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Cyprus tasting notes

text and photographs © 2007 Tom Cannavan

These notes accompany our in-depth feature on Cyprus and its wines.


Zambartas Xynisteri-Semillon 2007
Xynisteri accounts for 85% of the blend. Fresh and clean, with some skin-contact aromas giving a touch of pear skin and orchard fruit. Lemony and fresh in the mouth, there's a touch of herbal quality. Really crisp and clean mid-palate, with good texture, and a dry, pithy lemon acidity as well as a nicely lanolin quality just sneaking through. 88/100.

Zambartas Xynisteri 2008
The 2008 version saw 5% barrel-fermentation of the Xynisteri to add texture, and there was only 5% Semillon in the blend. Very much more lemony and fresh, then that slightly skinny, grippy quality again. Has a waxy, grippy feel on the palate too, the barrel component adding a touch of vanilla to orangy richness. Maintains lots of tang and lemony freshness. 89/100.

Zambartas Semillon 2008
With a touch of Xynisteri and a proportion of the Semillon barrel-fermented. Quite nutty and rich, with lemon and a touch of lanolin. On the palate this has a pure, light, lemony fruit. Has good structure, with elegant acidity. Quite grippy. 88/100.

Zambartas Lefkada-Cabernet Franc Rosé 2007
Lefkada is an indigenous grape name after a Greek island. Very ripe, fresh, red berry and strawberry fruit. Very full and fresh. Again, that ripe and creamy weight of red fruits, with a touch of tannin adding an edge and very good acidity. Quite a stylish rosé this I must say. 88/100

Zambartas Lefkada-Cabernet Franc Rosé 2008
A little reduced at first, with a touch of leafiness, and a tight, raspberry and reducrrant fruit. Less sweet and creamy than the 2007, but then adds a layer of complexity and structure. Tannins grip the finish, with very fresh acidity elongating this wine. 88/100

Zambartas Shiraz-Lefkada 2007
A wine that sees 100% new oak, the Shiraz in American barrels, with Lefkada in higher toast French oak to subdue the tannins of the Lefkada. Akis says "Lefkada is a wild beast, you need to tame it." Composed of 65% Shiraz, it has a big, gamy, bloody nose with a touch of reduction. Plummy and meaty. Pretty bold and sinewy on the palate, with lots of grip and mouth-coating tannins. A big wine, with masses of substance and extraction. Doesn't quite push through at this stage, with a slightly disjointed feel, but probably needs just a year in bottle and hints at great potential. 90/100

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