Domaine Foivos, Robola of Kefalonia, Robola 2020 750cl
An incredibly fresh and pure wine with saline and citrus aromas leading to a palate redolent of Greek herbs and mouth-watering minerality.
The Foivos winery evolved from the historic Mantzavino winery, one of the oldest in Greece. The winery was bought in 1996, and in 1999 Theodorous Orkopoulos produced his first vintages. The winery specialises in rare Greek varieties as well as the better known Robola. The grapes are farmed organically and biodynamically, and Foivos also explores alternative winemaking practices such as fermentation in Amphora and ageing under water. This winery is making some excellent terroir-driven wines that rank among some of Greece’s finest. Many people believe Kefalonia to be the next Santorini: watch this space!
The 2020 vintage was marked by intense heat, which resulted in early ripening of the grapes. The winter saw plentiful rains which resulted in a healthy growing season during the summer. There were no episodes of frost, a rarity for the island. However, the summer heat affected the yields which dropped to two tonnes per hectare (from the usual four tonnes per hectare), resulting in small berries of concentrated juice. The harvest took place earlier than previous years, producing high quality, healthy fruit.
Robola is Kefalonia’s most well-known indigenous variety, producing fresh and aromatic citrussy wines. The grapes for this cuvée come from 20 year old vines that are ungrafted and grown on their own indigenous roots in a vineyard in Fragata, on the free-draining slopes of Mount Ainos. Mount Ainos is situated in the southern half of Kefalonia and is the highest mountain on the island. The vines are planted at 600 metres above sea level. At this altitude, there is considerable diurnal temperature variation; the hot, dry summer days give way to cool evenings. This temperature difference encourages a long hang time, promoting concentrated flavours in the grapes, balanced by refreshing natural acidity. The climate is Mediterranean, influenced by the surrounding sea, which has a moderating effect on the hot and dry summer, resulting in naturally fresh wines. The vines thrive in poor rocky limestone soils, which impart the mineral, chalky and high acidity characters to the Robola wines.
The grapes were carefully selected and sorted in the cellar, destemmed and gently pressed. The must was fermented with wild, indigenous yeasts at low temperatures in stainless steel tanks to retain the purity of fruit and aromatic integrity. The wine was gently filtered prior to bottling. Made in an unoaked style to fully express the character of the Robola variety and the mountainous terroir of Mount Ainos.
An incredibly fresh and pure wine that is full of tension. The herbal and citrus aromas create a harmonious fusion through to a palate with lime citrus intensity and mouth- watering freshness.