Makarounas Boutique Winery, Letymbou, Paphos District, Cyprus

2019 Spourtiko, Single Vineyard, Mosfilies

10.5% abv
Ungrafted 13 yo vines – VSP trellis
Sandy, limestone & gypsum at 450m
Organic viticulture
Co-planted with Maratheftiko in order to help pollinate the latter
6 months on lees in steel

Markedly aromatic and candied, akin to a ripe red apple. This develops into something a little like roadside herbs and even tapenade. Distinctly more sherbety on the palate, with a definite lemon twist and a hint of salinity. Very light, ethereal and refreshing, thanks to modest alcohol, a light body, some textural tension, and balancing acidity. Funny to think how Spourtiko has, for years, been a pollinating aid for the dioecious Maratheftiko; now it’s coming into its own. A joyful wine ideally suited to delicate fish, salads or even quaffed on its own in the company of friends bearing salty nibbles.

2019 Xynisteri, Aerides Vineyard, Palialona

11.5% abv
Ungrafted 35 yo bush vines
Clay and gypsum at 450m
Organic viticulture
Harvested in two tranches 5/10 & 28/10 with cold soaks and spontaneous fermentations, then assembled in steel on lees for 6 months

Delicately aromatic and sporting notes of lemon zest and quince. The combination of extract, notable freshness, herbal notes and even hints of church incense make for an enjoyably complex mouthfeel and flavour. Thanks to its refreshing acidity and relatively low alcohol; drum-tight and zesty. One for the cellar or for enjoying now with white meat, oily vegetable dishes and a whole range of sea and fresh fish. Long and very good indeed. 

2019 Vasilissa, Single Vineyard, Katapanis

12% abv
Ungrafted 10 yo vines – VSP trellising
Gypsum, clay & limestone at 470m
Organic viticulture
36 hour cold soak, soft press, spontaneous fermentation: 50% in acacia barrels for 5 months, 50% in INOX with 5% of the total as whole bunch

Candied and somewhat peachy on the nose with an elegant lemony experience on the palate. Not as full, mouth filling or aromatic as many other Vasilissa/Aspri-Fraoula, but still possessed of the same grippy texture and stone fruit, albeit subtle and restrained in this quietly-spoken iteration. Lingering freshness completes the taut, savoury theme.

2020 Minthy Rosé, Palialona & Limni

12.5% abv
5 g/l RS
Organic viticulture
90% Lefkada: 22 yo ungrafted bush vines, clay & gypsum at 400m
10% Cabernet Franc: Ungrafted 30 yo vines – VSP trellising, clay, limestone and gypsum
Juice and crushed grapes macerated together for 5 hours in INOX. Free run must only.
On lees for 3 months 

A youthful pale salmon pink and still showing a little spritz. A contained bouquet of red cherry gives way to a rather luscious palate of plum and strawberry. Quite candied and discernibly sweet – something that can be tempered with chilling. A useful rosé with good chew and extract; well-suited to red meat, amongst many other dishes, or simply on its own. Note to self: bring this to a summer BBQ…

2019 Maratheftiko, Single Vineyard, Mosfilies

13% abv
Ungrafted 13 yo vines – VSP trellising
Sand, limestone, gypsum at 450m
Organic viticulture
Spontaneous fermentation
8 months maturation in 33% new oak barrels; the rest in 2 & 3 yo seasoned barrels

Quite pale for Maratheftiko, being a limpid medium ruby hue. Slightly smoky, though altogether about red cherry, strawberry and something tart, like cranberry. This crunchy berried character and associated freshness follows through on the palate. The oak is a bit more evident here, throwing out (at this youthful stage at least) toffee and butterscotch. The tannins are fine-grained and mouth coating, though not at all intrusive. Long, juicy and involving on the finish. One for developing in the cellar, or for drinking now…however you like it.

2019 Yiannoudi, Single Vineyard, Yomarkaris

13% abv
Ungrafted 8 yo vines – VSP trellising
Sandstone and gypsum at 500m
Organic viticulture
Spontaneous fermentation
12 months maturation in seasoned 300 litre barrels

Vivid mid/deep ruby hue. Altogether quite restrained on the nose, but still saying a good deal…just quietly. Sour cherry, black plum, notes of mint and also a certain leafiness/underbrush. Quite full and expansive. Fine-grained, grippy, but altogether well-resolved tannins and balancing acidity provide a great deal of refreshment, particularly when complemented by an Italianate sour cherry, chalky extract, and mounting juiciness. Whilst possessed of long cellaring potential, this wine shows a youthful exuberance and layered complexity that would lend itself to all manner of meat or vegetable dishes. Yiannoudi goes from strength-to-strength. Really very good.