Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Avaton 2004 - Domaine Gerovassiliou

Vassilis Papadopoulos was born on December 18, 1978 in U.S.A. and currently lives in Athens – Greece. He is a sommelier & wine consultant, working freelance with restaurants, wineries, magazines and websites. He is a co-owner of the “Kazakos Drink Bank” (wine and spirits stores in Athens) administrating more than 1.700 different worldwide wine labels and thousands bottles which lie in the cellars of the stores. Also he is the president of the “KWC”, a Greek wine club which has more than 400 active members and organizes wine tastings, wine dinners, wine trips and more. You can contact him on:

Brand: Avaton

Winery: Domaine Gerovassiliou

Vintage: 2004

Appellation: Regional Red Wine of Epanomi (Northern Greece)

Varietal: Limnio + Mavroudi + Mavrotragano

Winemaker: Evangelos Gerovassiliou

Oak: 20 months in new French oak barrels

Average Price: 35 €

Alcohol: 13,5%

Awards: Avaton 2004 - Gold Medal (Selections Mondiales Des Vins, Mondreal-Quebec, Canada)

Category: Sit-Down Bottle! Something seriously fine and complex to share with fellow connoisseurs

Rating: 4.5 (on a 1-5 scale)

Tasting Notes:
Avaton (meaning forbidden access) is a blend of indigenous greek varieties: Limnio, Mavroudi and Mavrotragano. Limnio – also mentioned by Aristotle – is the oldest attested Greek variety. Deep ruby colour. Concentrated and rich aromas of dark fruits. Grilled meat notes, spices, pepper, red currants and honey. Also some herbal notes. Medium to full-bodied with good acidity and very promising tannins. Really nice balance. Medium aftertaste. This wine will reward years of cellaring (10-15 years). Served at 16-18° C.

Winery Notes:
This is the brainchild of Evangelos Gerovassiliou (studied in Bordeaux). In 1981 he started planting Greek and foreign grape-varieties in the family vineyard of 2,5ha, in the area of Papamola in Epanomi, approx. 25km. southwest of Thessaloniki – in an ideal ecosystem for the vineyard’s cultivation. Domaine Gerovassiliou is a single estate vineyard of 45 ha. It has a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and temperate summers that are cooled by sea breezes. The vineyard is surrounded on three out of four sides by sea at a distance of nearly 3 km, whereas from vineyard’s west side one can see the Thermaic Gulf, Mount Olympus and the sea coast of Pieria. The soil mainly consists of sand with certain loamy substrata and calcareous rocks. Fossils are also found due to the fact that the whole surrounding hilly area was formed by alluviums. The modern winery is surrounded by the vineyard and comprises four large areas. It was constructed in 4 phases between 1986 and 1999.

Vintage Overview: The viniculture year of 2004 was normal for the area of Epanomi. In contrary to previous years, the sufficient rainfalls and snows during the winter very much helped water collection of the area. The winter was wetter than average and this helped the correct structure of the grapes. The spring was relatively wet and helped the correct grape development. From the beginning the production seemed to be very good. Many producers have done what we say "Green harvest" by throwing down grapes, before they were matured, so as to decrease the average production and improve the quality. The weather during summer was cool with low night temperatures, which favoured the fenolic grape maturity. The harvest started on 19th August with the white varieties and continued until the beginning of September, when the harvest of the red varieties. These show big extracts of their fenolic elements (colour and tannins), and the wines have sufficient body and excellent quality

Food Pairing Suggestions:
Best enjoyed with game, red spicy meat and matured cheeses.

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