£13.99/£16.99, Naked Wines
This is an orange wine made from a pink-skinned grape variety – and it’s superb. Even the hazy pink colour is lovely (and the label's great too) but the taste is something else. Fragrant, succulent and textured, it smells of rose petals and apricots with a wash of fresh ginger and Muscat grapes, and its mouth-filling presence shimmers with dried apricot and vibrant lime-peel acidity.
The grape is Greece’s Moschofilero, which, despite the aromas, is unrelated to Muscat and is instead an umbrella name for several distinct clones. And the creative force behind the wine is Yiannis Troupis, whose family vineyards are in the heart of the variety’s lodestar region, the high-altitude Mantinia PDO on the Arcadian Plateau in the Peloponnese.
The cooling effect of vineyards at 700 metres gets things off to a fine start, but it’s what goes on with the winemaking that seals it.
The grapes are crushed and left in contact with the skins for 14 hours, then fermented, one half in stainless steel and the other in used oak barrels. After fermentation, the lees are stirred (“agitated” is the word Yiannis uses) until January when the blend is moved to a cement tank for its final ageing before bottling without fining or filtration.
Serve it cool, but not heavily chilled, and don’t be afraid to re-seal the opened bottle to enjoy over two or three nights or to put aside a bottle or five for the next two or three years.
It doesn’t need food but is dry and substantial enough to be a versatile accompaniment to lamb or pork, especially with a touch of rose harissa and a squeeze of lemon, or to mackerel, aubergine dishes or a full-on meze. 13.2%. Empty bottle weight: 652g.
Troupis Winery Route Gris Moschofilero 2021, Mantinia, Greece
£13.99 (angel price), £16.99 (non-member price), Naked Wines