Today, my Greek odyssey to meet Dionysus began – the god of the vine, the harvest, ritual ecstasy and ritual madness. Sounds like the perfect god for a Master of Wine trip you might say!
God of the grape, Dionysus was the last god to be accepted onto Mt Olympus, and was the youngest and only god to have a mortal mother. So like us Masters of Wine, we share a string of commonality! Sometimes perceived, wrongly so, as gods, when in fact we are mere mortals with a bond of blood, passion and wine.
Arriving on the small(ish) cyclade island of Tinos signalled the start of our vinous odyssey. Two hours ahead of London, we arrived at our beachside base camp at near sunset and immediately set about planning for the evening’s first tastings and dinner with the winemaker, viticulturalist, and owner of the T-Oinos winery.
The venue for the evening’s festivities was the top seafood restaurant on Tinos, Thalassaki in the village of Ysternie. After meeting winemaker Spyros on Monday in London, we expected only the finest… and we were not disappointed.
A fabulous Marvrose 2015 Rose made from 50% Mavrotragano / 50% Avgoustiatis from magnum kicked off proceedings, offering a pale copper coloured wine, showing incredible granitic mineral tension, vibrant fresh precision and a defined saline character at 12.5 abv. Superb! (91+/100)
This was followed by the tantalising Malagouzia 2015 white with a most incredibly accessible and fresh nose of honey suckle, jasmine, yellow stone fruits, following to a vibrant palate of white citrus, white flowers and truffle oil nuances (92/100).
Course after course of sublime yet supremely fresh, modernistic food dishes rained down upon us, with each course being matched with these very fine wines from T-Oinos winery.
Highlights of the evening, were once again the T-Oinos Clos Stegasta 2014 Assyrtiko (the Greek Coche) white served from magnum, which contained all the usual hall mark struck match, lime, white citrus, granitic mineral notes that have made it so revered in these parts of the world as a fine Burgundy lookalike.
Spyros, the inspired winemaker at T-Oinos
We finished off the first and most intriguing day with T-Oinos Mavro 2011 red which was still a baby at 5 years old. What a super, luscious, almost Bolgheri-like wine with such an internationally nuanced complexity, character and appeal. Bravo! (92+/100)
So much more excitement awaits us tomorrow.