Sometimes it’s the wines from seemingly far-flung places that most captivate us. Cephalonia (Kefalonia), Greek island in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece, is one such place where delicious and complex wines are being made. With a population of around 40,000, the island relies on tourism and agriculture. Sclavos is a name to know when it comes to the wines of Cephalonia. Proprietor Evriviadis Sclavos owns about eight hectares of vineyards in four different locations on the island. He also sources fruit from growers with whom he has long term contracts. Sclavos is a producer who looks for low-yielding old vines and original rootstock, and who vinifies the grapes as naturally as possible.
“Alchymiste” is the entry-level wine from Sclavos, a blend composed mostly of Roditis, from Patras in the Peloponnese, along with Robola (the hallmark grape of Cephalonia), all from old vines. The grapes are cofermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts, and the wine is bottled unfiltered and unfined. The result is an aromatic beauty, full of stone fruit and savory herbal notes, with a fresh floral note in the background, and a core of salty minerality. This is a wine well suited to the table, whether paired with roasted chicken, fish with herbs and olives, or a simple salad with crumbled feta. It is an outstanding value.
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