The awards in acclaimed international competitions won by Costa and Nico Lazaridis wines proves the ability for Greek wines to compete against thousands of others from around the world.
The Costa and Nico Lazaridis wines are ranged in many well-known venues around Victoria and New South Wales; some also sold interstate in Brisbane, Darwin and Tasmania.
Neos Kosmos recently visited both wineries while traveling in northern Greece with Everymatic, and delved into the Lazaridis wine tasting world. Below are some of northern Macedonia’s most famous wines and liquors available Down Under, along with valuable tips to maximise your experience.
Domaine Costa Lazaridi with the distinctive title ‘Chateau Julia’, was founded in Adriani, Drama in 1992. State of the art wineries and an ongoing cooperation with world renowned experts like Michel Roland and Florent Dumeau ensure the highest of quality.
Chateau Julia Chardonnay is an excellent wine produced 100 per cent from the well-known variety. The grapes are grown in alkalic clay soil on a slope at 200-300 m, with northern exposure. It is an ambitious wine with greenish-yellow tinge and a fruity aroma that flows in discreet notes of pineapple, banana and lemons inside the glass. Its bright and clean yellow-green colour exudes the aromas of a nicely balanced floral, citrucy bouquet. Its taste has a velvet soft delivery revealing big punchy flavours of pineapple, lemon and lime balanced out well by plenty of acidity with long and powerful finish. This is accomplished through crushing, skin contact, fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tanks and tartaric stabilisation/filtration. Served slightly chilled, it is the perfect accompaniment for salads with cheese (Greek salad, rocket with goat cheese), grilled sardines, trout, shellfish, sautéed mussels and seafood risotto. Also makes a good pairing with plaice, turbot, pasta carbonara, baked chicken with potatoes and yellow medium maturity cheeses.
On the liquor note, we have the world famous Idoniko and Methexis. With the innovative technology of the ultra-modern distillery Costa Lazaridis estate creates this distinguished genuine liquor called Idoniko, a special kind of tsipouro. The multiple distillation carried out in copper stills removes the unpleasant substances resulting from the boiling, protecting at the same time the delicate aroma of the distil. The fruity character of the carefully selected grape varieties, over a background of orange-tree blossoms, possibly makes the Idoniko tsipouro the most genuine grappa. Try it chilled to experience a true Greek spirit. Methexis Cigar is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes that are left to overripe until their varietal aromas reach their peak. Slowly, the winers distil the precious fruit, keeping only the heart, where the aromatic character is revealed in its clearest form. It is the turn of the wood to offer its powerful touch. The ageing begins in new French oak casks to supplement the aroma with notes of vanilla, coconut and dried nuts, and it continues in casks where the wines of the estate used to age. The bouquet is enriched with aromas from the excellent wine that occupied the same barrel. The Methexis grape distills can be consumed either cold or in room temperature. Each with its own aromatic character, on their own or with coffee and desert, as a digestive, offer a unique experience. Every drop is a unique experience, a feast of the senses, an ideal company for a good cigar.
*Tirnavos Imports are the official distributors of Costa Lazaridi wines in the state of Victoria. For more information visit www.tirnavosimports.com.au
Château Nico Lazaridi red
The most famous brand name of the Nico Lazaridi Winery is related to the company’s history, as well as to the oenological revival of the Prefecture of Drama in 1987. It belongs to the Château Nico Lazaridi family and is characterised by the painter Iannis Nikou’s new work of art, having as main theme the dance of the senses.
The vineyard, where the grapes are cultivated, encompasses perimetrically the Château Nico Lazaridi Winery, which is fully adjusted to the natural environment. A moderately sloping ground up to an altitude of 250 m with a north-east exposure, which includes the local communities of Agora, Pigadia, Adriani, in the valley and the low hills on the South-East of Drama town, provides perfect growing and ripening conditions for these varieties.
Château’s blend of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties -60 and 40 per cent respectively- confirms the geographical indication and the superior quality of the winery’s red. In its ruby red colour, captures a pleasant nose of red berries and aromas of mocha and violet which is feature of the region’s biodiversity. It is very a well structured wine with elegant and delicious tannins and a long aftertaste of sugared fruits and mint. This fruity and spicy blend is the result of 8-12 months aging in French oak barrels. Serve at 16-18o C, with grilled meats, red meats and game cooked with intricate sauces.
Moving on to the semi-sparkling white wines Nico Lazaridi Winery is known for its precious Solitaire wine, a quality shown on its label which depicts the highlights of a solitaire ring, similar to those of the wine.
Solitaire is the only sparkling wine of the winery and is produced from the varieties of Trebbiano and Muscat. Sparkling, shiny and classy wine that offers luxury and pleasure to life lovers and bons-viveurs. Wine with shiny, silvery yellow colour and aromas of traditional sweets (loukoumi) from the islands of the Aegean Sea. Its playful bubbles will subtly take over a rich mouthful with progressive lemon acidity. The long and fine aftertaste of Fayette peaches and freesias confirm its noble origin.
Solitaire is best served at 7-8oC, pairing pleasantly with seafood, gourmet croquettes, fruits, tarts, refreshing light sweets and ice-cream. Also served as an aperitif.
*Milloway Cellars are the importers of Nico Lazaridis wines. For more information head to www.milowaywines.com.au