Markou Vineyards 2019 'eMeis' Red Blend, Attiki, Greece

Markou Vineyards 2019 'eMeis' Red Blend, Attiki, Greece

Markou Vineyards

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Markou Vineyards 2019 'eMeis' Red Blend, Attiki, Greece

A fourth generation, family-owned estate based in Attiki.
  • Winemakers: Markou Brothers
  • Farming: Organic
  • Varieties: 50% Agiorgitiko, 50% Mandilaria
  • Terroir: Sandy Clay
  • Vinification: 100% Carbonic Maceration, 100% stainless steel ferment & aging
  • Tasting Notes: A juicy, light-bodied and slightly earthy red wine, aromas of smoked red cherries mingle with fresh black currants and eucalyptus. The wine finishes with a silky texture, bringing soft hints of sandalwood and candied red fruit. 

From our February 2021 Explore Club Notes:

We can’t think about wine culture without imagining Greece. From ceremonial amphora painted with scenes of ancient symposiums, to the tales of revelry of the god of wine Dionysus, Greek culture ushered an early ‘modernization’ of wine cultivation as early as the seventh century BCE. But as the centuries progressed and empires rose and fell, the Greek influence on modern wine culture waned. By midcentury, Greek wine was thought of by the international market as simple table wine, with much production siphoned through large cooperatives focused more on quantity than quality, on homogeny rather than terroir, and the best wines were often made by a village grandma in her own home, rarely at a boutique wine shop.
    This began to change in the late 1980s when ambitious young Greeks returned from travels abroad with dreams to bring greatness to their country’s wines once again. And like many great estates in European wine history, it took the grandchildren to turn it all around.
    Spyros Markou planted the first grapes on his  land in 1908, but  it was in 1983 that the Markou grandchildren took over the estate and began modernizing- the traditional wine press was updated, new equipment was purchased, and they began imagining their wines standing shoulder to shoulder with the great wines of Western Europe  while keeping their hearts in Greece.
    Let’s begin with what is traditional about the ‘eMeis’ blend in this month’s pack. First, the indigenous grape varieties, Agiorgitiko and Mandalaria, which are both as Greek as you get. Agiorgitiko (ah-your-yee-tee-ko), sometimes called “St. George”, is thought to have been cultivated since Classical times and is Greece's most widely planted red grape, especially in Nemea and Attiki where the Markou’s vineyards lay. This grape is known for its softness, with spicy red fruits and deep, concentrated tannins.  Mandalaria is an intensely tannic red variety mostly found in blends. The Markou brothers wanted a fruity, easy-drinking blend, so they made this wine via 100% carbonic maceration (similarly to young Beaujolais), allowing the wines to ferment intracellularly to increase the fruity esters but soften any harsh tannins. The result? An aromatic, light-bodied and slightly earthy wine, with notes of smoked red cherries, black currants, candied strawberries and eucalyptus.  This is a wine with one foot in tradition, and another in fun- enjoy it with anything drenched in olive oil, grilled seafood, and winter salads. -cara patricia


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