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Xinomavro: 10 award-winning Greek wines to try

Get to know one of Greece's most popular red grape varieties and celebrate International Xinomavro Day this 1 November with award-winning red and rosé wines from the Decanter World Wine Awards 2020...

Over the past ten years Xinomavro has become one of Greece’s most popular red grape 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 the grape 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 Barolo with balanced firm tannins and bright acidity, and distinct aromas of fresh and dried red fruits, flowers, tomatoes, tobacco, black olives and spice.


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Scroll down to see all 10 award-winning Xinomavro wines, plus tasting notes


Typically released to the market after at least two years of aging, 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.

100% Xinomavro wines awarded medals at the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards. 


DWWA 2020: Search all award-winning wines from Greece


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.

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, plus tasting notes, from the 2020 Decanter World Wine Awards.

For additional wine details and stockists, select the wine of interest below.

DWWA 2020: 10 award-winning Xinomavro wines to try

Red

Kir Yianni, Diaporos Single Vineyard Xinomavro, Imathia, Macedonia, Greece 2016

Silver, 92 points
Brilliantly expressive strawberry and spice nose. The palate brings high tannins and slathers of cherry, cranberry and pomegranate characters. Long finish.

Oenops, XinomavRAW, Varietal Wine, Greece 2018

Silver, 92 points
Herbal, plum, black cherry and cardamon aromatics. Medium-bodied with a fleshy texture, fine-grained tannins and a slightly chewy finish. Classy!

Oenops, Xinomavro, Macedonia, Greece 2018

Silver, 92 points
This is a cornucopia of cherries, cranberries, oak spice and liquorice with chunky tannins, a chewy texture and long finish.

Alpha Estate, Single Vineyard Hedgehog Xinomavro, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece 2017

Silver, 91 points
This elegant wine’s impressive allspice and raisiny characters, fine-grained, grippy tannins and mouthwatering acidity make for a lovely bottle that will age well.

Alpha Estate, Vieilles Vignes Barba Yannis Reserve Xinomavro, Amyndeon, Macedonia, Greece 2016

Silver, 90 points
Spicy and leathery nose with fine-grained tannins and bags of crunchy black fruits in the mouth. Finishes lengthily. Needs time.

Katogi Averoff, Inima Xinomavro, Naoussa, Macedonia, Greece 2015

Silver, 90 points
Evolved tobacco, candied cherry, sandalwood and leather aromatics. The palate has tannic grip and abundant ripe cranberry and oak spice characters. Impressive stuff.

Kir Yianni, Cuvée Villages Xinomavro, Naoussa, Macedonia, Greece 2017

Bronze, 89 points
Expressive balsamic, red cherry, rose, olive and oak spice nose. Sappy fruit on the palate, plus earthy tannins and fair length.

Kechris, Single Vineyard Xinomavro, Slopes of Paiko, Macedonia, Greece 2016

Bronze, 88 points
Restrained raspberry and spicy nose. Extracted in the mouth with plenty of new oak and chunky tannins. One for food.

Rosé

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

Silver, 92 points
Raspberry, rose petal and citrus nose. Elegant and precise with crisp acidity and pink grapefruit, red currant and wild strawberry flavours. Textured but light and very long.

Boutari, Dianthos Xinomavro, Imathia, Macedonia, Greece 2019

Bronze, 89 points
Red fruit and bonbon nose. The palate is markedly restrained, but still quite persistent with notes of black cherry. Very much a food wine.


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