Posts Tagged ‘Naoussa’

Five Greek Wines


A few months ago John, at MacArthur Beverages, recommended several Greek wines for me to try at a Greek-inspired lunch held at my mom’s house.  John’s taste for pure expressions of indigenous grapes always provides new experiences for my palate.  Apparently, they satisfied my extended family as well.  While I manned the grill the 2018 Troupis Winery, Hoof & Lur, Moschofilero Wild Ferment and 2018 Domaine Zefeirakis, Rose Limniona, Tyrnavos were almost drunk to completion.  I only managed two short notes.  The former is substantial Moschofilero, in no way strange, and utterly drinkable.  The later is a floral and chalky rose with some attractive racy body.

Of the red wines, the 2016 Argatia Winery, Haroula red, Macedonia is a light and juicy, floral wine for the near term.  My favorite wine is the 2013 Domaine Glinavos, Vlahiko, Ioannina.  Served blind, the old-school mature flavors would confuse most as would the blend being Vlahiko and Bekari.  I really enjoyed the surprise.  Finally, the 2010 Taralas Family Winery, Mavro, Naoussa also offers plenty of mature, dry flavors yet still retains fruit.

2018 Troupis Winery, Hoof & Lur, Moschofilero Wild Ferment – $20
Selected by DNS Wines. Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  A dried rose tinge.  Skin contact fruit on the nose.  A round wine full of flavor in the mouth but with fresh acidity.  *** Now.

2018 Domaine Zefeirakis, Rose Limniona, Tyrnavos – $16
Imported by T. Elenteny Imports. Alcohol 12%.  Of pink rose petals.  An acidity driven start with clean and fresh flavors that are a little tart and chalky.  With some warmth, dry pastille flavors with a touch of racy body in the finish.  *** Now.

2016 Argatia Winery, Haroula red, Macedonia – $16
Imported by Verity Wine Partners.  This wine is a blend of 50% Xinomavro with 50% Negoska and Mavrodaphne.  Alcohol 13%.  Firm flavors of cherry and floral pastilles.  Black fruit supports the wine from the middle with a very, dry, yet appropriate structure.  Overall, pretty and floral, light and juicy.  **(*) Now – 2022.

2013 Domaine Glinavos, Vlahiko, Ioannina – $26
Imported by T. Elenteny. This wine is a blend of Vlahiko and Bekari. Alcohol 12%.  Old-school on the nose with some high-toned celery.  Old school in the mouth, maturing, with tart red fruity and a dry finish.  Completely surprising and I like if for that reason.  *** Now but will last.

2010 Taralas Family Winery, Mavro, Naoussa – 
Imported by Verity Wine Partners. This wine is 100% Xinomavro. Alcohol 13%.    A focused core of fruit, dry black flavors, leather, and a dry finish are all perfectly integrated with the structure.  The wine is in its second phase, already full of bottle-aged complexity.  It finishes dry.  *** Now – 2024.

A solid Greek trio

I brought a trio of Greek wines to my brother-in-law’s house a week ago. The two red wines were recommended to me by John Fitter but the 2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina  was a random grab.  Not knowing what a “Traditional Semi-sparkling Orange Wine” from Greece would taste like, I just could not resist my curiosity.  It is surprisingly round and complex at first.  I would almost swear it is an infusion herbs and flowers with wine.  It is quite drinkable but is frustrating short in the mouth.  The 2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa smells great and will tempt any fan of maturing Southern Rhone wines.  It is firm in the mouth and did not give up the level of mature flavors promised by the nose.  Still, it is a wine to try and if you do so I would try double-decanting it.  Finally, the 2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea is a bright, lively blend of red and blue fruit with some oak hints.  It is a wine that should please many. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2015 Domaine Glinavos, Paleokerisio, Ioannina – $13 (500mL)
Alcohol 10.5%. Imported by T. Elenteny Imports.  It is a cloudy, tawny orange color.  There is surprising roundness to the sweet, moderately sparkling start.  The flavors are immediately complex blending cardamom, sweet orange juice, and floral notes.  There is even a mineral bit.  Unfortunately the finish is very short.  ** Now.


2011 Kokkinos, Xinomavro, Naoussa – $17
Imported by Oenos.  The light volume of maturing aromas are attractive but do not prepare one for the firm red and black fruit in the mouth.  There is good flavor, almost like a rather firm Southern Rhone wine.  It wraps up with polished wood notes and focused ripe flavors.  ** Now – 2020.


2013 Skouras, Saint George Agiorgitiko, Nemea – $17
Imported by Diamond Wine Imports.  This wine is 100% Agiorgitiko aged for 12 months in used oak.   Alcohol 13.5%.  The good nose offers up red and blue fruits with a hint of vanilla.  In the mouth is a bright, linear delivery of flavor driven by nearly lively acidity.  The structure imposes the linearity but it drinks well right now.  ** Now – 2020.

Bottles of Xinomavro and Limniona

For an everyday red Greek wine you cannot do much better than the 2013 Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Xinomavro Young Vines, Naoussa.  This floral, black and tart berry fruited wine is best drunk on the first night.  The 2011 Domaine Zafeirakis, Limniona, Tyrnavos is progressing since tasted this past summer.  It takes several hours for the lifted, citric, red fruit with cream to show best, though it still leaves the impression of tightness.  I recommend one more year of age.  If you want a change in your routine then grab both of these.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2013 Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Xinomavro Young Vines, Naoussa – $15
Imported by  Athenne Importers.  This wine is 100% Xinomavro.  Alcohol 13%.  With floral, black fruit that is followed by tart berries, this wine offers plenty of forward drinking flavors.  It is a bit dry.  Best on the first night.  ** Now.


2011 Domaine Zafeirakis, Limniona, Tyrnavos – $20
Imported by Oenos LLC.  This wine is 100% Limniona.  Alcohol 13%.  The fine nose makes way to primarily red fruit with some black fruit driven by watering acidity.  With air the flavors become somewhat rounded with lifted red fruit and citrus notes.  As the wine fleshes out it takes on a touch of cream.  ***  2017 – 2022.

A Pair of Greek Wines For Now and Later

February 19, 2014 Leave a comment

This post features two radically different examples of Xinomavro both of which you should try.  This third vintage of 2012 Thymiopoulus Vineyards, Xinomavro Young Vines that we tasted continues to provide satisfaction from the first glass.   I might give an edge to the 2010 vintage but this still deserves to be a part of your daily rotation.  The 2009 Kir-Yianni Estate, Xinomavro, Ramnista has the potential to be really good in several years time.  There is an earthy component in the nose and in the mouth which I was strongly attracted to.  However, this wine is very young right now.  I took my tasting note on the third day but continued to follow the wine for two more days!  I would taste this again in a few years to see how it is evolving.   These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.


2012 Thymiopoulus Vineyards, Xinomavro Young Vines, Naoussa – $15
Imported by Athenne Importers & Distributors.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There was a good nose of fresh and ripe strawberries.  In the mouth were red and black fruit, pleasing tannins, and an exotic floral flavor.  It had a grapey structure and a little upfront weight to the fresh and ripe fruit.  Nice.  ** Now-2017.


2009 Kir-Yianni Estate, Xinomavro, Ramnista, Naoussa – $22
Imported by Dionysos Imports.  This wine is 100% Xinomavro sourced from selected blocks on lighter soils.  Alcohol 14%.  There was a beautiful, earthy nose but in the mouth the flavors were dialed down tight.  There were blacker fruit, a hint of earth, and some very fine drying tannins.  The wine turned tart with graphite in the finish.  Definitely interesting but really needs time.  **(*) 2016-2026.


Continuing Today’s Fun With the 2010 Thymiopoulos, Young Vines

I have lately come across many tasty wines and feel like I barely have enough time to make you aware of them. The 2010 Thymiopoulos, Young Vines is one such example. It recently appeared on the shelves at MacArthur Beverages so I was prompt at purchasing a bottle. Earlier in the Spring I first discovered the 2009 vintage (you may read my post about the wine here and view some pictures here). My enjoyment of the 2009 vintage from Thymiopoulos Vineyards led me on a quest to explore Greek wines. The 2010 vintage of the Young Vines is also lovely, if not better than 2009. According to Andrea Englisis the 2010 vintage was great all over Greece. Beyond the extra year of vineyard maturity, these really are young vines, Apostolos Thymiopoulos decided to produce this wine without any oak influence. This has resulted in a fresh, berry flavored wine that all should try. It might benefit from a year in the cellar but it is fun to drink right now. Many thanks to Andrea for answering my questions. This wine was purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Young Vines, Xinomavro, Naoussa – $15
Imported by Athenee Importers. This wine is 100% Xinomavro. Alcohol 13.5%. The light nose reveals lovely, concentrated fruit aromas. In the mouth the fresh berries mixed with fresh herbs and drying, citrus tannins. With a short amount of air the fruit popsicle flavors become lovely and capture ones attention so much so that you do not mind the young tannins. There is an interesting dark, mineral aftertaste. *** Now-2016.

Pictures of Thymiopoulos Vineyards

March 9, 2012 1 comment

Mount Vermio, Image from Athenee Importers

Andrea Englisis oversees Athenee Importers and was kind enough to provide images of Thymiopoulos Vineyards.  However, I became quite excited to find she called Apostolos Thymiopoulos to answer a few of my questions.  Many thanks to both Andrea and Apostolos for allowing me to enrich the content of my blog.

The Winery, Image from Athenee Importers

The wine region of Naoussa has been producing wine for some time and has been mentioned by foreign travelers in 19th century manuscripts.  Exports expanded during the beginning of the 20th century but the vineyards were devastated by the phylloxera.  In the 1960s the vineyards were replanted with success and money was invested in modern technology. The 1970s and 1980s saw the implementation of wine laws in preparation for joining the European Union.  These laws were based on French wine laws.  During this time French trained agronomists and oenologists returned to Greece and there was a continued influx of new money.

Xinomavro Vineyard, Image from Athenee Importers

The vineyards of Naoussa are located in the south-eastern slopes of Mount Vermio.  The winters are cold and there is plenty of rain in the summer.  Naoussa receives enough rain that irrigation is only used when the young vines require it or during exceptional years.

Old Xinomavro Vineyard, Image from Athenee Importers

Thymiopoulos Vineyards tends the vineyards and produces wines in a biodynamic fashion.

A Xinomavro Vine, Image from Athenee Importers

Apostolos sourced his fruit from his two vineyards.  The Trilofos vineyard located at 180-230 meters and Fytia vineyard located at 230-500 meters.  For the Young Vines 70% of the fruit is sourced from the Trilofos and 30% from the Fytia vineyards.  The “higher altitude vineyards yield fruit with higher acidity, are later ripening and greater fruit concentration.”  Apostolos ages his wines in 500 liter Austrian and French barrels.

We Drink An Appealing Greek Wine Made From Xinomavro

March 8, 2012 3 comments

We have drunk several good wines this past week and this is one of them.  During my last visit to MacArthur Beverages John pointed out some new selections from Western Australia along with this wine from Greece.  The Thymiopoulos family grew grapes for several generation but until recently the fruit was sold to other wineries.  When Apostolos Thymiopoulos completed his oenology studies he returned to the vineyards where he started producing estate bottled wines.  The vineyards contained 35-50 year old vines.  In an effort to increase vine density Apostolos started replanting plots in 2007.  His flagship wine, Uranos, is only made from vines which are 15 years of age or older.  With these young vines now producing suitable fruit he created a new wine for the young fruit aptly named Young Vines.  This wine is made from Xinomavro (“acid black”) sourced from vineyards at Trilofos and Fytia located at the southern tip of Naoussa.  Naoussa is located in the northern part of Greece.  It became  the country’s first appellation in 1971.  During the winter there is snow on Mount Vermio but the summers are exceedingly dry.  The soils contain limestone bedrock and volcanic mixtures at altitude of 180-450 meters.

I highly recommend you try this wine.  This may easily become a daily drinker for your household!

2009 Thymiopoulos Vineyards, Xinomavro, Young Vines, Naoussa – $15
Imported by Athenne Importers & Distributors. This wine is 100% Xinomavro.  The fruit is from 5-15 year old vines.  It is fermented in stainless steel with indigenous yeasts, undergoes malolactic fermentation, then aged for three months with 70% in tank and 30% in used barrels which originally held the Uranos wine.  The color is a light ruby with a garnet rim.  There is a well-done, scented nose with floral and cinnamon-like aromas along with a sweet undertone.  In the mouth there is light to medium bodied red fruit, some weight, and fresh acidity.  The flavors follow the nose, with a cooler climate aspect, and a tart finish with pleasing tannins.  *** Now-2015.