Very few wine professionals can claim to have built an equally strong reputation for themselves, their estate and the individual wines they produce. Such is the case for George Skouras who started making wine in his father’s garage after returning from his studies in France and went on to become one of the most influential names in the modern history of Greek wine.
While studying at the University of Dijon, Burgundy, Skouras developed his love for fine wine but also his admiration for the ethos and skill of some of the famous local growers. He brought a wealth of knowledge and a fierce determination to establish a boutique winery in the Peloponnese that could stand alongside those estates he most admired. A period of hard manual work with a very small-scale operation were the basis of Domaine’s Skouras’ inception in 1986. Eventually, a fully-fledged modern infrastructure, that now houses all of Domaine Skouras’s production was built in 2004. From leasing small vineyards and working them on his own and by hand, George now leads an iconic estate with vineyards spread across Corinthia, Argolida and Nemena.
Even though George Skouras’ expertise and reputation were mostly built upon the indigenous varieties of Nemea and their blending potential with international grapes, he has also experimented widely with varieties from other Greek regions. Here we have his take on Santorini-native Assyrtiko, hailing from a vineyard Skouras planted eight years ago in the Gymno Village, at 600 m altitude. It is fermented spontaneously – with natural yeasts only, hence the name ‘Wild Ferment’ – and stays on the lees for four months. This winemaking approach adds complexity and texture to Assyrtiko’s natural acidity and minerality.
Santorini PDO Assyrtiko might command top reputation (and top prices!) but this wine shows that other Greek terroirs also produce interesting expressions of the iconic variety at lower price tags. Skouras’ iteration is, bang for buck, a perfect example: a fine, expressive white wine that doesn’t break the bank.
What’s in the glass: Fresh and filigreed nose with aromas of lemon zest and yellow apple topped by hay and wildflowers. Lovely freshness on the palate with a zesty minerality throughout. Gentle flavours of lime zest, lemon and granny smith come together with a delicious touch of salinity. Firm and vibrant acidity, extremely well integrated.
Producer: Domaine Skouras
Grape Variety: 100% Assyrtiko
Region/Appellation: Gymno, Nemea, Peloponnese PGI
Alcohol content: 13.5% ABV
Current vintage: 2019
Ideal serving temperature: 12ºC
Drinking window: Can be cellared for up to eight years.
Pairs perfectly with: Grilled prawns, scallops, turkey, smoked salmon, vegetable quiche.