90+ points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
“The 2017 Tannat Ecosystem Vrachos Single Block was aged for 18 months in new French barriques and comes in at 14.8% alcohol, a spike from last year's. This was sourced from 1998 vines. Sharp-edged, this is a relatively burly Tannat this year with big fruit to go with acidity and tannins. The mid-palate finesse is the same, but everything else seems big. The tannins are not too astringent, but they do mean this will need some cellar time. The ripe fruit is succulent, but the structure obscures it just now.”
Single-vineyard Vrachos, 4.52 ha (11.2 acres), Amyndeon plateau, 40°41’19.44’’ Ν - 21°43’00.24’’ E, at 660 m (2,165 ft), with north-west exposure, facing Mount Voras, planted 1998. Alluvial, sandy and sandy clay soil, over limestone, of excellent drainage. Destemming, light crushing, cold soak – skin contact under controlled conditions, alcoholic fermentation by indigenous flora isolated from the specific block, at gradually increasing temperatures with pigeage, 12 months on lees with regular stirring. 18 months in new French oak casks, medium grain, white toasted and 18 months in bottle before release. No treatment or filtration before bottling. pH 3.28, TA 6.8 g/l, RS 1.7 g/l.
Horribly big, heavy bottle with a very deep punt. So big it won't fit in my wine rack and so heavy I can barely lift it. I moan about these bottles every time I taste the new vintages. However, the wines are far better than the bottles, smart and informative as the labels are. Deep cherry red. There is some oak in evidence but thanks to the white toasting (ie untoasted), it is the fruit purity that stands out. Beautifully clean-cut and spicy dark-red forest fruits and blackberry, essence of Tannat with even a hint of something floral, but dark and savoury too, plus a light rocky/mineral note. Then on the palate, those Tannat tannins kick in. Although they are polished, they are firm and compact, massive structure but the fruit fills out the core and, on the second day of tasting, the tannins seem to have softened a little. This is one to cellar, not for drinking for at least five years – though maybe sooner with a rib-eye – and will certainly reward the patient. Excellent freshness and a long, pure-fruited intense finish. Very fine Tannat. Powerful yet harmonious. 17.5/20 points. (JH)"
Vinous Reverie Notes
Tasting Notes: Opaque ruby color. Fine, rich, intense. Black crystalline fruits, cassis, leather, cocoa, spices. Full body, creamy, with tasty ripe tannins. Well balanced and round with excellent development in the mouth and long aftertaste. Food Pairing: Excellent assortment with red juicy meats, barbecued with spicy sauces. Adorable combination with chestnut and plums cooked meat.