In case you didn't catch that, the grape name is Xinomavro, and it is Greek.
Great grandfather Ioannis Boutari established a vinyard in Naoussa, 1879. Passing hands through generations, the now presidente Constantine Boutari (video left) and his daughter Marino operate the group. The family has claim to the first bottled red wine in the greek market and the oldest winemaking group in Greece. Although Boutari now produces from several regions, their Naoussa vineyards remain a flagship.
About the region...
Naoussa is a mono-varietal appellation in the mountainous northern Greece, dedicated entirely to Xinomavro. This region is renowned for producing the top tier expressions of the grape, recieving adequate rainfall and sustaining a long season for maturity. Soils are reportedly diverse, with a majority limestone, sand and clay.
About the grape...
Xinomavro is quite robust, with thick skin, high yields, and resistance to disease. Compliments of complexity, high acid, and high tannin are frequent. Rustic flavours are typical. In my readings I've found frequent relations to Pinot Noir, and in my drinking's I can see why. I find no indication of plantings outside of Greece.
For the 'Grande Reserve' status in Greece, two years in barrel followed by at least another two in bottle before releasing is mandatory. Boutari uses new French oak and claims these Grande Reserve bottlings will celler 12-15 years. Drinking the 04 at the seven year mark, I feel like this wine is perfectly ready for me. [and/or vice verse] Its remaining fruits are very deeply imbedded with little to their freshness. These fruits seem to form the backbone of the flavour profile in a very old, concentrated style. Notes of orange fig, date, and prune. The essence of the wine is built in some structure of earthy layers upon this backbone. I got distinct impressions of cool climate and a stoney & clay terroir. Notes of fresh and burnt cedar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and mahogany. In overview, this is an earthy, dry, mid weight wine. It is somewhat akin to a rustic Burgundy. There is lively acidity going in and a handful of elegant tannin coming out, with as many descriptors as you can imagine between.
A big impressionist riddled with subtleties.
This wine is low in fruit and high in reflectivity. It's a complex and ethereal wine that drinks absolutely delicious. We squeezed our bottle for every drop and went back for more. Considering its age, potential, and sheer drinking quality, its price value seems ridiculous. I cant recommend it enough. Grap this bottle from Wine Ink on 17th for $19.85, and stick it in the fridge while you throw chicken (or pork) and potatoes on the barbie. Season with dry tarragon and paprika. When your chicken comes off, open the vino and proceed indulgence. I didn't notice a particular need for oxidation, but some sloshing in burgundy stems certainly didn't hurt.