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The wine tasting notes of Julia Harding


Date posted: 19/02/2012

Xinomavro 2008 White 2011 Red 2011

Last January, Julia Harding MW (JOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, Portuguese Wine Awards 2011) had tasted our wines.

Hear are her notes, which are also visible in www.JancisRobinson.com

Argatia Red 2011 Regional Wine of Macadonia

16/20

Drink 2012-13

An unoaked blend of Xinomavro, Negoska, Mavrodaphne and Moschomavro.

Glowing, relatively deep crimson colour with a touch of purple. Delightfully fragrant on the nose – sweet red cherry dominates and a slight herbal note. Xinomavro's firm, dry tannic grip is evident and increases the freshness of the wine. Structured but with plenty of fruit, cherry cough linctus flavour. Maybe a little too firm to be drunk on its own but would be great all-round food wine. Finishes with a reminder of that lovely cherry fruit but not for those who like who don't like tannin. Lots of pleasure and good length. You could drink it now but might be even better in a year's time.

 

Argatia  Xinomavro 2008 Regional Wine of Macedonia

17/20

Drink 2013-18

Bottle heavier than it needs to be. Cold pre-fermentation soak. 14 months in French and US oak.

Red cherry colour, a little paler than the red blend. Intense aroma of red fruit and herbs, and a gentle orange note – the classic sweet but not simple fruit of Xinomavro. Very inviting. Chewy, fresh benchmark Ximomavro. Marked tannins and acidity but balanced by the juicy red fruit. You can taste a little oak spice, plus some oak tannin, I think, here but there is no unnecessary sweetness – certainly not the sweetness I often associate with US oak. Long. cool and the fruit scent remains on the finish even with all that tannin.  Needs time or food. 

 

Argatia  Xinomavro 2007 Regional Wine of Macedonia

16.5+/20

Drink 2013-17

Cold pre-fermentation soak. 12-14 months in barrel in French and US oak. A little more deeply coloured than the 2008 and slightly less bright. Oak more marked than on the 2008 (more new oak or more US oak perhaps?). Also has the beginnings of more complex tertiary aromas such as leather but the bright herbal red fruits are still prominent, as is that note of orange that was there on the 2008, even something a little floral. On the palate, the tannins are more powdery and a little more assertive, as if it were going into a phase where it needs to be left alone for a while, though there's still some lovely red fruit in the middle.  

 

Argatia Xinomavro 2005 Regional Wine of Macedonia

16.5+/20

Drink 2012-16

Cold pre-fermentation soak. 8 months in barrel in French and US oak. Moving from crimson to ruby but still youthful-looking colour. Initially more closed on the nose than either the 2008 or the 2007 but it opens up in the glass. Maybe that's the oak effect. Fruit smells darker and a little spicier too, with a meaty note coming through. Fresh and dry and less evident fruit on the finish than in the younger vintages. Less perfumed but perhaps more structured, more savoury, covering more of the red fruit.  I think this needs longer to be ready unless you have a good piece of red meat to go with it. Overall firmer tannic structure than the 2008 and the 2007 but again there's fruit to permit longevity.

 

Argatia White 2011 Regional Wine of Macedonia

16/20

Drink 2012-15

Am unoaked blend of Assyrtiko (45%), Malagousia (45%) and Athiri (10%). Pale lemon colour. Very attractive nose combining citrus, green fruits and quince with a marked mineral, flinty note. Clean and zesty on the palate, with a light phenolic grip adding texture and length and very fresh fruit and acidity. Relatively light weight on the mid palate but very persistent and minerally on the finish. Sour, clean citrus refreshing aftertaste. Greek Chablis!

 




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