(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 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) 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. A very fragrant wine, with all sorts of exotically floral, incense-like notes, some herbaceous twigs and briar and pomegranate fruit. In the mouth there's a sweet, soft and enveloping pool of spicy fruit. It has medium length, crunchy tannins and good acidity, and is a distinctive wine indeed.
(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) At five years of age the colour of this Xinomavro from Naoussa is broadly brick and tawny on the rim, and the wine does smell rather mature. It spent 12 months in French oak barrels (40% new) and a further 30 months in bottle, and there are tapenade and tinned Italian plum tomato notes on the nose that for me are not terribly attractive. The palate is dry - I would say drying - with vestiges of sweet, perhaps overripe fruit. Though I am not 100% convinced this particular sample was in A1 condition, I couldn't give this a whole-hearted recommendation.
(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.