresh, creamy texture from the lees contact with high toned tropical fruit held in balance by impressive minerality, and mid-palate weight and breadth. Finishes long and clean with saline minerality. No better food to eat with shellfish, oysters, grilled sea bass or bream and fried fish or squid. The low alcohol helps to match this wine also with green salads and goat cheese. €14
2019 Tsangarides Winery, Xynisteri Single Vineyard, Organic, P.G.I. Pafos, Abv 12%
Classic, white wine vinification but aged for two months in new oak. Crisp and refreshing, serious though, the organic Xynisteri captures bright notes of citrus blossoms, jasmine, and hints of green herbs with lime, white peach, and green melon. Swirl the glass more and toast notes and baked apples appear. Smooth and zesty on the palate, Xynisteri characteristics of fresh-snipped greens, white peach and pear featuring stony minerality and refreshing acidity and spicy, oaky notes on the finish. The crisp flavours of this Xynisteri harmonise with the richness of a truffle oil drizzled seared scallops atop a bed of endive, fresh fig, and some candied pecans. €9
2017 Gerolemo Winery, Yiannoudi, P.G.I. Lemesos, Abv 13%
This is the first vintage and there are only 2,260 available on the market. It is unfiltered, keeping more of the Krasochoria terroir characteristics. There is a darker and deeper character that sets this Yiannoudi apart from the rest. Staggering intensity of black-fruit aromas and woody spices as well as dark chocolate and meaty notes. The palate has a sense of total saturation and the tannins are well polished, long and dense. Seamless long and silky. Pair with Crockpot Lamb Shanks, the medley of mushrooms, oregano, basil and thyme provide the ideal starting point to mingle Yiannoudi with lamb. Since Christmas is coming do not forget that Yiannoudi loves meat and spice so it is an excellent accompaniment to prime rib roast. €22
2018 Zambartas Winery, Mataro-Yiannoudi, P.G.I. Lemesos, Abv 14%
Marcos Zambartas has created an elegant medium-bodied red wine. The Mataro-Yiannoudi blend is medium to deep ruby-purple. The wine is both immediately quaffable and immensely nuanced. It’s savoury and direct, with muscular crushed berry flavours. On the nose we have some jammy blueberry, black cherry, cassis and fried bacon plus lilac, black raisin, aromatic herbs and granite tinges. On the palate, it fleshes out with lots of ripe fruit and meaty layers, firm, pleasantly chewy tannins and great juicy acidity. It finishes long, and this has a nice interplay of savoury nuances with dense lush fruits.
The Mataro-Yiannoudi blend is a great match for roast duck but it will also pair well with a beef stew. Barbecued red meats will match the tannins in the wine, as will grilled mushrooms or sausages. A rich beef pie will also take advantage of the tannins in this wine. Being fruitier, will match with a Sunday slow-roasted shoulder of lamb or char-grilled steak. €13