79% Syrah, 17% Mandilari, 4% Merlot. The Syrah and Merlot are planted on clay soil, the Mandilari on sandy loam with a good amount of stones. The vineyards are located at 450-500 meters above sea level. The grapes are destemmed. The wine is aged in oak barrels (17% American oak, 83% French oak) for 17 months.
Layered aromas of wild blackberries, graphite, smoke, and forest floor. On the palate, these notes are intertwined with hints of sweet spice and violets. Structurally it manages to show both powerful and elegant sides as it unfolds into a long, silky finish.
About the Producer
The Lyrarakis Estate was founded in 1966 by brothers Manolis and Sotiris Lyrarakis. It is surrounded by the Lassithi mountains and focuses on rare local varieties and single variety wines. The Lyrarakis family is credited with the revival of two ancient white Cretan varieties, Dafni and Plyto while a third “vineyard treasure”, the indigenous Melissaki, was recently added to their credit. Vilana, White Muscat and Sauvignon Blanc complete the range of white varieties, and Kotsifali, Mandilari, Black Muscat as well as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the red ones.
The winery is situated in one of the most noteworthy vineyard regions of Crete, namely at Alagni, Heraklion, the most mountainous village of the appellation area (AOC) of PEZA. The company only started bottling wines under the Lyrarakis name in the early nineties, and 1992 was the first vintage.
Today, the company is managed by the second generation: Bart (CEO), George (Chairman) and Manolis (viticulturalist). The estate vineyards spread over 14 hectares, at an average altitude of 550 meters. The soil is composed of gravel and limestone.
Farming/sustainability practices: in conversion to organic farming - certain vineyards are already certified. Member of the People4soil initiative - European Citizens Initiative (ECI) - aiming at lobbying for the creation of a specific European legislation that will recognize soil as a common good and will establish regulations for its protection. An organic community garden produces part of the vegetables used for the meals served during the meetings of various groups (employees, members of St August winegrowers group and others).
Lyrarakis - Jancis Robinson 2020