Papagiannakos Retsina 2022 Review – Wine With Resin

Published by Jeremy.

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Retsina is an interesting style of wine made in Greece that is made in memory of the historic winemaking practice from millennia ago.

Winemaking in early Greece involved sealing amphorae with resin in order to minimize contact with the air. Some of that resin made its way into the wine, and tastes started to like the pine-y flavor that the resin added.

After moving to more traditional winemaking methods, some producers opted to add resin to wine to keep this flavor despite not needing it for production purposes, and modern day Retsina is the result!

I had always wanted to get my hands on a bottle of Retsina to see what it is like, and when I found Papagiannakos Retsina, I knew I had to try it. While not my preferred style, I have to admit, it isn't bad!

Retsina Has an Interesting Pine Character for Wine

Papagiannakos Retsina

This Retsina was medium lemon in color with medium(+) aromas of pear, yellow apple, lemon, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, menthol, wet stone, elderflower, hay, and a mild barnyard funk.

On the palate, it was dry with medium(+) acidity and body, medium alcohol and flavor intensity, and a long finish. We had notes of lemon, lime, wet stone, pear, grapefruit, pineapple, pine, and thyme. There was also a light phenolic texture of note as well.

Ignoring the obvious notes of pine, which was perhaps the most interesting note in this wine, the hay and barnyard notes on the end of this one reminded us a bit of a dry sherry in terms of style. Somehow, it was an oddly fitting complement to the resin notes that we actually quite appreciated!

Retsina Food Pairing – Mediterranean Dips

Retsina Food Pairing - Dips

We paired this one with a mix of Mediterranean-inspired dips like hummus and other blends with homemade pita. The intense flavors of the dips with strong oil backbones really helped bring out more pear notes in the wine almost to an overwhelming degree.

Could the pairing have been a bit better? Sure. But if you like pear, this is also a decent combination. I'd like to see what this one is like with a white fish with Mediterranean flavors myself to increase the intensity of the food ever-so-slightly with the wine!

Score: 3 / 5

We'd buy a glass of this one.

We have to admit, we really didn't know what to expect when opening our first bottle of Retsina, and Papagiannakos' bottle had unique flavors that we have to admit were nicely integrated. These flavors are not necessarily for us, but if you like notes of pine and hay in a wine, or simply want to try something new like we did, we would definitely recommend checking this one out. That said, it was still flavorful enough for us that we would happily drink a glass in most circumstances, too!

Papagiannakos is located at Πούσι-Καλογέρι, in Markopoulo Mesogeas, Greece. We purchased this bottle on and enjoyed it in 2024.

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