Methymnæos - Chidiriotiko Red 2014
Certified Organic (Bio-Hellas S.A.), No Sulfur Added
Lesvos, Aegean Islands, Greece
Imported by Goatboy
From the importer-
While there is a certain kinship here with Zafeirakis’ Limniona, in that the wine is not very dark, not at all heavy, and just kissed with oak, it has a distinctive flavor of its own that we would describe as leaning in the direction of Nebbiolo. Not quite as obviously floral as a Ribeira Sacra or Lacrima di Morra d’Alba, it evokes those parallels by dint of its perfumed beauty and tensile strength. A real original that will expand your vinous universe, without neglecting to give you pleasure. No sulfur added at any time due to the volcanic soil and its sulfuric content working as a natural preservative. These wines age beautifully, again, like a Nebbiolo. All of his wines are made from the red grape Chidiriotiko.
According to Archestratus (4th century BC), an ancient poet and connoisseur, the wine of Lesvos was the best of antiquity:
I can praise the wines produced in many places
And their names I do not forget
But no wine is compared to the wine of Lesvos
(quoted by Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, A, 52d)
Unfortunately, the famous, age-old winemaking tradition of Lesvos came to an end in the beginning of the 20th century because of phylloxera's arrival to the island. This vine-root eating bug had been spreading from its native America almost everywhere since the middle of the 19th century. The remedy against phylloxera in most parts of the world was to graft vines on rootstock resistant to the bug. However, Lesvos by the end of the 19th century had specialized in ouzo, made from alcohol produced elsewhere, so vineyards on the island were abandoned when hit by phylloxera.
In the early 1980s the Lambrou family discovered the last remaining vines of an old grape of Lesvos near Chidira, a forgotten village of the island. The grape, named after the village Chidiriotiko, was replanted in 1985 by the Lambrou family in their private estate, located in the crater of the extinct volcano close to Chidira. The lava of this volcano had once created the Petrified Forest of Lesvos.
In 1997 the Lambrou family completed construction of Methymnaeos Winery, located, too, in Chidira. The first bottles of Methymnaeos Organic Wine, of the harvest of 1997, came out of the winery's production line in 1999. This was the first bottled wine in the history of Lesvos.
Nowdays Yannis Lambrou, son of the family, processes at Methymnaeos Winery his own grapes and the grapes of other local vine growers, who, following the steps of the Lambrou family, have decided to replant and recultivate Chidiriotiko.