Wine Delights: A Greek Beauty

2017 Skouras Megas Oenus 91
by Robert Millman

2017 Skouras Megas Oenus                                                       91

While I am not an expert on Greek wines, I have had the opportunity to taste quite a few over the years through the excellent work of several importer/distributors in the New York area. Getting accustomed to a new set of aromas, flavors and textures is both demanding and exhilarating. Greece’s major white wine varietal is Assyrtiko which prospers on the volcanic island of Santorini. Impeccably dry, with a cut and energy which is immediately striking and stimulating, the palate must adjust to a noble severity which is intrinsic to the grape. With grilled fish prepared with olive oil, lemon and fresh herbs there are in my opinion few better accompaniments than a well-made Assyrtiko wine. I will return to some of my favorite Assyrtiko wines in future articles.

This time around, I want instead to draw your attention to an excellent Greek red wine I tasted recently. The wine in question comes from the town of Argos in the Peloponnesus region in central-western Greece. George Skouras created his eponymous domain in 1986 after earning a degree in Oenology in Dijon. He helped make the native red wine varietal Aghiorgitiko a source of excellent wine especially after experiments with blending Cabernet Sauvignon for the final blend. He calls this wine Megas Oenus—Greek for great wine. The blend is typically 80% Aghiorgitiko and 20% Cabernet Sauvignon but varies with weather conditions for each vintage. I was struck by the balance between energy, freshness and lift, not to mention an underlying dark, firm texture which raises the wine from charming to worthy of attention. The vineyards owned by Skouras are planted at nearly 300 meters above sea level. Breeze plays a significant role in many Greek wines. By now his Cabernet plantings are thirty-five years old—entering prime time. The reasonably priced 2017 Megas Oenus is a wine that both pleases the senses and engages the imagination, and it’s not just great now, but will last through 2027 easily. Highly recommended.


Robert Millman

Robert Millman’s wine career began in the early 1980s, when he began working from Morrell & Company, one of the USA’s top wine retailers. During that time, he co-founded Executive Wine Seminars (EWS) with Howard Kaplan, which over the years became one of NYC’s most highly regarded wine events companies. EWS organized and conducted over 1000 wine events during its prestigious thirty-three year history. High points included Robert Parker being a regular guest presenter at the tastings, and through 2011, the results of the tastings were published on the Wine Advocate website. Having reached an age where taking a step back from the wear and tear of life in the wine fast lane made sense, Millman currently enjoys being a taster and wine writer for Grapes the Wine Company, an excellent, leading e-retailer based in Westchester (NY). 

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Robert Millman