Red, Drink now

2013 Domaine Lyrarakis, Okto Red, Crete, Greece

2013 Domaine Lyrarakis, Okto Red, Crete, Greece

Red | Drink now | Domaine Lyrarakis | Code:  33062 | 2013 | Kotsifali | Medium Bodied, Dry | 13.0 % alcohol


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Scores and Reviews

WINE_PAGES - A blend of the indigenous Kotsifali and Mandilari varieties with Syrah, all grown in higher altitude vineyards with a northern exposure. The colour is a bold crimson, and the nose is very inviting, showing creaminess and a touch of vanilla, but also a smooth, juicy-ripe black fruit. There's a little hint of spice too. On the palate this has a bit of grip, with good acidity and tight tannins, the fruit blackcurranty, but with a sinewy, chewy density. Staying linear and focused, this finishes with a gravelly substance that would match some grilled meat well.
Tom Cannavan -

Read the review: Domaine Lyrarakis has led the wine revolution on the island of Crete

The Producer

Domaine Lyrarakis

Domaine Lyrarakis

Domaine Lyrarakis, established in 1966 is located in the mountainous commune of Alagni (440m), south of the city of Heraklion, in Crete. The well-preserved 14th century stone-presses in the fields around the winery are a testament to the area’s long history of grape-growing and wine making.

The winery is at the forefront of viticultural innovation: It has been long championing obscure local varieties, such as the ancient white cultivars of Plyto, Dafni, Vidiano that were brought back from extinction and have since garnered much acclaim for their quality.

The extensive portfolio consists of a range of monovarietal wines (Vidiano, Plyto, Mandilari, Assyrtiko, Vilana, Thrapsathiri, Kotsifali) – some from single, “premium” vineyard plots, as well as blends of indigenous with international varieties (Syrah, Cabernet, Merlot). Quality remains keynote and the style emphasises fruit precision, purity and supple texture , placing the wines firmly in the modern camp, yet without flamboyance or exaggeration.

A distinctive rendition of the ancient sweet wine of Crete, Malvasia, completes the Estate’s extensive range. The wine is based on sun-dried Plyto, Dafni, Vidiano and Vilana and is hence a multi-varietal blend rather than a single varietal wine, which according to the Lyrarakis’ family, reflects closely ancient winemaking traditions in the island.

Lyrarakis estate has built on the traditions of the region, taking their wines in a more modern direction while retaining their sense of place.

Read Tom Cannavan's review of Lyrarakis winery: Domaine Lyrarakis has led the wine revolution on the island of Crete

The Grape



The viticultural bastion of Kotsifali red wine grape is the island of Crete. It is mainly grown in the Heraklion Prefecture and sporadically on the Cyclades islands. Kotsifali single varietal wines bear all the hallmarks of traditional “Southern Mediterranean” wines: low in colour, relatively high in alcohol, with smooth tannins and soft acidity. Kotsifali finds in the other major red grape variety of Crete, Mandilari (aka Mandilaria) the perfect complementary blending partner:

In addition to augmenting Kotsifali ‘s tannin content and tempering its alcoholic strength, Mandilari deepens the colour in wine blend and makes it more ageworthy. Crete’s major Appellations of Peza and Arhanes actually stipulate that Kotsifali should be blended with Mandilaria (typically on a 80/20 to 60/40 proportions)

Growers in Crete, locked for years into cooperative economies & practices, have been slow to explore the potential of low-yield farming. Those who moved on to apply modern vineyard practices have been rewarded with superior wines. Domaine Lyrarakis is one of the best exponents of the variety, blending it with Mandilari, and with Syrah  in two different bottlings.

All showcase the great potential of the grape in both modern and traditional styles. Indeed the current wine-making style of Kotsifali emphasises streamlined, polished tannins and reflects the desire to yield, fruity, forward-drinking , graceful and subtle wines.

For anyone wanting to get to grips with the soul of red wine in Crete, Kotsifali is the prime example.

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