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(2020) From Heraklion on the island of Crete, this is 100% Liatiko, the local speciality red variety, aged 12 months in larger French oak barrels. Medium-pale ruby in colour it has a beguiling nose, crammed with small red fruits but with a mellow autumnal depth of dried leaves, into tobacco and coffee. On the palate a rush of sweet and ripe fruit, especially raspberry and redcurrant, but that mellow coffee character is there and balanced by a fine, sandy tannic grounding, good acids and a long, savoury and spice-fruity finish.
(2012) Symbolo (or ideogram 131 if you prefer, the symbol on the label signifies the concept of wine in two ancient scripts: Linear B and Cretan Hieroglyphic) is an unspecified blend made from tiny quantities of specially selected grapes, aged for 15 months in oak casks. It is the only release from Lyrarakis of this wine so far and they say "who knows," when the next one will be released: they await the perfect vintage. Dense in colour it really does have a beautiful nose, layered with graphite, pepper and hinting at something floral, with a deep pool of black fruit beneath. On the palate it has lovely balance. There's a core of creamy black fruit running through this, but complex layers of game, minerals and tobacco-like spice are there too, along with firm, grippy tannins and a rasp of acidity. Despite a modest 13% alcohol it is powerful, heady stuff that Lyrarakis thinks will age elegantly.
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