Excerpt about Domaine Economou from ” The Wines of Greece”, by Konstantinos Lazarakis MW:
“Yiannis Economou is one of the best and most underestimated winemakers in Greece. His CV is impressive, with an oenology degree from Alba, cellar work in Germany and Bordeaux (CHATEAU MARGAUX and the difficult 1993 vintage) as well as Piedmont, under the guidance of Nebbiolo maestros such as CERETTO and SCAVINO. Upon his return to Crete in 1994, he resurrected the family wine business, immediately making waves in the area.
Economou works with ungrafted, tradional vines from Ziros plain, most of which are at least forty years old. Cultivation is totally organic, though this is not stated on the label. Yields are extremely low, with an average of fifteen hectolitres per hectare. Overall production is limited and can fluctuate widely, with some vintages producing less than 10.000 bottles. With strong demand from Germany, few cases of Economou wines are sold and drunk in Greece. New plantings and acquisitions are under way, with the aim of reaching a production of 60.000 bottles per annum.
Economou is a great believer in Liatiko. ” I enjoy the old French school (of winemaking) where depth of colour is not related to the quality of a red wine”, he says.
“Red wine is about complexity, finesse and aroma. The world should not be full of Cabernet, or Cabernet like wines. I hope my Liatikos show some people that there are alternatives.”
He makes three different Liatiko wines.
A deep, extracted rose is possibly the easiest to appreciate, but it is still far from simple, refreshing style advocated by many producers.
Economou Siatia Red is a pure Liatiko. The grapes are harvested above 13.5 degrees Baume and the wine is aged for a year in a 350- litre oak barrels. Barriques are not used, since these would be too heavy for the elegance of Liatiko. The wine is released when it is three years old, having been carefully cellared at 18 degrees Celsius (64 Farheneit).
This late release does wonders for the complexity of the wine, which is an example of what less popular Greek varieties can achieve when handled correctly. The final Liatiko is a SWEET wine, made from grapes left on the vine to reach about 18,5 degrees Baume, then naturally fermented up to 15,5 per cent alcohol, and aged for two years in oak.
The same method of sweet winemaking is used for a blend of Vilana and Thrapsathiri, the only difference being a shorter oak-ageing of about eight months. The same white grapes are harvested much earlier to make a dry, but rich, Sitia WHITE. Both of these wines are more about complexity and texture than aroma. As well as preserving old treasures, Economou intends to try some new projects. A recently acquired site has been planted with Grenache Rouge, Syrah, Chardonnay, Viognier, Merlot, together with – presumably he could not resist – Nebbiolo and Barbera. Apart from wine, Economou dedicates his free time to olive oil, honey and vinegar production, trying to make his estate a more complete agricultural proposal. Definitely a producer with great potential.”
Please see HERE the wineblog of Domaine Economou.
Please click HERE for retailers of Economou wines near you.