The name Hüpnos, which translates as 'sleep' in Greek, refers to the dormant volcano Mount Karvounis where the vineyard site is located. The soils are a mixture of basalt and limestone, well-known for the electrifying effects they can have on wines from similarly volcanic sites. This particular wine is an experiment with maceration, and to ensure the aromatic components of the grapes are retained as much as possible the grapes were hand harvested in the cool of the night, followed by a long whole-bunch maceration of forty days in steel then some time in big old 500-litre barrels. Unsurprisingly Hüpnos is the most complex of Sous le Végétal collection; layered aromatics, texture, tension and a pervading minerality.
Sous le Végétal is an exciting new project from young Greek winemaker Jason Ligas, in partnership with the Auvergne epicurean Patrick Bouju, based on the island of Samos. The project very much focusses on a return to traditional methods to express an indigenous grape varietal, Muscat de Samos, over the varied and unique micro-terroirs of this volcanic island. It is certain that Bouju's involvement in the project (as well as Clovis Ochin of Yard, Paris notoriety) will provide the seal of approval necessary to lead a new set of open-minded drinkers to discover and enjoy the wines of this ancient and often underrated winemaking nation.