Tsantalis Vineyards and Wineries, Mount Athos PGI (Macedonia, Greece) Xinomavro-Grenache-Limnio “Agioritiko Abaton” 2015

($25):  A little label interpretation is order for this terrific red wine.  Mount Athos, which means Holy Mountain, sits on one of finger-like peninsulas just east of Thessaloniki and is a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Tsantalis is considered to be a superb producer in this region.  Agioritiko means something that originates from Mount Athos and is confusing, or at least was to me, on this label because it could be mistaken for the name of a well-known Greek grape, Agiorgitiko, which is not in the blend of grapes in this wine.  Abaton means “untrodden” in Greek and signifies the untrodden nature of Mount Athos, according to Tsantalis’ website.  Now onto the wine itself.  The blend is a wonderfully balanced combination of two Greek grapes, Xinomavro (50%) and Limnio (20%), with Grenache that conveys a harmonious mixture of juiciness, earthy and herbal notes.   Its “not just fruit” character makes this bright and lively wine very appealing and its suave texture makes it a delight to drink now.  Though not a heavy wine, it has plenty of oomph and despite the inclusion of Grenache, its stated alcohol is a mere 13%.  It’s a great choice with roasted lamb or other meats from the grill.
92 Michael Apstein Jan 7, 2020