Troupis Winery Hoof & Lur Moschofilero 2017
It would be simplistic to argue that Mantinia has improved only due to climate change. In 1996, the Mantinian plateau Moschofilero was nothing more than a faintly aromatic spritzer with a dash of fresh lemon juice. It was a vintage where one had to reduce acidity. It was also a period when winters had ground frost and iced puddles. Two decades later wines are riper, more aromatic while still retaining vital balanced freshness. Climate change has brought on extremes, such as hail, frequent heavier downpours and other late growing season difficulties as Mantinia harvests are one of the last reaching into early October. There are more quality oriented newcomer smaller estates than back in the aforementioned era. Troupis is one of them. On a number of fronts it is an ambitious estate going places. The pink skinned blanc de gris Moschofilero(the fragrant fileri)has an extended family. Here in lie opportunities, Yiannis Troupis is now researching Moschofilero to reduce vigour. Nearby Nemea based ampelographer Kostas Bakasietas is consulting them in situ. There are Moschofilero biotypes offering more complete serious wines. It is more than fascinating through microvinifications to observe their profile differences. This data base will help them with the next step of selecting the more suited vines to this semi-continental climate. They have also invested in the services of experienced consulting oenologist Dimitris Akrivos, whom I found re-energised in this new for him endeavour. His work is precise with a deft hand of decision making and a sense of balance. There is no expense spared by Troupis in winemaking kit and in vogue jars put to good effect as seen in the reviewed wine. A sense of daring in this address is a welcome initiative. In the European vineyard, pioneering rule breaking efforts often constrained in antiquated appellation blueprints tend to veer off piste. Hoof & Lur is one of these. During my first trips to the Mantinian plateau, I noticed grapes left out over night by the vineyards for next day collection. As the temperature drops in the teens one could see that this pink skinned blanc gris grape was suited to this. Akrivos has taken this rustic skin
contact spontaneous fermentation through modern know-how to another level with a little sulphur added prior bottling. The end result was rejected from the Mantinia appellation as ”untypical”. There is no shortage of squeaky clean made to a formula Mantinia’s out there. Most lack soul and are frankly boring which is not the first adjective that comes in to your mind for a high-acid grapey wine in this cooler-climate central Peloponnese plateau(650-750m). In a way, it is the Greek vineyard answer to Spains Alvarinho. So what has this rejected wine done to deserve this ? Well it was born free. That is not what the appellation system dictates. As wine is here for our pleasure does it deliver? Firstly it delivers the ideological message – we can do things differently. Secondly there is a lot going on in the hide and seek ever changing aromatics and taste. Having enjoyed it several times during my recent travels in the Peloponnese it never failed to hit the sweet spot. Another positive message on this trip: after a relative sedate period Mantinia is coming out fighting with back to the future ideas and timely soul searching.
Wild ferment. Bottled unfined & unfiltered. Cloudy. Light prickle. Orange-pink coloured. Floral aromatics on a grapey template. Bone dry. At ABV 12,5% enough alcoholic volume to offer balance and interest. A homogenous wine with an exotic fruit hint of lychee muscat on the vibrant peachy finish. Well mannered, no volatile acidity. The most exciting new-old style wine to emerge from the Mantinia plateau in years. Also, one of the more convincing low intervention wines on the scene – tastes like wine – drinkable to the last drop. For sweaty bretty stinky cider cocktails look elsewhere.