Trying a wine from a warm climate, made by a grape variety, giving it’s best to a cool one, is always a challenge. Well … not in today’s case: A high altitude Traminer from NorthWest part of Greece.
Averoff Estate took birth in the late nineteen fifties, when Evangelos Averoff (a distinguished right-wing Greek politician of Aromanian origin, and author of several books on political and historical topics) planted the first ever Cabernet Sauvignon vines of Greece, located on the slopes of Mount Pindus. The wine, is now known as “Katogi Averoff” (“katogi” means: “The lower cellar” of Mr. Evangelos’ home in town of Metsovo).
After many years the company decided to join forces with another winery, and to merge with Strofilia SA in 2001, and Katogi & Strofilia was founded.
In order to help the variety to give it’s best potential, the vines are planted at a high altitude (above 900 m / 3000 ft), ensuring the low temperatures needed to preserve the full aromatic load of the grape. This is further assisted by the climate of the area: Heavy rainfalls and snow during winter, and dry summer with cool nights.
Harvest is taking place at the end of September, followed by a classic white vinification in stainless tanks, with an 8-12 hours maceration and then drainage and pressing. The wine is then bottled for three months before release.
Deep golden color. Clean nose of high intensity, presenting tropical fruits (pineapple, mango, passion fruit), stonefruits (apricot), flowers (roses), lots of sweet spice (cinnamon & cloves), and some stony notes. Mouth is full bodied, with a pleasant high acidity and medium aromatic aftertaste (same aromas but more tropical fruit driven).
The aromatic character of the wine, makes it ideal for salads & appetizers, but as usually happens with cousin Gewurztraminer, it will beg for Asian cuisine dishes. My choice was a home made green curry (a paste of shallots, garlic, ginger, basil, various peppers, and a lot of fresh coriander) with prawns and basmati rice. Delicious!
Grape: Traminer 100%
Retail price in Greece: about 12 euros / 16$
Value for money: Very Good
Winery website: www.katogi-strofilia.gr/english.html