Just outside Siatista, northern Greece, you'll find vineyards that would be the envy of any of the world's best wine producers - if, that is, they had ever heard of them. This place is virtually unknown now, but it still has vines nearly 100 years old, planted amongst spectacular mountain scenery. In the 19th century, the wines made here from Xinomavro were famous throughout Europe. Dimitris Diamantis believes they could be again, and is painstakingly restoring whatever old vineyards he can get his hands on.
The Diamantis Xinomavro is different from the better-known examples made in Naoussa on the other side of Macedonia. It has softer, more elegant tannins, beautiful red fruit flavours and huge ageing potential.
Light ruby with some brick – typically Xinomavro with a little bit of bottle age. It seems quite developed but this variety seems to have a quick initial ageing phase and then a long plateau. Already showing some complex tertiary aromas of dried cherries and something a bit like dried tomato, a touch of something almost meaty/bloody, highly aromatic but not in a primary way. Hard to describe but classic Xinomavro aromas. On the palate, the tannins are tightly wound around the sweet senescent fruit but surprisingly silky. Fresh and utterly moreish in its complex fruit and mature flavours. Perfect for drinking now but this should age extremely well in bottle and make great old bones thanks the the balance and purity of fruit. Persistent too.
17 pointsJulia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com, 25/12/2019
Limestone soils at 830-880m. Mix of old bush vines planted in the 1930s and younger vines planted in 1998. Stainless steel fermentation. Aged in 500l French oak (40% new).
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