Thymiopoulos “Naoussa Alta” Xinomavro

If you love wines made from grapes like Nebbiolo or Pinot Noir—or both—then Xinomavro might just be a new revelation for you. Like the warrior princess, Xena, you pronounce this grape (and the wine that’s made from it) with a “Z” sound. “ZEE-no-MAH-vroh.” Also like Xena, Xinomavro comes from Greece (although we know where Lucy is actually from, don’t we?) Xinomavro is one of the most classic grapes of Greece, and one of the most exciting red wines coming out of Europe to be “rediscovered” by the contemporary wine world over the last decade. With finesse and elegance that reminds us of Burgundy, and aromas and tannin structure that make us think Piemonte, this is a standout wine. It’s also from an especially good vintage by a winemaker who was named Decanter Magazine’s “rising star of 2022.”

Apostolos Thymiopoulos is still relatively young (by our standards anyway), but his name is becoming synonymous with both quality and focus as welll as innovation and environmental stewardship within the Greek wine scene. 

Wait, you didn’t know there was a “Greek wine scene?” Oh, yes indeed! And if you’re still a bit new to the incredibly interesting and delicious wines coming from this country, let this particular wine be one of your gateway drops! 

Xinomavro is one of northern Greece’s prized red grape varieties. The name actually means “acid black” in Greek–a name that refers to the incredible balance between acidity and tannin that this variety exhibits (simnilar to the Italian Nebbiolo variety!). Never one to go by halves, Apostolos Thymiopoulos focuses all his attention on this high-altitude-loving little grape. So much so that he makes 10 different expressions of Xinomavro, trying to reveal every aspect of its potential! 

The Naoussa Alta bottling is made from organically grown, non-irrigated vines (making the vines struggle always makes the wine more concentrated and interesting) planted 25 years ago. The grapes are fermented in whole clusters as opposed to being crushed and destemmed, so you get a bit of enhancement in the strucure and spice profile. The result is the perfect unique combination of a rather deceptive light ruby colour with lush, ripe cherry and raspberry jam on the nose and palate, but with spice and herbs and leather and tannin all elegantly weaving their way through the fruit, too.  






About This Wine

Schist and granite soils
Pairing pork belly, coppa or other wonderfully fatty thin-sliced pork based charcuterie,