Boutari Naoussa 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The Boutari family has been crafting wines from Greek varietals since 1879, when Yiannis Boutari first started producing red wines in the small northern village of Naoussa. Since that first vintage the family has become a pioneer of Greek wines. From exporting the first bottled red wine from Greece to reviving lost varietals, Boutari now crafts wines from six different regions using varietals that are grown nowhere else in the world. In a constant quest for improvement Boutari maintains "demonstration" vineyards around Greece where local farmers are invited to learn new methods and techniques for improving their grapes. The results have been astounding: Boutari has been named an International Winery of the Year by Wine and Spirits 19 times – only 5 wineries in the world have received the award more times. Achievements such as developing the modern style of Santorini to reviving lost varietals have garnered lavish praise from the wine press and spawned a generation of high-quality Greek wines made by vintners who cut their teeth under the tutelage of the Boutari family.
Naoussa is home to one of Greece’s most age-worthy reds: Xinomavro. Flourishing on the sun-exposed, southeastern-facing slopes of Mount Vermio between 700 to 1,700 feet in elevation, some say Xinomavro is Greece's red counterpart to its famous white, Assyrtiko. Others liken it to Italy's well-respected, highly perfumed and powerful, Nebbiolo.
Native to Greece, Xinomavro is widely regarded the finest red wine of the country. Its name literally means “acid black”, and attains fullest potential in the country’s northwest region of Naoussa. These single varietal bottlings of Xinomavro (blending is not allowed here) are often compared to the fine Barolos of Italy for their structure, finesse and age-worthiness. While its vines are fickle and blue-black grapes grow in tight clusters, similar to Nebbiolo, Xinomavro actually appears unrelated. Somm Secret—The use of French oak can help tame Xinomavro but too much can overwhelm it. Some eschew oak entirely during winemaking; other producers use locally-grown walnut.