Domaine Karanika was founded by husband-and-wife Laurens M. Hartman-Karanika and Annette van Kampen. The Dutch couple previously worked in management in the publishing sector but shared a passion for wine. They eventually decided to change their lives and relocate to Greece to pursue their dream – Laurens’ mother was Greek, and the couple therefore looked for a prime terroir evoking his family roots. The choice of Amyndeon PDO, NW Greece, was a natural one: shielded by maritime influence by the mountains of Kaimakcalan and Vitsi, this region has one of the most continental climates in all of Greece, therefore producing grapes that retain freshness while developing great aromatic complexity; also, it is the home of one of Laurens and Annette’s favourite grape varieties, Xinomavro.
Laurens and Annette invested not only their money and time in this new project but also their efforts to become experts in their new field. They went on to retrain as, respectively, an oenologist and viticulturist, and are now an expert dream team. They farm their vineyards organically to produce a range of sparkling and still wines that focus on low intervention winemaking and Greek indigenous varieties. Karanika has since become particularly known for its traditional method sparkling wines, that combine Champagne-like elegance with characterful expression of local grapes.
Their Brut Cuvée Speciale is produced from 90% Xinomavro with 10% Assyrtiko contributing with vibrant acidity and mineral backbone. It is made using the traditional method of sparkling winemaking (colloquially known as ‘champagne method’) with second fermentation happening in bottle. It spends 14 months ageing, on the lees, and is then riddled and disgorged by hand. It is released to market within one month of disgorgement. Minimum dosage (just 4gr/L) make this an elegant Extra-Brut.
What’s in the glass: An elegant, creamy, and vibrant Champagne-like sparkling wine, that combines a classical character with the expression of the local varieties. The nose is refined and complex, with notes of citrus, yellow apples, buttered toast, and brioche. The palate is soft, with gentle bubbles, and has a great mineral backbone. There is freshness but also warming aromas and flavours that make this perfect wine to enjoy with food. A very enjoyable, classy, and extremely good-value fizz!
Producer: Domaine Karanika
Grape Variety: Xinomavro 90%, Assyrtiko 10%
Region/Appellation: Amyndeo PDO, NW Greece
Alcohol content: 12.3% ABV
Current vintage: 2018
Ideal serving temperature: 12ºC
Drinking window: You can keep it for up to 3 years but it is best enjoyed within next 18 months.
Pairs perfectly with: Seafood, roast chicken, fruit-based desserts. But the absolute perfect pairing is a good cheese platter!