Kir-Yianni Naoussa 2018

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Tasting Notes

Medium aromatics with notes of cherry, licorice root, black raspberry, soil, and flowers. On the palate this medium-bodied wine is still youthful showing flavors of black cherry, crushed rocks, kalamata olives and wet forest floor. It is complex and will continue to develop with time. It has medium (to perhaps plus) acidity with beautiful dusty tannins.

Grapes for this wine come from estate and family-managed vineyards, all certified sustainable. The fruit grows on poor, sandy soils at high altitude and is harvested manually at low yields (averaging less than 2.5 kg/vine). At the winery, the fruit is sorted by hand, crushed, and goes through a six-day cold soak prior to fermentation. Fermentation temperature remains below 25°C; one third of the must ferments in open-top tanks with punchdowns, the rest in closed tanks. Lots are blended five months after harvest, and the final racking takes place about six months later. The wine ages 18 months in 225-liter and 500-liter French and American oak, about 25% new, and a further six months in bottle before release. 2015 was the first vintage of this wine.

Naoussa is located in central Macedonia, surrounded by Albania, the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia, and Bulgaria to the north; Turkey to the east; and the Aegean Sea to the south. The climate in central Macedonia varies widely, but generally, it is cooler than most of Greece.  Although it is a mountainous region, agriculture is the mainstay of the economy. Naoussa is the largest appellation in the region, consisting of nine villages at 500-1300 feet above sea level. Red wines dominate, depending heavily on the famous local grape Xinomavro (“acid black,” an apt name).  This grape is often compared to Nebbiolo from Barolo because of its color and high levels of tannin and acidity as well as its ability to age well. It is a difficult grape to grow, sensitive to rot and botrytis, and failing to ripen fully in some years.  It requires careful winemaking and oak aging to produce balanced wine; when well made, it is complex, with aromas of small red fruits, a full mouthfeel with blackberry and plum notes, and a long finish.

Yiannis Boutaris was a leading figure in the Greek wine world when he left the family company his grandfather founded in 1879 to start his own business, Kir-Yianni, some 22 years ago. (The name means “Lord John,” a nickname he acquired after several terms as mayor of Thessaloniki.) Kir-Yianni specializes in Xinomavro, with two 30+-year-old vineyards now run by Yiannis’ son Stelios.


Food Pairing Suggestions

Charcuterie, Cheese, Chicken/Turkey, Duck, Fish-full flavored (salmon/tuna), Grilled preparations, Ham, Lamb, Mushrooms, Pizza, Roasted Root Vegetables, Tomato Sauce

Greece , Naoussa
Grape Varietal:
100% Xinomavro
$18.00 each