Archive for the ‘Xinomavro’ category

2011 Harvest Naoussa

October 6, 2011

Following a vast tradition since the first red wine (Naoussa Boutari) was bottled in Greece and after years of experience with the unique terroirs of Naoussa, the 2011 vintage for Xinomavro finished last week. Hand picking of the grapes and transport to the winery of Boutari began on the 26/9 and ended on the 30/9. Xinomavro maturity was very good and all the grapes received obtained excellent intensity of color. Seed and skin maturity levels were also at superior level due to the extended heat during the last days of ripening. Right now maceration and alcoholic fermentation are under way which are promising very rich and fragrant wines. Like every year the different terroirs in the region of Naoussa are vinified separately in order to give us the best results when blending to produce the world famous Naousa Boutari and Grand Reserve Boutari.

—Vasilis Georgiou, enologist, Naoussa

Harvest Update Naoussa

September 16, 2011

The following dispatch was filed today by Boutari’s Naoussa enologist Vasilis Georgiou (above).

Whites are one step of finishing their alcoholic fermentation and the Naoussa winery is packed with fresh fermentation aromas. Visitors are blown away by intense aromas resembling the fleshy parts of apricots that dominate during the fermentation of Chardonnay and Malagouzia inside the tanks.

Merlot and Syrah have also been harvested at ideal ripeness levels and are macerating in the tanks as I write this. From tasting the fermenting juice, I have to say that the finished wines will be full of ripe berry aromas with very soft structure. Here’s a photo from the top of the tanks overlooking the cap.

Now we are waiting to receive the “flagship” of Naoussa… The Xinomavro grapes! Ripeness levels have increased in the last weeks due to the extended heat and soon they should be nice for harvest! I’m quoting a local Xinomavro producer who said that the weather right now in Naoussa is ideal for grape maturity (warm during the day, cold during the night) and called this type of weather “kraso-kero,” which translates into “wine-weather.”

As inspections of the vineyards continue here is a photo of the Xinomavro vineyards.

Harvest Update 2011: Xinomavro on the way!

August 31, 2011

Above: Viticulturist Dr. Dimitris Taskos (right) inspects a Xinomavro vineyard on the foothills of mount Vermio. The follow dispatch was filed today by Boutari’s Naoussa enologist Vasilis Georgiou.

Harvest has just begun in Naoussa with the arrival of some white varieties (mainly Chardonnay). The Xinomavro grapes are scheduled to be harvested in late September and the vineyards are being inspected to assess the quality of this year’s grapes. It is still early to estimate the outcome of this year in terms of quality for Xinomavro but the first inspections of the vineyards are showing excellent results.

Above: Xinomavro grapes ripening on the vine.

Naoussa is Robert Parker’s “wine of the day”…

August 25, 2011

David Lawrason on “Why Greek wines are about to become the next big thing”

August 9, 2011

Top Canadian wine journalist, educator, and “tasting note collector” David Lawrason tells us “why Greek wines are about to become the next big thing” and offers tasting notes on Moschofilero and Naoussa.

Click here to read his post.

Tasting Note: 1993 Boutari Naoussa Reserve, “Fascinating!”

July 19, 2011

One of our favorite people in the wine business and top wine blogger, Alison “TexaCali” Smith, recently tagged the above photo on our Facebook. You’ll find her tasting note below (we also tasted this incredible wine recently in Santorini). Thanks, Alison! You’re the best! (Dio Deka looks AMAZING btw.)

My superhero boyfriend Eric brought this puppy back from the winery after visiting a few years back. Fascinating! It tasted much like an old Barolo. Salty black olive, woodsy herbs, good acidity and medium tannins — very savory. We decanted around 6:30 and had the last sip at 9:30. We took it to Dio Deka — which you’ll have to check out next time your in NorCal.

Xinomavro: Greek Grape Name and Appellation Pronunciation Project

July 6, 2011

There’s no other way for me to begin this post than by stating plainly and clearly: I was wrong. At every tasting I have attended or led and in every post and transliteration I have published here since the Boutari Social Media Project launched in April 2010, I have incorrectly transliterated the grape name Xinomavro.*

The correct pronunciation — as I learned recently on my trip to Greece, thanks to Constantine Boutari (above) — is:


The Greeks are an extraordinarily generous people, who greet their visitors and guests with a hospitality and graciousness rivaled only by their illustrious past and present as the curators of the cradle of Western Civilization.

When you consider that ancient Greek was the language of the earliest redactions of the Judeo-Christian Bible and that the Greek koiné was a language spoken throughout the Mediterranean basin (including Palestine and Italy, btw) in antiquity, it’s easy to understand why the Greeks are so tolerant of mispronunciations of their vocabulary.

For nearly a year and a half, I have been working in and around Greek wine, often coming into contact with Greek winemakers and Greek-national restaurateurs. Yet no one has ever correctly my erroneous pronunciation of Xinomavro.

Not until last week, when I had the great fortune to lunch with Constantine Boutari, the owner and namesake of his family’s winery.

With avuncular tenderness, he reached across the table after we had finished the meal and put his hand over mine: “My dear Jeremy,” he said, “I am very excited about the [Boutari Social Media] project. But we must correct your pronunciation of Xinomavro. The correct pronunciation is ksee-NOH-mah-vroh.”

I asked Constantine if I could film him pronouncing the grape name correctly and the above — and very simpatico — video is the result.

There are different conventions used to represent the letter x (xi) in Latin alphabet transliteration (and in Greeklish, as Greek transliteration is often called). I have chosen to represent it here as ks because I believe it best renders the sound.

It was a thrill to meet Constantine, who is a delightful and charming man. And we had a lot of fun with the video we made last week. I have also included, below, a shorter video with winemaker Vasilis Georgious — who oversees production of Boutari’s flagship appellation Naoussa — pronouncing the grape name. Please feel free to repost either one of the videos on your blog or for your students.

* I had erroneously reported tsee-NOH-mah-vroh, where the xi was incorrectly represented by tsee.

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