(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.
(2013) Made by Apostolos Thymiopoulos in the central Greek mainland, this is a blend of the native Malagouzia (70%) and Roditis (30%) that weighs in with a featherweight 12% alcohol. It seems to me that it could well be Greece's white wines that are its aces in the pack - especially those from the islands, but also wines like this. It is a powerfully aromatic, floral and ripe pear-scented wine that has some delicately herbal and exotic aspects that remind me of Torrontés and Gewürztraminer. It bursts with fruit and flavour on the palate, a piercing note of green-streaked acidity bracing the wine, and leading to a crisp, clean and elegant finish with a hint of sweetness in the background.
(2003) Fantastic ripeness here; lush mulberry and mint aromas verging on being a little volatile. Attractive palate, with sweet fruit and a little herb and raspberry pertness. A bit odd overall.
(2003) Good nose of red plums and blackcurrant, some cedary hints, and thankfully tones down the oak a little. The palate has a dusty quality to the fruit and drying tannins, though there is a cool classiness with glimpses of gravel and earth, and lots of silky tannic finesse.
(2003) This blends Cabernet Sauvignon with the local Limnio. Very odd nose. Somehow I am reminded of being at the dentist! There are notes of incense, burning candles, sandalwood and all sorts of exoticism. The palate is full and textured, with some sweet, ripe black fruit set against a firm tannic framework, but possibly a little hollow on the mid palate.
(2001) Made from 100% indigenous Xinomavro, this has a very attractive nose of minty blackcurrant and blackcurrant leaf with creamy, ripe berries. Very fresh. On the palate a soft tannic structure underpins lighter black fruits that are quite juicy and nicely acidic. Medium-bodied, and finishes with style.