Nikos Karatzas cut his teeth at Ktima Pavlidis, a rising star winery in Drama, Greece’s relatively youthful wine-producing region. Located in northeastern Greece at the base of the mountains that separate Macedonia from Bulgaria, Drama has a history of winemaking that dates back to antiquity, although the region did not emerge onto the modern winemaking scene until the 1980s. Nikos launched Oenops Wines in 2015 and partners with a variety of growers throughout the region to source high quality grapes and produce limited quantities of “clean wines with character and harmony that express the vineyard from which they came.” He is particularly interested in utilizing old vines and native Greek varietals such as Xinomavro, Limniona, Mavroudi, Orange and Vidiano, and he strives to retain purity and “express varietal character with as much validity as I possibly can.” Hence, Nikos forgoes the use of new oak during maturation. Instead, he employs a combination of stainless steel, amphora and oak to ferment his wines after which they are aged in amphora.
Nikos crafts this lovely rosé with 40% Xinomavro, 40% Limniona and 20% Mavroudi which makes for a fresh and animated style exhibiting notes of very juicy blood orange, cantaloupe and fragrant lemon thyme. A mouthwatering acidity provides lift to the subtly creamy texture (achieved through six months aging on the fine lees), and flavors of nectarine and underripe peach abound on the light to medium-bodied palate. Enjoy on its own or with something fresh, minimal and of the sea like squid with citrus or steamed mussels.