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 – an acronym suggesting the highest standard of quality for
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 varietal Naoussa wine being the current, best-selling premium export 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 17yr. streak!
Here in Northern Greece, this holding is one of six appellations and is
made up of 9 villages 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. More recently, under the regional stewardship by
Boutari, this variety is again amply demonstrating its desirability for producing
big-bodied red wines with the potential to age well and develop added complexity.
Often compared to Italy’s Nebbiolo grape used for the making of Barolo wines,
this vintage is still young and could use some more time to settle down. It is an
excellent example though of a noteworthy, promising bottling that can be had for
a song now, then reward 2-5yrs. of cellaring by becoming a smooth and rounded
collector’s item. Buy 3 – try decanting one bottle for several hours to enjoy now,
then put the other 2 away to grace a sumptuous winter’s meal later on in 2016
or, with the exercising of some discipline, wait even a bit little later!
BOUTARI NAOUSSA 2009
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #23218 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 13.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Naoussa, Greece
By: Jean Boutari & Fils S.A.
Release Date: Aug 02, 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.