Exploring Greece (4) Mega Spileo Estate

Website: https://megaspileo.gr/en/

Mega Spileo Estate is a dynamic producer based in the mountains of Aigialeia, on the Peloponnese. It’s an old vineyard that used to belong to a monastery dating back to 1550, but when the current owners stepped in the vineyard had had disappeared.

Giannis and Theodorus Anastasiou recognized the potential of this mountainous vineyard, and took out a long lease on the property in 1999, replanting the vineyard in 2000. They are currently busy renovating the old building on the estate to turn it into a cellar door.

Stelios Tsiris, winemaker

At 800-900 m, this is a cooler climate and harvest is end of September or October. ‘This is important,’ says winemaker Stelios Tsiris, who I visited with, ‘because when its 40 C at sea level it’s about 32 here.’

They have three vineyards in the region, with a total of 32 hectares, and also buy in some other grapes. Export is 70% of sales, with the main market Germany, where parent company Cavino, founded in 1958, accounts for 25% of Greek wine that is sold there. Mega Spileo’s first release was in 2004.

The regular range is priced locally just under €10, with the monastery wines €14-20, with the wild ferment €30.


Mega Spileo Malagousia 2022 PGI Achaia
12.5% alcohol. This is fresh and expressive with lovely pungent citrus fruit as well as some table grape and spice. Lovely fruit focus here with a hint of chamomile and dried herbs. Has a lively, focused, spicy finish. Lovely fruit here. A lovely cool-climate expression of Malagousia. 90/100

Mega Spileo Vidiano Aidani 2021 Greece
85% Vidiano (Crete), 15% Aidani (Santorini) from high-altitude vineyards here (900-1000 m). Warm, dry year. Vidiano in stainless steel, Aidani in used barrels. Lively and concentrated with a pithy edge to the bold citrus fruit. There’s a touch of persimmon here with some spicy savouriness, and a hint of grapefruit pith. Finishes taut with a touch of mint and pine. Distinctive and very gastronomic. 91/100

Mega Spileo Sauvignon Blanc 2021 Achaia
12% alcohol. Vineyards at 935 m. The warm year made a Sauvignon that isn’t typical to this place. Bold lemony fruit on the nose with some tropical notes as well as a hint if green. Lovely pungent fruit here with some pear and melon notes as well as a hint of dried herbs and some green notes. These tropical notes aren’t normal, but there’s still freshness here. 90/100

Mega Spileo Cuvée III 2021 Achaia
12% alcohol. 20% over-ripe oak fermented Chardonnay (new oak) in the blend, as well as 60% Malagousia and 20% Assyrtiko. Powerful spicy grapefruit and table grape nose is really exotic and expressive. The palate shows rich melon and spice with some apricot and a touch of lime, as well as some savoury, spicy woody hints. Complex and harmonious with some pithy terpenic notes as well as spice and minerals. 93/100

Mega Spileo Assyrtiko 2021 Achaia
From vines up to 20 years old, 900 m altitude. Stainless steel, with one-third staying three months in second use oak. Bold and direct with a pithy edge and some cedar spice, as well as bright citrus fruit. Has a bit of grip on the finish, with a west stone mineral finish. There’s a nice taut personality. 90/100

Mega Spilea Estate White Assyrtiko-Lagorthi 2019 PGI Achia
12.5% alcohol. 75% Malagousia and 25% Lagorthi, from the monastery vineyard. Low yields, fermented in 100% new oak. Savoury, spicy and dense with some nutty, spicy, toasty oak notes. Bold in style with some pear and peach, but also quite a bit of barrel ferment character adding a savoury, cedary spiciness. 91/100

Mega Spileo Moschato 2022 PGI Achaia
100% Muscat, single vineyard on a plateau, 850 m. Highly aromatic and primary with citrus, pear drop and table grape notes. Lively and intense with vivid, dry, slightly pithy fruit. So grapey and fresh with great balance. Very impressive: a beautiful expression of dry Muscat. 92/100

Mega Spileo Orange Wine Natural 2016 Achaia
A natural orange wine, from the first vintage, 2016. A blend of Malvasia Aromatica and Roditis. ‘We want an elegant wine, not with angles and reductive characters.’ So this is made in 400 litre barrels opened up. They ferment Malvasia for 4 weeks with skins, then empty the barrels and do the same for Roditis. Then they blend back to barrel. No additions. Deep bronze in colour. Striking nose of spice, orange peel and lime, with a slight spiciness and smokiness. The palate is bold and taut with good acidity and a twist of lime and marmalade, showing lovely spicy complexity. Structured and lively with good structure and acidity, plus real depth of flavour. It maintains its focus across the palate. Very stylish. 94/100

Mega Spileo Rosé 2022 Achaia
12% alcohol. A blend of Malagousia and Cabernet Franc (saignée, about 30%), co-fermented. Pale in colour, this is fresh, bright and focused with some pear, a touch of green apple, some citrus and also some cherry. Lovely brightness and focus here with crispness and balance, finishing dry. 89/100

Mega Spileo Pinot Noir 2021 Greece
Single vineyard at 1100 m altitude. Young vines (5 years old). Debut vintage, made in open top small barrels, then 18 months in oak. Supple and juicy with a savoury, slightly cedary edge to the grainy red cherry and plum fruit. Has freshness and elegance, with some wood evident. Taut and structural, but convincing. 90/100

Mega Spileo Mavro Kalavritino Merlot 2021 Achaia
Bright, vivid and very fruity with lovely purity and intensity. Has some crunchy raspberry under sweet cherries and plums with a vivid, primary quality to the fruit. Intense, ripe but very fresh and joyful. Just a touch of cedar spice and resin on the finish. 91/100

Mega Spileo Mega Spileo Estate Grand Cave 2015
14% alcohol. 60% Mavrodaphne with 40% Mavro Kalavritino, from the monastery vineyard. 30 months in new oak barrels. Savoury, spicy and intense with some refined woody notes and bright blackcurrant and cherry fruit. Has great concentration, in a classic wooded style, with the fruit intensity to stand up to the barrel. Great concentration and intensity here, and it should age for a long time: still tannic and unfurled. Has a hint of pine and mint on the finish. 93/100

Mega Spileo Grand Cave Syrah 2014
14% alcohol. New oak for 30 months. Has a distinctive spicy, savoury nose with some pepper, dried herbs and black cherry fruit. There’s a hint of mint on the palate, with some earth and spice. Structured with some wood spice in the mix, as well as leather and iodine. Nice focus here, and showing some development. 92/100

Mega Spileo Cabernet Sauvignon 2014
14.5% alcohol. 30 months in new oak barrel. Distinctive aromatics with blackcurrant fruit framed by spice and toast, with a hint of olive tapenade. The palate has concentration and focus: it has swallowed up the oak, and the result is spicy blackcurrant fruit, some notes of mint and olive, and a nice dry finish. Very sophisticated in a classic style. 94/100

Mega Spileo Wild Ferment Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Fermented in upturned 225 litre oak barrels. Then 18 months in new oak. Beautiful aromatics on the nose of spicy blackcurrant fruit with some rosemary and thyme notes. The palate is concentrated, tannic and fresh with a grainy, gravelly structure and some sweet fruit, but also some mineral notes and a touch of earthy development. Very intense and tannic, but with layers of complexity. Has freshness as well as depth. 94/100

Mega Spileo Cuvée III 2020
14% alcohol. Cabernet Sauvignon, Mavrodaphne, Agiorgitiko. 8 months in new American oak barrels. Intense, spicy, woody nose with sweet black fruits and some roast coffee hints. The palate is rich and vivid with sweet but focused black cherry and blackberry fruit, with a strong vanilla, spice and cedar oak overlay. This is a very well made wine in a commercial style to appeal to people with a certain palate preference. 88/100

Mega Spileo Mystic Sparkling
Charmat method made from Greek varieties, from 2020 and 2021. 2022 will be added to this. Then the wine spends 6 months on lees after fermentation. This is still experimental. There’s lovely fruit here with grapey richness and then some mandarin and lemon brightness. Lovely weight in the mouth with a touch of sweetness on the finish. Fun, but with a twist of complexity. 88/100

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