Body: Medium to full
Tannin: Medium to high
Acidity: Low to medium
Age: Drink within a few years of release. The biggest wines can age for up to ten years.
Aka: Also known as St. George.
Agiorgitiko (ah-yor-YEE-tee-ko) is a high quality Greek grape variety. It is one of the country’s oldest and most important red grape varieties and considered by many to be Greece’s finest. Its name comes from the town of Agios Georgios (now called Nemea) and it is also known by its English translation of St. George.
It is traditionally grown in the Peloponnese region and produces its finest wines in the appellation of Nemea, where the wine making tradition goes back a long way – Agamemnon is believed to have drunk the wines of Nemea. It can be used to make wine in different styles, but it produces its most characteristic wines in the Smooth style from vineyards at elevations between 1,500 to 2,100 feet (450 to 650 metres) in the hills around Nemea.
These wines are rich and refined with ripe fruit flavors and well integrated tannins, giving them a relatively soft texture. Acidity is naturally low, but can be improved when grown in cooler conditions at higher altitude. These wines are often compared to Merlot because of their ripe fruit and texture, but they are firmer in structure. Aromas of red and black fruits, herbs and spice are followed by rich fruit flavors of plum, red cherry and blackberry, along with spicy pepper and oaky notes.
The Nemea appellation requires that all wines labeled “Nemea” are 100% Agiorgitiko. These classic Nemea wines are generally matured in oak for up to a year. Agiorgitiko also blends very well with Cabernet Sauvignon, which adds to its structure. These blends may contain from 10% – 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and are non-appellation wines because they do not conform to AOC regulations. When Agiorgitiko is released early, without oak aging, it can be very fruity and is much lighter in style. Classic Nemea wines are best consumed within a few years of release.
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