Xinomavro – the killer vintage / Ξινόμαυρο, η φονική ποικιλία
A few days ago, I visited the region of Naoussa in Northern Greece. Naoussa is famous for its red wines of the Xinomavro variety. Anyone that tastes a good Xinomavro wine will be impressed by its weak color, red fruit aromas and full body with gentle tannins. That said, it is obvious that I am a Xinomavro lover. I visited several vineyards like Dalamaras estate and Kyr -Yanni estate and as I talked with an oenologist, I admitted that among my favorite Naoussa wines is the Xinomavro of the Melitzani brothers. Oh yes, replied my friend,pitty we lost them, this vintage. What do you mean? I asked, sure that he was just kidding. And then I found out, that we did actually lose them IN this vintage. The whole story strongly resembled those of Mark Twain’s. The Melitzani brothers (melitzana means aubergine in greek), aged 79 and 81, came from a long line of winemakers. They were unmarried and of course childless and did everything the traditional way, so they used cement chambers to ferment their wine. And here is the story, one of them leaned in order to fix something and fell inside the mixture of grapes, must and wine! The other one tried to save his brother, and fell inside as well! They were both lost in a blink of the eye, in one moment, in one minute, in one vintage. In one great vintage! It is difficult to say if it is a bad or a rather good way to go! It is surely an unbelievable one. The following weekend I will revisit Naoussa. Needless to say what I will drink!