Mandilaria is a black-skinned red grape most commonly grown on the Greek islands of Rhodes & Crete, in the Aegean Sea. It also grown on the mainland and other Greek islands, where it is known by various names, including Mantilari, Mandelaria and Amorghiano.
Mandilaria grapes have thick skins full of polyphenols, notably tannins (responsible for the wines’ drying, grippy texture) and anthocyanins (which account for their deep coloration). Based on this information alone, one might assume that Mandilaria wines are typically robust and full-bodied, but this is certainly not the case. In fact, wines made from this variety only very rarely exceed 13 percent alcohol (the average for red wines from warm, sunny climates), and typically lack body. It is for precisely this reason that Mandilaria is most often used in blends, most often with Kotsifali a paler, less tannic variety but one that nonetheless brings potential alcohol to the blend. For more information on this blend and the wines made from it, see Kotsifali – Mandilari.
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