A Unique and Rare Wine Indigenous to Greece

Today’s Story: Domaine Nerantzi

Domaine Nerantzi is a family-owned and operated wine estate established in 1988 by Nerantzis Mitropoulos. He and his family established the domaine out of passion for winemaking and to honor the indigenous varieties of Greece, and until 1998 the wine was meant mainly for family consumption. In 1998, however, Nerantzi built their winery in the prefecture of Serres in Macedonia, Greece. With 1.3 hectares (3 acres) of vineyards at that time, Nerantzi discovered unknown vines of Asprouda Serron and Koniaros, saving them and gaining official recognition of these rare and indigenous varieties. A few years later, Nerantzis’ daughter Evanthia decided to join the family business and, in 2005, the family started construction on a new and larger winery in Pentapolis. Nerantzi started exporting their wines in 2009, and with it came demand for these high quality bottlings drenched in passion and history. This required them to upgrade the winery once again in 2012 by adding cellars, tasting facilities, and a lab. This same year Evanthia returned from studying in Burgundy and committed full-time to Domaine Nerantzi.

Today, Domaine Nerantzi consists of 20 hectares (49 acres) with 10.8 hectares (26 acres) planted to vineyards. Dedicated to organic viticulture, they also planted olive, fig, and other fruit trees on the property. The vineyards are planted to the varieties of Asprouda, Malagouzia, Assyrtiko, Koniaros, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Syrah. Winemaking itself is rather hands-off, with the use of native yeast fermentation and an effort to showcase the terroir and variety’s characteristics.

Today’s Wine: 2013 Koniaros

100% Koniaros; 13.5% ABV

The 2013 Koniaros is deep ruby in color turning deep garnet at the rim of the glass. I filtered this for sediment directly into the glass and let it develop. The aromas are of medium (+) intensity, with the nose showcasing notes of blackberry, black plum, black cherry, redcurrant, violet, smoked meat, a hint of barnyard, eucalyptus, black olive, crushed rock minerality, light smoke, and dark chocolate. The flavors are also of medium (+) intensity, while the palate offers up notes of blackberry, prune, black cherry, cola, violet, pine, dried tobacco, charred green herbs, dark chocolate, mild baking spice, and a touch of smoke. This dry red is medium-bodied with medium acidity, medium (+) but well-integrated tannin, medium alcohol, and a medium (+) length finish.

Price: $60. I think the price-point here is pretty fair given the balance, length, and complexity of the wine. It is also a very intriguing variety and, while it’s fun for that reason, this also offers very high quality.

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