Xinomavro 2007 in

Date posted: 13/02/2011

The 2007 vintage was not uniform in all regions. Only the best-farmed sites produced very good wines; a few, even great. The lack of spring rainfall and periodic heatwaves left  many vineyards with water-stressed vines.  A Syrah in Drama was not irrigated in July, despite the obvious signals, and is so far the most blunted varietal I have recently come across.  Does anyone tell them about these just unattractive drying tannins?
Another northern region with tannin-management issues is Naoussa, one of the four Xinomavro playgrounds, where this great grape, particular to the north-western Macedonia, is cultivated.
The Argatia vineyards, just north of Yanakohori, are just outside the appellation boundaries. No matter. In fact, many of the farmers of this scattered and fragmented vineyard should take a closer look at what ampelographer, author and now winemaker Haroula Spinthiropoulou is doing in her organically farmed vineyards.  Yields, canopy management and carefully planned irrigation anyone can do. As she walks me through her vines, she adds, “Each plot is managed according to its own rhythm; the aim is harmony”.  I will add patience and risk taking. Xinomavro is a late ripener. It is this coaxing to get the tannic, high-acid grape phenolically ripe that marks out the handful of current top-performing Naoussa addresses.
Darker than the paler ruby red we are accustomed to from this grape. A hint of sweetness on the floral aromatics (peonies?). Spice. Coconut (American oak), not overly done, integrated sweetness. Juicy fruit. Firm but ripe tannins. A richly flavoured, austere aftertaste of refreshing acidity.  Entering a closing-down period.  All xinomavro varietals and blends benefit from carafing.  Best 2011-2021