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Xinomavro: 12 award-winning Greek wines to try

Get to know one of Greece's most popular red grape varieties and celebrate International Xinomavro Day with award-winning red and rosé wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards...

Over the last decade Xinomavro has become one of Greece’s leading red grapes and is often considered the greatest of native varieties.

Planted in northern and central Greece, the variety can be found in four of Greece’s Protected Designations of Origin (PDO) including Naoussa, Amynteo, Goumenissa, and Rapsani.

In the vineyard Xinomavro is inconsistent and requires careful management, and in the winery close attention and time is required to tame its tough tannins and high acid. But when produced well, Xinomavro can resemble the structure of Nebbiolo with balanced firm tannins and bright acidity, and distinct aromas of fresh and dried red fruits, flowers, tomatoes, tobacco, black olives and spice.


Scroll down to see the top 12 Xinomavro wines of DWWA 2022


Typically released after at least two years of ageing, Xinomavro’s notable acidity and tannins give the wines good cellaring potential, and also make the wine an ideal accompaniment to foods. Unoaked versions akin to Pinot Noir pair well with foods like mushroom risotto, pork and lamb, and oak-influenced styles with game or even dry-aged steak.

Xinomavro grapes

Xinomavro is best known for its production as a red wine, but can also be used to make good rosés, aromatic sparkling wines and sweet wines.

It is produced as a varietal wine or can be blended with both indigenous and international varieties ⁠— a higher percentage Xinomavro often adding more structure to the wine.

Celebrated on 1 November, International Xinomavro Day was established by Winemakers of North Greece to grow awareness of and highlight one of Greece’s most prised indigenous varieties. Regarded as a ‘Greek Ambassador’ variety alongside Assyrtiko, Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko, get to know Xinomavro with a selection of award-winning red and rosé wines from the 2022 Decanter World Wine Awards.

Xinomavro: 12 award-winning Greek wines to try

Rosé

Tsantali, 1/3000 Limited Selection Xinomavro, Macedonia 2021

Silver, 90 points
100% Xinomavro
Very pale pink colour. Fresh aromas of cherry tomato, strawberry and mineral nuances. Crisp palate, zesty and light. Well made. Alc 12%

Alpha Estate, Single Vineyard Hedgehog Rosé, Amyndeon, Macedonia 2021

Bronze, 89 points
100% Xinomavro
Aromas of grapefruit, peaches and subtle flower notes. Lovely texture, refreshing and pithy on the palate. Alc 13.5%

K Tsililis, Theopetra Estate Early Harvest Xinomavro, Meteora, Thessaly 2021

Bronze, 89 points
100% Xinomavro
Aromatic with candied melon and ripe apricot. Bone dry on the palate, light spicy finish. Alc 12%

Red

Mikro Ktima Titos, Goumenissa, Macedonia 2019

Gold, 96 points
80% Xinomavro, 20% Negoska
Very perfumed nose displaying cherry-scented notes and nuances of liquorice, oriental spices and fresh strawberries. The tannins are sappy but well-managed, juicy and bright. Alc 13%

Alpha Estate, Single Vineyard Hedgehog Xinomavro, Amyndeon, Macedonia 2019

Gold, 95 points
100% Xinomavro
Gorgeous aromatics of pot pourri, wild strawberry and red cherry. Vibrant and bright with well-managed tannins, plenty of juicy and crunchy fruit and refreshing acidity. Alc 14%

Kir-Yianni, Ramnista Xinomavro, Naoussa, Macedonia 2017

Silver, 91 points
100% Xinomavro
Subtle aromas of dried mint, tomato leaf and liquorice. Sappy tannins and a hint of dried lavender on the finish. Alc 14.5%

Oenops, Xinomavro, Varietal Wine 2020

Silver, 91 points
100% Xinomavro
Gently aromatic nose of red plums and chestnut, with hints of liquorice. Lovely freshness and structure, approachable style of Xinomavro. Alc 13%

Oenops, Xinomvraw, Varietal Wine 2020

Silver, 91 points
100% Xinomavro
Youthful, bright, meaty wine with lots of savoury spice and hedgerow fruit character. Grippy on the palate, firm tannic structure. Alc 13.5%

Alpha Estate, Ecosystem Reserve Vieilles Vignes Barba Yannis Xinomavro, Amyndeon, Macedonia 2018

Silver, 90 points
100% Xinomavro
Vibrant aromas of parma violets and black cherries and a hint of red liquorice. Soft and supple, multilayered palate. Alc 14%

Kir-Yianni, Xinomavro, Naoussa, Macedonia 2018

Silver, 90 points
100% Xinomavro
Elegant aromas of red liquorice, cherry and plum fruit. Juicy and fruit-driven on the palate with crunchy tannins. Long finish. Alc 13.5%

Oenops Wines, Apla, Varietal Wine 2020

Silver, 90 points
50% Xinomavro, 30% Limniona, 20% Mavroudi
Floral and pretty on the nose, showing bright red fruit like strawberries and red currants. Juicy and fruit-driven, soft tannins. Alc 13%

Tsantali, Rapsani Grande Reserve, Rapsani, Thessaly 2014

Silver, 90 points
34% Xinomavro, 33% Krassato, 33% Stavroto
Spicy and lifted on the nose with a lovely perfume. Bright and fresh on the palate, lavender and pressed flowers. Alc 13.3%

Kir-Yianni, Diaporos Xinomavro, Imathia, Macedonia 2017

Bronze, 89 points
87% Xinomavro, 13% Syrah
Quite spicy on the nose, peppery with hedgerow fruit notes. Meaty and savoury palate, toasty finish. Alc 14.5%


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