2500 years of history?
The terroir of mountain vineyards?
An ancient wine land waiting to be rediscovered?
An exciting winery bringing together the best of history, and nature?
In 1973, Dimitris L. Hatzimichalis purchased nine hectares of land in the Atalanti Valley, one of central Greece's historically important vineyards that had long been neglected and nearly forgotten. Recognizing the quality of the wines he was producing, as well as the potential of the adjacent vineyards, Dimitris worked tirelessly to build up not only his winery and the quality of his wine, but also the quality of these once famous vineyards.
The historic names these properties have carried for centuries, they are simply known as "Old Vineyards," "Lower Vineyards" and "Upper Vineyards," speak to the simplicty of a previous time. Estate Hatzimichalis both embraces this (their latest vineyard development is aptly named "New Vineyards") and seeks to refine what sufficed for centuries but fails to recognize the demands of a modern market.
After careful study, each of the vineyard blocks has been further reduced to smaller vineyard plots, identified because of their affinity for a specific grape variety. The myriad combinations of soil, altitude and exposition in the Atalanti Valley has afforded Estate Hatzimichalis a unique opportunity to explore both the past and the future of Greek wine. Dimitris may have tipped his hand early on when he chose to plant his initial vineyard holdings with Cabernet Sauvignon; his strategy was never purely innovation for innovation's sake. While the international, and up to that point relatively little planted in Greece, Cabernet was to be the flagship red of Estate Hatzimichalis, Dimitris fell back on history for his first white. Robola was his choice and this ability to embrace the past and the future not only continues to this day, but it also has played a fundamental role in the success of Estate Hatzimichalis.
Estate Hatzimichalis has always worked towards one goal, doing the best with all that was afforded them. Through trial and error as well as large investments in vineyards, manpower and of course a winery, Estate Hatzimichalis has been able to develop vineyards that reveal their full potential. Wines are produced in an air-conditioned, underground facility with state of the art technology and time-tested traditions working side by side in the effort to preserve and showcase the varietal character and traits of terroir that are the trademark of the wines of Estate Hatzimichalis.
For more than 25 years, Estate Hatzimichalis has been perfecting their craft, working towards a Greek wine renaissance and striving to provide you with wines that you not only will enjoy but will want to drink again and again, sharing them with friends, family and neighbors. So take some time and get to know the wines of Estate Hatzimichalis. Greek wines have never been so easy to enjoy, even if the name is still a tongue twister!
Recently tasted wines from Estate Hatzimichalis.
2008 Domaine Hatzimichalis Sauvignon Blanc 13% $NA
Low and mellow on the nose with some soft lightly cooked fruit, green plum, character, and some mineral and floral overtones. Nice and bright on entry and while rather small scaled not really lean. This has a nice mouthfeel with good intensity of green fruit on the mid-palate. There’s not much complexity here, a touch of a floral top note and it’s pretty much devoid of grassy, herbaceous notes. Easy drinking and soft with a modest 84pts
2009 Estate Hatzimichalis Lefkos Sauvignon Blanc, Malagousia and Robola. 12.5% $12
Lightly lime scented with a hint of peach and some nice sage and grass accents. Lively in the mouth with bright acidity and just a touch of astringency that adds some textural interest while supporting the zesty citrus note. This has nice size in the mouth, and that dusty astringency carries over onto the moderately long finish which turns just a touch creamy. With air this gains more peachy and pear tones on the palate yet remains refreshing. A really flexible white and a great value. 87pts.
2009 Estate Hatzimichalis Chardonnay 12% $15
This is really bright on the nose with crisp apple fruit, some gentle floral notes and a mere suggestion of wood spice. Round yet bright on entry with fine acidity and real clarity on the palate. The apple fruit is well rendered and the oak adds just a hint of spice but otherwise this is really nicely precise and transparent in the mouth. The flavors are not terribly complex but are long and refreshing with good persistence to the green apple fruit and a touch of sweetness on the finale. 87pts
2009 Estate Hatzimichalis Veriki Chardonnay/Robola 12.5% $20
There’s a touch of oak that greets the nose followed by lovely floral tones, some candied citrus peel and pith notes and a touch of dusty quartz. Really focused on entry if a little low amplitude but this build with air as the foundation of quartzy minerality supports growing, lightly creamy pear and citrus juice notes. Really very well balanced with good supporting acids that keep this rather elegant and soft. The moderately finish shows a flash of oak followed by some nice spice tones and a touch of apricot on the finale. 89pts
2008 Domaine Hatzimichalis Kapnias Chardonnay 14% $25
Lots of wood on the nose here, toasty and spicy with hints of almonds and licorice. Rich and sweetly fruited up front with layers of orchard fruits, pears and peaches in a broad, soft, opulent style. The mid-palate is buttery and toasty transitioning to a rather spicy finish with a long, toasty and honied nut finale. Very much in the modern style though more oak driven and less opulent than one might expect. 88pts
2007 Estate Hatzimichalis Syrah 13.5% $20
Decidedly smoky on the nose with plenty of scorched earth character, gently sweet wood spice, plummy fruit, and emerging cracked pepper and floral top notes. Soft and somewhat low acid on entry with a broad, lush feel and rich fruit flavors that are a bit sour helping the acid to seem more decisive. The oak is well integrated here and adds both nice tannin support and some spice on the palate. The lightly coffee toned finish is modest with a nice fruit return on the finale, but this is a nice medium full bodied Syrah with good intensity in the mouth that doesn’t go over the top. 87pts
2007 Estate Hatzimichalis Cabernet Sauvignon 14% $20
A bit hot on the nose with notes of white soil and clay over a low bed of dried thyme and dark fruit with a hint of prune. Very soft and broad on entry but not heavy. Actually an interesting presence in the mouth with some astringent tannins and moderate acidity supporting nicely earthy, vaguely herbaceous flavors in a package that hints at ripe black fruits but doesn’t become overpowering. The walnutty oak pops on the backend and leads to a dry, short finish, which shows some heat. Time will help tame these tannins but the fruit is already showing lots of tertiary character so I’m not sure it has the legs to outlive the tannins. 83pts
2006 Domaine Hatzimichalis Kapnias Cabernet Sauvignon 14%. $30
Lovely nose, bursting with carob, tobacco, big black currant fruit, a hint of poblano, and some framing notes of vanilla oak. This is soft and almost plush on entry with good supporting acids. Very bright on the palate with rich currant and Italian plum fruit accented by a hint of vanilla and some distinct wood spice, cedary elements that live under the fruit. Fairly fruity in the mouth but lean in a way and certainly dry, and a bit tight. This is a fine example of the blending of new world fruit with old world structure. With air the flavors become more complex and more distinct. Really lovely wine, love the bit of anise that pops on the backend and minty/sagey notes that add to the rather aromatic finish. Very nicely done and will improve in the cellar for 5-8 years. 91pts
2005 Domaine Hatzimichalis Merlot 13.5% $25
Nicely earthy on the nose with an underlay of oak that grows in the glass accenting the gentle herbaceous and subtly sweet aromatics that recall bitter chocolate, cigarbox, mint and dried red fruits. A bit tough out of the gate with some drying tannins and a very narrow entry but with time this grows showing nicely layered earth, tar, oak, dried herb, and dried red fruit tones. Really sinewy in the mouth with a lean, tense feel. Definitely not a new world wine. This is refined and complex with a lovely finish that could be a little longer but shows a lovely, slightly rustic red fruit profile. This is still showing a very youthful character, will improve with several years in the bottle of a few hours of air today. 91pts