Takeoff, landing. This happens at the first sip. Your tastebuds dance, your palette is flooded with flavor and aroma. And then saliva, lots of saliva. Your oral cavity is filled by its rich structure. But suddenly you're attacked, your gums go numb, split-second stings, saliva again, texture of plum, blackcurrant, sun-dried tomato, lift, long aftertaste, annihilation. A grape that could easily become poetry.
The most unrestrained, uncontrolled, unruly and at the same time disciplined Greek grape. Wild and tame. World Xinomavro Day, you couldn't help but dedicate a day to this multi-talented grape.
Keep it, because here come 6 reasons why you should love Xinomavro.
The Xinomavro in ceramics is the clay, in painting the canvas, and in music the pentagram. I know you will call me, romantic. How else to express that a variety is paraphrased as a must wine for the Easter table in a red, extra tanic wine. At the same time, in an extension of your hand on the beach lounger as a light summer rosé, and the only reason you got close to your wine fridge as a complex age-worthy wine? This grape has many personalities, so many that we worry we haven't discovered them all, and it can accompany you on any occasion. It is serious and relaxed, malleable and multiform. Red, white, rose and sparkling. How can you not appreciate it? I have more.
2. Aging potential
Since we opened the "wine fridge" issue, you should know that Xinomavro keeps its word and promises you that it will stay and get better. If you don't trust easily, it's time to get over it and let go. Why? Its dynamic character, its natural high acidity and its phenolic potential, yes I say those tannins that leave you saliva-less, act as natural preservatives. So, invest in this relationship and give it time. Open your xinomavro after 10 years to see an almost dance-complex profile. Let's speak objectively, Xinomavro is the Greek red that you can leave sleeping on the shelves of your wine fridge in the company of your Chablis for many years, being sure of its evolution.
3. Expectations of complexity
As you understand, psychotherapy always helps, and what else could we call the time that a bottle of yours spends next to the grand cru of your wine fridge? So, the Xinomavro, on its way to adulthood, matures its inelegant adolescent aromas, integrates its haughty astringency, and stabilizes its structure thanks to its sharp acidity. Pale brick color, with calibrated tannins that simply numb your gums, and a host of aromas of red, black fruit, light vegetality and overripe sun-dried tomato that compete with its undistinguished structure. We are waiting.
That would mean expectations.
4. This grape has something human, reactivity and uniqueness
What does reactivity mean? Being called intemperate and being reined in by a reaction. You found the interpretation in the grape, specifically in the Χinomavro. Starting with its cultivation, any Xinomavro producer you ask will tell you, it’s lively and unruly. For it to be disciplined, you must study it strictly and have it up close. Its strong characteristics, the extreme acidity and the tannin that leaves you speechless (literally) are what set it apart, make it timeless and so unique. No Nebbiolo, no Pinot Noir. Xinomavro has its fair share and is envied by other international varieties. Let someone finally say it, xinomavro is xinomavro.
5. It is Greek and yes, ancient
And this perhaps makes us believe more in Greek varieties as Greek consumers and to prefer them, to love them. Xinomavro has deep Greek roots, it is basically ancient if you consider that it has always existed on the Macedonian slopes and it is no coincidence that it has participated in 4 PDOs since the 70s (PDO Naoussa, PDO Goumenissa, PDO Rapsani, PDO Amyntaio). Of course, its name screams Greece, and we Greeks are inventive when it comes to names, which is why xinogaltso and popolka belong to its synonyms. I know, yes, a Bordeaux blend sounds more tempting now, but you should also know that Black of Naoussa, or Xinomavro as we call it anyway, was often the basis for famous French wines due to phylloxera a century ago. Since the French appreciated it then, maybe we should think about it too. After all, so many Greek producers who you call artists choose it, they know something.
If you like to play with the combinations, not the basics, leave the braised beef aside. The multi-face character of xinomavro is convenient and easily accessible. Yes, to aged Xinomavros with T-bone, and bone-in with elaborate pepper sauces, grilled pleurotus mushrooms with balsamic and arugula, baked papoutsaki. Yes, to the rosé fruity Xinomavros, like Moschopolis 8- Moschopolis Winery, with grilled octopus, steamed mussels, Napolitana pasta and margherita pizzas, salmon linguine. Yes, to rosé bubbly Xinomavro, like Rose Extra Brut- Domaine Karanika, with Greek salad, florin peppers stuffed with oven-baked graviera, or even a Kayana. And yes to the blanc de noir Xinomavro, like Blanc de Noir- Patistis Winery, with the neighbor's traditional chive pie.
Whatever you put on that table, this grape, depending on how it has been grown and vinified, has a place up there.
And as a closing, as a friend said, this grape is erotic.
Worth more than a chance.