Established in 1972, the Naoussa appellation, which covers 1750 acres on the slopes of Mount Vermion, was Greece’s first. Though Preknadi, a freckled local white grape, is making a small comeback, vineyards here are planted almost exclusively to Xinomavro, a grape that yields earthy, juicy, savory, tannic, and acidic reds. Like Southern Italy’s Negroamaro, which translates as “black-bitter,” Xinomavro means “acid black.” Neither translation makes for a great selling point in the mainstream market; the pronunciation of the latter doesn’t help (The first half of the word sounds like “casino” without the “a”: k-SEE-noh.) But for connoisseurs of Italian reds, Naoussa is a natural alternative. Greek wine expert Nico Manessis calls the appellation “our Burgundy. We should not worry so much about the high acid and light color of our wines; we have grand cru potential here.” But given Xinomavro’s Nebbiolo-like bite and grip, Naoussa could as easily be compared to Piedmont.
Alpha Estate Syrah-Xinomavro Axia Florina
Boutari Grande Reserve Naoussa
Diamantakos Xinomavro Naoussa
Domaine Karydas Naoussa
Estate Chrisouhoou Xinomavro Naoussa
Katogi & Strofilia Averoff Naoussa
Kir-Yianni Xinomavro Ramnista Naoussa
Thymiopoulos Vineyards Uranos Naoussa
Thymiopoulos Vineyards Young Vines Naoussa
© Copyright 2014 Master Sommelier Catherine Fallis, Planet Grape LLC. All Rights Reserved.