The Naoussa region in Macedonia, apart from its picturesque landscape of
rolling hills overlooking the central plain, now also carries an official wine zone
designation VQPRD – the acronym suggests the highest standard for quality of
Greek wines which have a distinct, geographic origin. Due in part to the efforts
of the dynamic Boutari vineyard group, this EU-mandated classification is at the
heart of Greece’s gradual reemergence as a significant wine making source,
with the varietal, Naoussa being the current, best-selling premium red wine from
Greece worldwide. This storied vintner, established in 1879, also has the highly
enviable reputation (and burden) of being elected as one of several ‘Winery of
the year’ by Wine and Spirit magazine for a remarkable, ongoing 16yr. streak!
Here in Northern Greece, this holding is part of the six wine appellations that
Boutari works within, including the region’s namesake: Naoussa. These historic
vineyards are located on the sunny, south-east facing slopes of the foothills
surrounding Mount Vermio, where the calcium-rich soils composed of clay and
loam provides the ideal conditions for the Xinomavro grape. Having originated
and thrived here for countless centuries, the vines have frequently fallen in and
out of commercial favour. Often compared to Italy’s Nebbiolo grape used for the
making of Barolo wine, this variety is again demonstrating its ability to produce
big-bodied red wines with the potential to age well and develop added complexity.
Having spent 2 years in oak barrels and another 2 in bottle, this has sufficient
body to hold up for another, impressive stretch of 12-15yrs.
There was a release of the still very young 2008 vintage in August of 2013 at
the give-away price-point of $12.95! It was an excellent example of a promising
bottling which could be had for a song, that then after 2-5yrs. of cellaring would
become a rewarding, smooth and rounded collector’s item. Offered here now is
the Grande Reserve version from 2007, standing as testament to how well this
wine develops with time, though of course somewhat more expensive since the
vintner has put an extra investment into this bottling. Nonetheless, it’s still great
value which should encourage you to buy 3 – one to enjoy now, the other 2 put
away to grace a sumptuous meal later on this winter or several ones after that.
BOUTARI GRANDE RESERVE 2007
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #140111 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 16.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: D
Made in: Naoussa, Greece
By: Jean Boutari & Fils S.A.
Release Date: Jan 18, 2014
With flavours of vanilla, cocoa, red berry and cherries, it’s both tart and earthy
which is fairly typical of nutty Naoussa style wines. Try serving with grilled meats,
heavier casseroles, porcini risotto and hard cheeses.