Cyprus Mail
Food and Drink Life & Style

Oldest winery in Cyprus still going strong

wine

Etko Ltd has a special place in the history of Cyprus Wine. In 1844 it became the first ever wine maker when offices and the plant were built next to the old port of Limassol by the Hadjipavlou family, which still owns Etko Ltd.

Since 1992 the family moved most of the winemaking activities from Limassol to Omodhos village, where insulated tanks can hold the equivalent of 2 million bottles of wine. The company also carries out its research and production at Zanatzia, where the original vineyards of the company are now planted with new grape varieties.

For some years, the Spaniard Santiago Martinez Polo has been in charge of winemaking. Tradition is something he cherishes; he applies also modern technology and professional vineyard management.  These are key elements that contributes to the current success of Etko wines.

 

2018 Olympus Winery Plé-gma, Xynisteri-Muscat of Alexandria, Lemesos Regional Wine, Abv 13%

Plégma in ancient Greek has several meanings like net or networking, webbing or fabric. The wine is a blend of Xynisteri (85%) and Muscat of Alexandria (15%) that is fermented and matured in used Commandaria oak barrels. Olympus has given the name Plegma to this white wine as they wanted to bring together the elements of freshness of Xynisteri and complexity of maturing wine in used oak, creating a unique character.

Classic citrus, mandarin and bergamot and stone fruit in the background, hints of spice and more herbal, tea leaf notes. Dry flowers with slight toasty vanilla flavour, a touch of caramel, with slight oxidative notes. On the palate, the creamy texture is there, the oak still keeps the richness in the structure. The key here is the acidity that still holds the wine together, finishing with some dry fruit notes. Excellent with roast chicken or baked fatty fish, served at 9-10C. €9

2019 Olympus Winery Plé-gma, Xynisteri – Muscat of Alexandria, Lemesos Regional, Abv 13%

The 2019 vintage follows the same recipe as the 2018, similar blend and use of oak. The main difference is that the Muscat of Alexandria is more evident on the palate than the nose. Bright yellow colour, more intense and fresher nose, with the botanic and stone fruit, peach skin, and citrus – pink grapefruit, bergamot and mandarin – aromas of Xynisteri dominating with some honey notes reminding us of Muscat, vanilla and that the wine was aged in used oak. With time and oxygen, Moscato flowery influence and grapey nose demands attention. Good acidity, stone fruit, green grapes and apple flavours with some vanilla notes. Excellent with charcuterie platter, soft pungent cheese like Compte, grilled halloumi with honey and melon and Thai aromatic poached cod. €9

2018 Olympus Winery Plé-gma, Mavro, Limassol Regional Wine, Abv 14%

Olympus is rediscovering a variety that was until recently only used for the blending of wines. Through the Mavro Ambelisimo grape Olympus Winery wanted to give the consumer a young, fruity, easy to drink wine, and they have achieved it. I was surprised that after two years the wine still holds. A low tannin red, medium bodied with a light ruby red colour. The nose at first is Maraschino cherry, sour. However, with more oxygen the sourness goes, more red cherries, red berries, raspberry and wild strawberry with more herbal notes and rounded spice, nutmeg and white pepper. The palate has some concentrated berries, red cherry and spice cake flavours still on mid-palate. You can enjoy this wine, cooled down. Excellent with vegetarian dishes, terrines and charcuterries served at 15-16C. €7

2019 Olympus Winery Plé-gma, Mavro, Limassol Regional Wine, Abv 13.5%

Like 2018, when tasted after one year the fruit is more forward. Bright red crimson colour with violet hue, classic, expressive Mavro Ambelisimo nose, with an abundance of red cherry, red berries and spice with a hint of floral aromas. The palate is elegant and racy, fresh and lively yet persistent. The tannins are firm with juicy berry fruits. A dry edge adds to the concentration of wine and it pairs perfectly at 15C with delicatessen meats or Cyprus sausages, pork souvlaki or even sheftalia. €7

2017 Hadjipavlou Estate Maratheftiko, P.G.I. Lemesos, Abv 14.5%

Maratheftiko is aged for 15 months in new and used oak. Ruby red colour, round oak spice integrates well with dark fruit, cacao and dry herbs. Flavours such as blackberry, dark cherry dusted with cocoa powder, aromatic cedar and herbs along with French oak add to the overall complexity. The body is full, with integrated tannins and pleasant mouthfeel. Drink now or keep for four more years. This is an exceptional companion to grilled beef, lasagna or dark chocolate. €8

2018 Hadjipavlou Estate Maratheftiko, P.G.I. Lemesos, Abv 15%

More intense ruby red colour, the nose has refined scents of black currant, ripe prune and dark cherry coveted with oak spice, with a whisper of Mediterranean herbs and espresso lead the nose. Less complex than 2017, the high alcohol shows on the palate, the fruit flavours, blackberry and ground pepper linger, the tannins and light acidity are in harmonious balance. Enjoy with beef rib stew served with buttery tagliatelle. Enjoy now or age for a few more years. €8

2000 Etko Ino Cabernet Sauvignon, P.G.I. Lemesos

The 2000 will be available soon in limited quantities. It was a smart vintage producing good wines in most parts of the world and Omodhos was no exception. A full Cabernet Sauvignon varietal, with brick red, earthy nose with dry mushroom, dark raisins, some cassis notes and cedar wood. Smoky and tarry, chocolatey but with complex array of flavours, dusty, mellow tannins and still with good acidity. For fanatics of aged wines, drink now with aged hard cheese. €22

2017 Etko Wines Ino Cabernet Sauvignon, P.G.I. Lemesos, Abv 15%

The current vintage of Ino in the market, it offers some velvety richness and supple tannins. Dense and soft, this wine boasts ripe flavours of blackcurrant and dark cherry, enhanced by a bouquet of pepper, vanilla and spice from 18 months ageing in French oak. It pushes to a full palate, polished tannins, blackberry and blueberry, green pepper, toasted oak and racy cherry notes on a long finish. Enjoy now or for eight more years, with charred beef lifted by herbs and peppercorns, veal roasted with mushrooms or stuffed eggplant. €13

 

Etko Ltd Tel: 25 573391, [email protected], www.etkowines.com

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