White, Ready, but will keep

2015 Domaine Lyrarakis, Plyto, Crete, Greece

2015 Domaine Lyrarakis, Plyto, Crete, Greece

White | Ready, but will keep | Domaine Lyrarakis | Code:  40462 | 2015 | Greece > Crete | Plyto | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.5 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

MOORE - The grape is plyto, the winery a family-owned place in the mountains south of Heraklion. It’s a beautifully clean white wine, with a citric bite and hint of bay leaves.
Victoria Moore - The Daily Telegraph, Nov 2016

OTHER - Greek wines are enjoying some well-deserved time in the sun lately. This one is made with the white plyto grape, resurrected from near-extinction by this winemaker.
David Harrison - Foodism, May 2017

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

Plyto

Plyto

Plytó is an ancient variety for white wine making grown in the Peza wine region of Crete, and that was brought back from extinction by the Lyrarakis Domaine

Low-yield farming and high vineyard elevation are two key factors in the renewed success of the grape.
Plyto is lively, with a zippy and mouth-watering mix of grapefruit and mineral notes.

Plyto is typically vinified on its own, but has also been used in a blend with other indigenous white grapes of Crete ( Dafni, Vinala and Vidiano) to produce a distinctive rendition of the ancient sweet wine of Crete, Malvasia.

The Region

Crete

Crete is the steam engine of Greek wine production, with 50,000ha and one bottle out of every five in the country. The influence of co-operatives is still strong, in contrast to the mainland Greece, where boutique wineries and independent producers have already had a revolutionising presence over the past two decades.

Wine styles have evolved from the heady, rustic, alcoholic, slightly oxidative reds of the past, to fresh, clean, forward drinking red and whites, thanks to modern techniques in both the vineyard and the winery and the development of new plantings in higher, cooler altitudes.

Local Grape Varieties

A significant white in Crete is Vilana, mainly in the appellations of Peza and Sitia. At high altitudes, it can give refreshing, dry, peppery and floral whites.

Other niche, traditional varieties include the dry aromatic whites Plyto and Dafni, saved from extinction by the pioneering Lyrarakis winery.

Kotsifali, the signature red grape of Crete, can be aromatic and high in alcohol. Mandilaria makes the perfect blending partner enhancing tannins and colour. It is often married together with Kotsifali, the latter may be also vinified with Syrah.

Another local speciality (especially in the east region of Sitia) is the red Liatiko, similar to the Aglianico. It can be vinified into delicious, dry reds, but the most promising way forward is sweet wines from sun-dried grapes.

Malvasia di Candia represents both a grape variety and an ancient wine style from Crete with its heydays dating back to the Venetian occupation of the island. This variety gives wines with rich aromas, intense grape & floral flavours. Its comtemporaty incarnation comes with “Malvasia di Candia Aromatica” clone in Crete.
 

Recommended Producers:

LyrarakisDiamantakis

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