This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Greek Fortified over £15 went to L'Union de Cooperatives Vinicoles de Samos, Anthemís, Samos 2008 (15%)
- Aes Ambelis, NV
L’union de Cooperatives Vinicoles de Samos (UWC Samos) was founded in 1934 and today has two winery hubs in Malagari and Karlovassi.
Winemaker Emmanouil Tsakalakis thinks of the co-op more as a home than a place of work, having been a member for 30 years. Although this Trophy-winner has been made by UWC Samos since before his time – the first vintage was about 35 years ago – Tsakalakis is credited as being the driving force behind revitalising it as a key part of the portfolio.
The richness, complexity and balance of the wine is in large part due to the fact that it is aged for five years in oak barrels, and it is a wine the co-op is proud to have represent the Muscat of Samos style. its annual production is 30,000 bottles – relatively small when compared to the total output of UWC Samos, which stands at some seven million litres.
Tsakalakis believes that the white, small-berried Muscat grape found on the island thrives at high altitudes, and that is why it expresses itself to such a great extent on the steep, terraced, mountainous vineyards of Samos, where the land is unfertile and has good drainage. The results are certainly superb and the winner fully deserving.
Written by Decanter