Vouni Panayia Winery

2020 Vouni Panayia, Spourtiko, PGI Pafos, Abv 12%

There is something about Spourtiko I cannot explain. The wine from fragile skinned grapes whose main task is to provide the solution to the problematic pollination of Maratheftiko is gaining more and more fans. It is a ‘break-in’ wine, light bodied and easier on the palate where novices can kick start a lifelong appreciation of this wonderful beverage.

The wine undergoes the standard white wine vinification in stainless steel tanks with cold maceration. Transparent bright straw-yellow colour. The calcareous soil of the Vouni Panayia plateau is responsible for the crispiness of the wine. Intense aromas, full and fruity, with excellence persistence. A Mediterranean nose with mountain herbs, white spring flowers, with peach blossom character, lemon balm and Ogen melon. Its taste is dry, the savoury palate boasts intense citrus flavours doling out also sage and bitter herbs alongside fresh acidity. Medium to short bitter length. Lovely as an aperitif during lunch time or paired with fish soups, light appetizers and green salads or chargrilled seafood.

The label says ‘francs de pieds’, which means ungrafted plants. These are plants that still have their original roots, and are not affected by the phylloxera louse that damages the roots of most European vineyards, unless the roots are grafted onto American ones. Cyprus is one of the countries not affected by phylloxera. €10

2020 Vouni Panayia, Pampela Rosé, PGI Pafos, Abv 12.5%

A successful rosé over the years, usually a blend of Maratheftiko and Mavro. Most of the fruit is sourced from the Vouni Panayia plateau, and Pampela is one of the terraces of the plateau facing southeast. Rich in limestone, the grapes are vinified after cold maceration in stainless steel tanks. Pale pink, almost salmon colour, with aromas on the nose of red cherry and pomegranate, strawberry with some watermelon freshness and blood orange as well as some spice. Light bodied, balanced and refreshing, bone dry. More flavours with layers of red fruit and watermelon with some hints of aromatic herbs. Bright finish, medium length, Pampela is a perfect pair for grilled fish, seafood, bouillabaisse and can be served easily with most Meze dishes. Light, steady and attractive. €7

Vouni Panayia, Panayia: Tel 26722770 / www.vounipanayiawinery.com Vouni Panayia Wines are distributed by Cavaway Tel 70008588

Oenou Yi

2020 Oenou Yi, Ktima Vassiliades Playiá, PGI Lemesos, Abv 13.5%

Playiá or slope is a blend, split equally between Malaga (or Muscat of Alexandria) and Xynisteri. Malaga is an ancient variety, believed to have been brought to the island as far back as the 3rd century BC. Because of its intense aromas I believe Malaga is used to add aroma to Xynisteri.

Think spring lemon and honeysuckle while the palate is almost medium bodied. Light, bright yellow colour, the wine is snappy and refreshing with aromas and flavours of summer melon, ripe pineapple and citrus, lemony characters with some aromatic flowers more towards acacia, mineral and savoury spices. The finish is long, layered and framed by bright acidity, citrus, mineral and white flowers linger. A versatile white wine that will pair with a wide range of fruits and excellent for daytime picnics, summer fruit salads and grilled fish. €8.50

2020 Oenou Yi, Ktima Vassiliades White Melody, Premium, PGI Lemesos, Abv 13.5%

The love affair of Xynisteri 40%, with Malaga 50% continues with a 10% Moschato. Pale sunshine yellow colour, this wine has aromas of spiced peaches, rose petals with lemon blossoms and Xynisteri herbal notes. Slowly, more exotic fruit reach the nose. Well balanced by the acidity, the wine sports flavours of playful fruitiness with ripe stone fruit accents. The bright, lifted acidity gives way to a round, smooth mouthfeel. Enjoy with Pan-Asian cuisine and seafood, also avocado sushi roll or burgers with sweet sauce. €14

2020 Oenou Yi, Ktima Vassiliades Playiá Rosé, PGI Lemesos, Abv 13.5%

Another blend, the white Xynisteri 60% meets the red Mavro at 40% and the result is a bright pink rosé. Smooth and elegant with soaring aromas of fresh strawberry and cranberry, watermelon rind and honeysuckle lead into flavours of white peach. There is more lemon and lime, rose petal and herbs on the palate. Medium bodied with bright acidity that support the flavours. A fresh and yet rich wine, ready to drink, fruity and attractively crisp. Serve this wine with crudites, marinated red bell peppers or a crudo of seabass with lemon and peppercorn. €8.50

Oenou Yi, Omodhos, Tel: 25 446000, www.oenouyi.wine.com

Argyrides Vineyards

2017 Vineyards Argyrides, Maratheftiko, PGI Lemesos, Abv 14.5%

Rebecca Argyrides, the leading figure behind the Vineyards Argyrides winery, decided the Maratheftiko needed a new label design, and this wine has it. Black dominates with symmetrical squares, some with purple dots. The vines are located near the winery at Vasa Koilaniou at an altitude of 1,050m. This is a 100% Maratheftiko full body red; after standard red wine vinification it is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels.

In this case, French oak beautifully transforms intense hillside fruit with uncommon richness and smooth, luxurious texture. This is fierce, brave and delicious. Deep garnet-purple colour, the 2017 Maratheftiko is introduced to the nose with seductive dark fruits and aromas of blackberry, fresh fig and licorice. Fresh notes of dark cherry and violet also surface as the wine breathes. Powerful, framed by a firm structure, dark chocolate and nutmeg outline baking spices and plum. And a lingering finish will carry on long afterwards. Medium to full bodied, it has beautifully ripe tannins, enough freshness, finishing with great persistence. It is ready to drink, however, those that hold onto it will be rewarded with an ageing potential of ten more years at least. Enjoy this Maratheftiko stately style with a garlic and rosemary ascended, oven roasted, standing rib roast. €15.50

Vineyards Argyrides, Vasa Koilaniou Tel 25 945999, www.argyrideswinery.com, distributed by Oenus