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The Explore 4 Gift Pack“Return to Greece” (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

The Explore 4 Gift Pack “Return to Greece” (750mL)

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“In our experience, Greece has been in a pitched battle with Portugal for the title of ‘most dynamic wine nation in Europe.’”

Grow your wine knowledge and drink well while doing it: That’s the idea behind “Explore 4,” our most popular monthly club. Here’s a chance to check it out—no commitment required!

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“Explore 4” surveys the vast landscape of wine and breaks it into small, digestible bites. Each month, we select four bottles that fit a theme, allowing members to experience a diversity of styles while developing their own palate preferences. It’s an ongoing exploration of wine through a sommelier’s eyes and there’s no more effective, and enjoyable, way to learn about wine.

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As in every edition of “Explore 4,” our mission is to offer a lay of the land and to highlight some exemplary wines. Greece is home to more than 300 indigenous wine grapes, but of those, only a handful are grown in significant quantities. Herein are some of the people, places, and grapes to know!

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Here’s what’s in the box, which includes a full-color booklet that explains the theme and the wines in vivid detail:

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The Region: Thessaly, PGI Tyrnavos
The Wine: Domaine Zafeirakis, Assyrtiko 2021

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Hand-harvested grapes from sites in Tyrnavos and Paleomilos are pressed after 24 hours of refrigeration, then fermented in stainless steel at cool temperatures to preserve fruit purity and prevent oxidation. Aromas and flavors of crisp yellow apple, white peach, salt-preserved lemon peel, sea spray, crushed volcanic rock, honeysuckle, tangerine blossoms, and wisps of smoke. The medium-bodied palate is wonderfully fresh and simultaneously fleshy in texture with mouthwatering minerality.

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The Region: Drama, East Macedonia
The Wine: Oenops, “Apla” White Blend 2021

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This wine combines 60% Malagousia, 30% Assyrtiko, and 10% of the pink-skinned Roditis, one of the most-planted whites in Greece. Hand-picked grapes are sorted and a portion are subjected to a brief cold maceration; the rest are direct-pressed to tanks and some amphorae, where fermentation is carried out using ambient yeasts. The wine is aged for four months on its fine lees (spent yeasts) before bottling.

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The Region: Peloponnese
The Wine: Troupis Winery, Agiorgitiko “Fteri” 2020 

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Although this wine doesn’t carry the Nemea appellation on its label, it is mostly sourced from vineyards in this area of the northeastern Peloponnese. Tart black cherry and pomegranate fruit notes tangle with scents of violet, black pepper, underbrush, and a hint of smoke. A Greek answer to Italian Sangiovese that will pair well with steaks or chops off the grill.

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The Region: Macedonia
The Wine: Thymiopolous, Naoussa 2019

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Although the Thymiopolous family has grown grapes in Naoussa for generations, the first wines with their name on the label were released in 2004. Winemaker Apostolos Thymiopolous has caught the attention of the international press thanks to his expert work with Xinomavro, which he sources from his family’s heirloom vineyards.

  • Alcohol14%

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