Commandaria – a new face for an ancient wine

Marcos Zambartas of Zambartas Winery in Cyprus

Caroline Gilby MW reports that Cyprus’s national treasure has received an elegant update in the hands of three ambitious winemakers, including Marcos Zambartas, pictured above.

I see a lot of parallels between the legendary Commandaria of Cyprus and Hungary’s Tokaji Aszú. Both are sweet wines with long histories, both described as ‘wine of kings and king of wines’, at different times (Commandaria by Richard the Lionheart in 1192, Tokaji much later by Louis XIV) and enjoyed on royal tables across Europe. And both lost their way and their quality for a few decades of the 20th century, becoming dark, sticky...