May 9, 2013

Naoussa & Santorini

So, the last seven days have flown by. Two days in Naoussa, one in Thessaloniki/Epanomi followed by three in Santorini.

A few impressions thus far:
Naoussa; Xinomavro is truly a noble Greek grape. Those who farm their own vineyards well or have access to good fruit should play with wild ferments. Some already do and some are trialling, both with excellent results. 2011 is an excellent vintage. ie; if you can’t make good wine in a vintage like this, you should probably think about changing your occupation. 2012 could potentially be the shoulder vintage that people overlook.

Santorini; amazingly, this place is more intoxicating than the post cards suggest. 70% of the vines hug the ground on the South West of the island, under the watchful gaze of the village of Pyrgos. The best dry wines are made from Assyrtiko, however the few straight Aidani’s being produced are impressive wines. Santorini does produce reds from Mandilaria & Mavrotragano to varying degrees of success, but you generally pay handsomely for the good ones.

A few vinous highlights:
2010 Karanika Brut, Blanc de noir Xinomavro. Excellent.
2011 Kir Yianni Paranga, Xinmavro blend. An entry level red from Amyndeon, superb value. In fact all the 11′s are looking great, just waiting to see the final blends.
2012 Gerovassiliou Estate White, Malagousia & Assyrtiko. A fun wine, the best vintage I’ve tried of it.
2008 Dalamara Negoska*. My first time tasting Negoska and it was impressive!
2012 Thymiopoulos Xinomavro Nature. BD, No added sulphur and immensely drinkable.
2011 Hatzidakis Aidani*. Bright, interesting wine.
2012 Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko. Great fruit with excellent mouthfeel.
Vinsanto’s from Argyros, I tried three from this estate. All excellent.

*both Dalamara & Hatzidakis are imported into Australia through Andrew Phillpot of the Press Club.




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