The answer’s simple…
From the September 2014 issue of Wine Advocate:
Boutari 2004 Vinsanto
The 2004 Vinsanto is a library wine pulled for reevaluation. It has come along brilliantly and serious is in need of an uptick. It may get even better with cellaring. It is a blend of 90% Assyrtiko and 10% Aidani weighing in at 12% alcohol. Bottle aging has greatly helped this wine. It has fleshed out and simply unfolded, becoming more complex along the way and showing layers that it did not initially seem to have. It shows remarkable power and intense grip on the finish, grabbing the entire palate with tension. With some nods to Boutari’s 2009 style, it is a bit on the muscular side and emphasizes the power more than the sugar and zest. Whether due to age, vintage or the lower alcohol level (perhaps all three), this 2004 does that style better, though, at least just now. Finally, these wines do age a long while. It is hard to say when they die and they may outlive a lot of people. Tight and still evolving, this 2004 should have a long life. I tend to be conservative in drinking windows (my normal tendency anyway), as the wines can change in character with extreme age and oxidation. Not everyone may like the older incarnations, given that they will substitute complexity for zest. It is perhaps fairer to acknowledge, here and in general, a much longer window (they may go longer still). Just note that as they age, they may not seem quite the same in character. Drink now-2035.
From the Boutari blog archive…
A Facebook post by the world’s leading Greek wine blogger, Markus Stolz, reminded me the other day of one of the most moving archeological sites I’ve ever visited, the tomb of Philip II of Macedon not far from Thessaloniki.
“During my wine tour, I visited the archaeological site of Aigai,” he wrote, “where the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, is located. This was the most impressive historical sites I have ever seen. Greece has treasures that are truly breathtaking!”
I took the photo above back in June, 2011, when I visited the same site after tasting wines in Naoussa.
Of course, you cannot take photos inside. But it’s simply one of the most elegantly maintained and most moving museums you’ll ever visit — truly stirring as you enter the tomb.
Boutari 2013 Moschofilero Mantinia
This fresh but fruity white starts with aromas of white rose, grapefruit and citrus, followed by light and elegant flavors of lemon, grapefruit and sea salt. Playful but memorable.—Susan Kostrzewa
In case you missed it in their email newsletter, here’s what the editors of Snooth — one of the worlds most popular wine-focused social media sites — had to say about the Boutari family of wineries.
Above: The Boutari sisters at the winery in Naoussa.
Today, Greece has once again returned to the forefront of the world of wine and the historic Boutari winery has paved the way as a leader in the production of quality wines, the revival of native Greek grape varieties, and the face of Greek wine tourism. From its flagship winery in Naoussa (the first Greek winery to bottle red wine) to its state-of-the-art hospitality center in Santorini, Boutari represents the past, present, and future of fine winemaking in the Mediterranean.
When Yiannis Boutari first opened a winery more than a century ago, Greek wine was predominantly white and no Greek winemaker had shipped red wine in bottle. Yiannis became the first Greek winemaker to do it and Boutari is still highly regarded for their red wines today. Boutari Naoussa has received countless accolades including 90 point scores from the top wine publications.
“The first red wine bottled in Greece was Naoussa Boutari,” says Dr. Yannis Voyatzis, who has served as Boutari’s chief enologist for more than three decades. “From the beginning, Naoussa Boutari has always been perceived as a top-quality Greek red wine in exports and in the domestic market as well.”
In the 1960s, Boutari became one of the first Greek wineries to introduce temperature-controlled fermentation. In the 1980s, the Boutari family began to expand its enterprise, acquiring new vineyards and taking advantage of the many diverse and distinct terroirs of Greece and her islands.
“In Naoussa,” says Dr. Voyatzis, “the company preserved the local variety Xinomavro when it had almost been abandoned. In Mantinia, it saved Moschofilero from extinction and today Moschofilero is the most popular Greek variety.”
Today, Boutari’s six estates in Greece offer the contemporary wine lover a wide variety of flavors through a balance of international and native grapes and traditional and modern winemaking styles.
In article that appears in the Fall 2014 issue of Wine & Spirits magazine, leading New York wine professional Stephanie Johnson asks her colleagues Pascaline Lepeltier and Levi Dalton (both New York wine luminaries in her/his own right) to compare notes on oaked and unoaked Assyrtiko.
Look for the complete article on newsstands or at your favorite book seller.
Leading American wine writer Cathy Huyghe recently paid a visit to the Boutari family of wineries in Greece and filed the following dispatches for Forbes:
Fascinating reading by one of our favorite writers today!