«Wines of the Gods», T-OINOS at Harper’s Wine and Spirit
November 2019 issue of Harper’s Wine and Spirit features Andrew Catchpole’s view on T-OINOS: «Tucked away in the Cyclades on the island of Tinos are the vineyards of little-known T-Oinos, which aims to be a game-changer for the premium image of Greek wine. Varieties such as Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Mavrotragano and Avgoustiatis, plus the odd international interloper such as Cabernet Franc, are rooted on sites that include a dramatic, giant granite boulder-strewn landscape that, according to legend, resulted from a fierce battle between the Titans and the Gods.
There’s little doubting the quality of the wines, in all their mineral-slaked, vibrantly fresh style, with the superb Assyrtiko standing as an intriguing and transparent point of difference to the styles produced on the more famous volcanic soils of rival island Santorini. With quality Greek wines creating something of a buzz among those in the know, what is perhaps most notable about T-Oinos is the clout behind the label – and that the top wines are among the most expensive to emerge internationally from Greece.
With construction beginning on a winery, some 8m has already been poured into the project by wealthy businessman Alexandros Avatangelos, who partnered with Gerard Margeon, the wine director/head sommelier at Alain DUCASSE (and more latterly international consultant Stephane Derenoncourt), with a view to making wines that solely speak of their origin. Planted in 2002 and with production standing at around 20-25000 bottles a year from the 13ha site (set to expand to a maximum of 40000 as new plantings take the vineyards to 17ha) these are wines that, at the top end, such as the Assyrtiko “Rare”, are achieving something of a cult following, selling at up to 100 a bottle.
What really singles these wines out, though, is Avatangelos’ vision of making not just great Greek wines, but great wines that stand with the best in the world – an icon that almost by chance will draw drinkers back to Greece. Which, in turn, can only highlight this country’s exciting potential.»
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