Megas Oenos white 2000
The Moschofilero grapes for this wine come from vineyards at 750 meters
on the Mantinia plateau. This is a characterful Moschofilero, neither
too fruity nor too acidic. An intense floral nose leads to restrained
fruit on the palate. It has earthier qualities than some, more nutty
flavors, full body and a long, rich finish. Its concentration, partly
the result of yield restraint, distinguishes it from many others
Mediterranean Red 1997
This blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Agiorgitiko is produced
with the American market in wine. Intended to capitalize on the same
Mediterranean trend that has caused the death of Greek cuisine in
upscale Greek restaurants across America, it is Skouras' entry into the
supermarket genre. It is a fundamentally good, if somewhat generic wine
with a typically fruity profile, good concentration and light tannins.
Megas Oenos Red 1998
This is the wine for which Skouras is best known. A blend of old vine
Agiorgitiko and Cabernet, this is an elegant, mature wine with plenty of
blue Cabernet tints, cherry confit and subtle smoke. Oak, again, is put
quietly to good use. The wine has a modern, universal feel; plenty of
power tastefully presented.
George is an accessible English translation of the Greek name
Agiorgitiko. After fermentation in steel, this 100% Agiorgitiko ages
for 10 months in new oak then a year in bottle. Skouras has a way with
oak. There is some on the nose, but on the palate plummy fruit
dominates. A little raw tannin emerges at the finish. Hints at valley
vineyards, a great example of the good low altitude Agiorgitiko style.
Skouras grew up in Argos. He was eighteen when he discovered
professional wine-making, during a trip to France to improve his
language skills.Five years later he returned to Greece with a degree
from Dijon University in Burgundy and work experience in all the
main wine-growing regions of France.
His first job was running the Calligas winery on the island of
Kefalonia and helping Nikos Cosmetatos set up Gentilini, one of
Greece’s first boutique wineries.
He set up his personal wine business at Pyrgella near the family
home in Argos and started experimenting with agiogiorgitiko and
cabernet sauvignon. Megas Oenos was the blend that established his
reputation; in 1986 he produced the first 6000 bottles, now he has
capped the production at 35.000 annually, believing his aim of
consistent quality has been achieved.
Because of his success, Skouras was able to to build a new winery at
Nemea. He chose a remote site at Gymno at an height of 700 meters.
Today Domaine Skouras is at the forefront of Greek estates, full of
momentum and with a sharp focus on the future. Increased demands,
both at home and abroad for Skouras bottled wines has prompted the
building of a state-of=the art winery and reception centre at
Malandreni. The complex, built in neo-classical style, is situated 4
kilometres from the Corinth-to-Tripolis highway on the road to
beginning of his venture, Skouras worked primarily with indigenous
cultivars. As he set his sights increasingly on exports, the role of
Western varieties began to increase as well. The existence of
Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet and Viognier in his portfolio are not,
however, gratuitous. It is true, he says, "cosmopolitan varieties
are a passport for Greek wine." Aside from showcasing improvements
in quality, they also produce what he calls "big wines"—the kind of
products that agree with New World tastes. Perhaps more importantly,
they provided a standard against which Greek vintners can measure
their progress relative to international standards. But for him, the
achievement of Greece's potential is dependent upon its wealth of
"The skill we have demonstrated with foreign varieties has improved
our reputation. The improvements in equipment and technology were
just the first step in our revolution. Now we begin working on our
vineyards. It is a time for real strategies and real results" Now,"
he says, smiling, "the big party begins."
faith in Greece's natural resources is manifested in a personal
accession of 24 grape varieties that inhabit small plots in his
vineyards. Some are local cultivars otherwise at risk of extinction.
A micro-vilification program aimed at evaluating their wine
potential is expected to yield products within the decade. In the
meantime, his success with indigenous varieties reflects his serious
focus and acquired experience. He is a consistent producer of
superior Agiorgitiko, stylish Moschofilero and a Roditis that is
among Greece's best volume whites.