(2021) A very small production for this wine, from a winery producing a total of 13,000 bottles annually. Vines here are 40 years old, it spends two years in French oak, 40% of which is new. A slightly deeper ruby colour again, lots of pencil shavings and dustiness on the nose over black fruits, a little bit of old rose perfume somewhere in there. The palate has lovely fruit: supple and ripe, that cedary quality is on the palate too, the tannins grippy and dry adding an edge. Arguably slightly austere acidity might be too much, but the fruit weight and suppleness really does make for a big, satisfying wine.
(2021) Only 12.5% alcohol here as opposed to the Thymiopoulos at 14%, so quite a different style. It's a 2015, but the colour is dramatically lighter, maybe just a touch of brick-colour on the rim. It is made in stainless steel, though the final 12 months of its 26-month ageing is in Hungarian oak. More truffle and and undergrowth, light fudge-character, again, the floral lift to the red fruits is there. In the mouth it has softness to the fruit, although the Xinomavro acidity and dusty, fine tannins add plenty of savour and grip. Very elegant and nicely balanced.
(2019) From Naoussa and 100% Xinomavro, this comes from a small, single-vinyard plot. Deep ruby in colour, there is real lift and fragrance, wild garrigue herbs and flowers, Laspang souchon tea, and taut black berry fruit, quite dry and mineral. In the mouth it is both fruit-forward and subtly mineral, very precise, slaty acids and dry tannins, but the inherent sweetness and intensity of the black fruit, cherry skins and tart blackcurrant, gives elegance and polish. Long and concentrated without every throwing its weight around, it is a lovely, lovely wine.
(2019) Greek wine lover Peter Pharos recently wrote an article for wine-pages all about the region of Naoussa and the quality of its wines made from the Xinomavro grape, specifically citing this wine as "one of the best value-for-money wines globally." Another densely-coloured red, there's an intriguing lift of kirsch and over-ripe red berries on the nose; not stewed, but super fragrant and pungent, Italian tinned tomatoes, clove and liquorice and fascinating herbal qualities too. In the mouth it is a structured, dense and firm wine, big dry tannins immediately clamping down, that meatiness and balsamic quality, the savoury olive and umami character much more on the black fruit spectrum as sinewy acidity and those tannins, matched by fruit concentration, drive the finish. Needs a steak or venison maybe, and perhaps an hour in a decanter before serving. A much bigger wine than the other Xinomavros in this portfolio.
(2019) A Syrah-dominated blend, along with 30% Merlot and 10% Xinomavro, fruit comes from Naoussa and the wine is aged for 16 months in small barrels, of French and American oak. What an elegant and sophisticated nose on this wine, all graphite and cedar, some wild herbs and flowers, smokiness and an intense blue-black fruit. In the mouth it is smooth and rich, supple tannins and an integrated black cherry acidity barely ruffling the plum and blueberry fruit. Quite grippy in the finish as the tannins bite a little more, but spicy, intense and a bit of a star.
(2019) This was the first unoaked Xinomavro to on the market a decade ago, after several years of experimenting in how to tame the tannins of the Xinomavro variety. Decanter magazine obviously thinks they've managed that, awarding this vintage 93/100 and naming it one of their 50 'Most Exciting Wines of 2018'. Ruby in colour, there's a lovely cranberry and pomegranate, maybe dried fruit character on the nose, a little exotic note of strawberry/lychee in the background. In the mouth that sweet softness of pulpy red fruits is there, not underripe, but cool and herbal too, enough of a roughening edge of tannin and acidity to give it energy, in a lovely medium-bodied wine that is agile and light, and very moreish.