This must be one of the world’s great wine co-operatives, on a par with La Chablisienne, the Wachau’s Freie Weingärtner and the Produttori di Barbaresco. The vast majority of Naoussa’s growers have tiny holdings. Only 20 or so grow enough grapes to contemplate making a living from them. Most of the rest sell them to this exemplary organization, which offers a degree of technical and marketing expertise that is quite remarkable.
It is not clear why the Macedonians like to use French names to describe their top wines, but old habits can die hard. Made from the best grapes available and aged for a minimum of five years in wood, there is an added weight, depth and beauty here that add up to something close to greatness. We challenge you to find a wine of this class and maturity at a price remotely close to this.
One customer commented that this wine was “too good” to be sold for $10 a bottle. But why should people have to pay more to enjoy the unique joys of a well-aged wine of noble origin? This is a perfect introduction to the aromatic joys of Xinomavro and its capacity for producing refined, tense and expansive red wine. It could indeed cost twice as much. Let us be glad that it does not.