Buy La Tour Melas Wines at Wimbledon Wine Cellar:
If you asked us which is the most exciting country in the world for wine at the moment, you might not expect us to answer with the name of the world's oldest wine producing country - and the land that introduced winemaking to Italy and, by extension, the world: Greece.
But while Greece as a whole might be in the economic doldrums at present, its wine industry has, in the last twenty years, been completely reinventing itself, wisely using EU funding to upgrade vineyards and cellars, explore new grape varieties and terroirs, and thoroughly to modernise its approach to the whole business of making and selling wine.
And, in this country bursting at the seams with gorgeously well-made and interesting wines, amongst the best we've tasted are the fabulous offerings from La Tour Melas in Achinos - about two and a half hours' drive north from Athens, towards Thessaloniki.
Recommend to us by a number of our contacts in Greece, as producing the country's finest Bordeaux-style red wines, we travelled to Kyros Melas' stunning estate on our 2015 trip to visit our other UK-exclusive Greek growers Papaioannou Vineyards and Bizios Estate.
La Tour Melas Vineyard:
Planting his vineyards in 2011 with Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot vines imported from France - and overlooked by the tower (pictured above) from which the estate gains its name, Kyros Melas' uncompromising vision was to produce a Bordeaux-style wine in Greece, that could rival the finest classed-growth estates of Bordeaux and Super-Tuscans of Italy.
Showing a level of ripeness and intensity, combined with elegance, structure and capacity for ageing, rarely seen outside the chosen few of Pomerol and Bolgheri, we were astounded to discover that, while La Tour Melas can already be found on the wine lists of many of London's finest Greek restaurants, it had yet to be tasted by any of the major international wine critics - which is why it's still possible to pick the wines up for a (relative) song: