Mandilari/Mandilaria is an indigenous Cretan variety with a wide presence across Crete and many other islands. It participates in the blends of the PDO wines of Peza and Archanes in Crete, as well as in Paros, while it is the sole grape in the red PDO Rhodes wines.
A typical red from Mandilari boasts a characteristically deep dark red color, vibrant fruity nose, strong tannins and high acidity. It is usually blended with softer, rounder varieties Kotsifali and Liatiko, as well as spicy Syrah. Bottle aging is highly recommended.
Understandably, Mandilari wines are good matches with intense flavors, red meat, spicy recipes with hot sauces, smoked cold-cuts and sausages.