Most wine lovers enjoy buying extraordinary wines and cellaring them for long periods of time. The pleasure to try the wines during different stages of maturity is not only very educational, but also extremely rewarding for pure pleasure. In Greece, this is not the common thing to do; most wines are consumed shortly after their release. The current 2007 vintage for Xinomavro is in my opinion outstanding – and begs to be cellared for many years, if not decades, to come. I had the opportunity to taste many samples a couple of days ago, and I am deeply impressed with the terrific quality.
The annual Voroina wine exhibition took place in the heart of Athens, where the wineries of Northern Greece showed their current vintages. Last year I went in the evening, and the event was so well visited that I had a hard time evaluating the wines. This year, I was able to visit at noon, when the Voroina was only open to wine professionals. Having said that, after an hour the exhibition was again very well attended.
I focused mainly on tasting wines from producers that I was not that familiar with, as I have tasted many wines from the well known producers like Pavlidis, Wine Art Estate, Gerovassiliou, Kir Yiannis, Alpha Estate, Biblia Chora or Katsaros over the last view months.
My personal highlight of the day was the Xinomavro 2007 from Argatia, a small producer from Rodochori, Naoussa. The wine is very complex with an incredible concentration.
The Goumenissa 2007 from the Aidarinis Winery is made from 30-year old vines and is a blend of 70% Xinomavro and 30% Negoska. It is very elegant in style, but has a real bite to it.
Another small producer from Goumenissa is the Tatsis Estate. Their 2007 Goumenissa showed earthy and vegetal characteristics with firm tannins.
The new Elinos Estate in Naoussa (I do like their name :) impressed me with their Naoussa Xinomavro 2007, full bodied, yet elegant.
For white wines, highlights included a 2009 Malagousia from Claudia Papayianni, with explosive exotic fruit aromas, and an elegant cool-climate style 2009 Gewurztraminer from Dio Fili.
I will certainly stock up my own cellar with multiple cases of the Xinomavro 2007 vintage (NOT limited to the above mentioned wines), and can only recommend to anyone to keep an eye out for these wines.