(2021) From a winery seen as a bastion of traditional, more tannic Naoussa, this spends 12 months in French oak, 40% new, but fully 30 months more ageing in bottle before release. More brick and amber to the colour here, some leafy, slightly green-flecked aromas, herbs and seeds and plummy, olive-touched fruit. On the palate the 2016 fruit is really sweet, creamy and forward, though it butts against strident tannins and acidity, the sides of the mouth drying, but that holds the fruit together in a powerful, structured food wine.
(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 and the edge. Arguably slightly austere acidity might be too much, but the fruit weight and suppleness really does make for a big, satisfying wine.
(2021) Organically certified, this comes from a winery founded in 1840 and one of the oldest in the region. It was made in stainless steel, then aged only six months in French and Hungarian oak, a variety of barrel ages and sizes. The current winemaking member of the family trained in Burgundy. Ruby with a broad rim that is slightly faded. Matthew talked about fragrance and sweetness, but my sample was corked: there is definitely a TCA note for me, therefore it would be unfair to complete the note. A token score of 80 on this example, just because my database demands a score. If I taste a sound sample I will update.
(2021) Vineyards at 280 - 330 metres, 80% of the blend spends 16 months in French and American oak barriques, the remainder in larger 500-litre barrels. Medium ruby red, light on the rim. There's a crushed raspberry and juicy black berry fruit here, boldy fruity with some background spice and that characteristic floral/violet lift. At 14.5% this is warmed by the alcohol, filling the mouth with substantial sweet fruit, maybe feeling the tiniest bit pruney to me, but the freshness of the acid and tannin does balance.
(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.
(2021) From quite high altitude vineyards at 350 - 450-metres in the south of the Naoussa region. It was fermented with wild yeasts and spent 18 months in larger, 500-litre older barrels. Some ruby warmth and lightness to the colour, the nose nicely lifted, incense, florals and spices, something of red liquorice too. Abundant sweetness on the palate, a really juicy, racy burst of juicy fruit, the acidity is punchy and the tannins give a nicely sandy grip. The oak underpins giving a plummy, creamy layer in a fairly large-scaled but fruit-filled wine.
(2021) Harvest for this cuvée takes place in October, with well-ripened, fully mature grapes, so a touch of sweetness would be expected. It is vinified in oak barrels where the wine ages on fine lees for 11 months. In practice the wine is sweet only in terms of fruit ripeness, a certain weight to the texture too, but clean and bright Chenin aromatics running from apple into firm peach, a little lusciousness on the lips before very good acidity kicks through. Could work with aromatic Chinese food this one.
(2021) Made with wild yeasts again, with 18 months in French oak barrels, 35% new and another nicely pale Pinot. So much sweet truffle, coffee and forest floor here, but a depth of ripe fruit too as another layer. That richness, that suggestion of mocha, is there on the palate, but the keen raspberry edge of the fruit and acidity sharpens everything up. This has great fruit but an unwavering clarity too, and lots of savoury orange and grapefruit in the mix for a formidable example of Marlborough Pinot at, or near, it's best.
(2021) This is 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot, aged 15 months French and American oak. There's something a little bit nutty on the nose here, tobacco-spicy and touch herbal that proceeds typical blackcurrant aromas of the Cabernet. On the palate a big, sweet surge of black fruit, really intense and concentrated, fruit skin bite, firm tannins and keen black plum acids in a powerhouse style, but retains excellent freshness too.
(2021) Made from the still relatively rare Sauvignon Gris, which has seen something of a mini-boom in Chile, this has some pungency and herbaceous, nettly character, but a musky melon note too. In the mouth this is richer than most Sauvignons Blanc, mealy and textured, with bold peach and crisp apple fruit giving sweetness and a bit of cut, a wine you might not drink a lot of I suspect, but rather delicious for a glass or two.