KaranikaBrut2012 Karanika, Brut Sparkling Wine, Cuvee Speciale, Blanc de Noirs Xinomavro, Amyntaion, Greece.
This is gorgeous bubbly, and while listed as a Brut it is super dry and vibrant more like an Extra Brut in feel and character, this beautiful Methode Champenoise is made from one of Greece’s best red grapes, Xinomavro and comes from the Northern Geek mountainous region of Amyndeon. Honestly, this is mind-blowing stuff, it rivals the best single vineyard grower Champagnes, it certainly is level at least in quality to the top Pinot Meunier stuff, like Benoit Dehu or Jerome Prevost, and it maybe the most inspiring Greek wine I’ve ever tasted. Laurens Hartman, who’s roots are Dutch, farms all organic and makes his sparkling wine in classic handmade style, he made wine in Champagne and understands every detail of his mountain terroir, more alpine in climate than one would imagine of Greece, even though Greece is home to the second highest set of mountains in Europe after Switzerland. The Karanika Brut is stunning from start to finish, leading with a nose of white flowers, fine yeast, bread dough, citrus and white currant with a super fine mousse, beading bubbles, ultra savvy intensity, almost poised tension in the mouth highlighting the sublime nature of this glorious nectar. The palate has mineral tones, steely and stony fruits including lemon, white plum and quince, plus an almost juice of cherry element along with leesy/brioche, a hint of spice and chalk dust. This Xinomavro sparkler is a marvel and is a must have wine for it’s exotic charm and class, it is hard to put into words just how freaking good this is, and it is pure excitement in the glass. It was a great pleasure to meet and taste with Hartman in person and his still wines were very solid too, though this bubbly really did steal the show. I would even bet on this being a great Sparkler to age in the cellar, though I would be hard pressed not to drink it on any occasion I could think of! I most certainly didn’t discover this great wine, it has been touted by many a great wine critic, but I most wholeheartedly recommend searching this stellar Bubbly out, Karanika is imported by Wine Wise in California, drink now for sure, but best from 2015 to 2022.
($34 Est.) 94 Points, grapelive

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