Xinomavro-Naoussa has been the subject of the most in-depth research of all the indigenous Greek varieties. More than twenty years of on-going studies have given winemakers the information they need to make consistently great wine from an intriguing, noble grape. And as the results of the research come fully to fruition, some of the traditional characteristics of Xinomavro-Naoussa will have surely have to be reconsidered. Laboratory studies of Xinomavro-Naoussa reveal what can easily be detected when tasting: Xinomavro-Naoussa is aromatically rich and complex, and particularly savory.
Aromas recall medicinal herbs, clove, dried flowers/rose petals, pot-pourri, tobacco, tar, walnut, olive, sun-dried tomato and brown spice. Fruity aromas are often a secondary feature, with red berries (strawberry, cherry, raspberry) predominant, as well as kirsch and dried fruit (prunes, raisins) filling in the profile and adding complexity. All things considered, this is an aromatically well-endowed intriguing, noble grape. The profile of Xinomavro-Naoussa reflects its name; xino-mavro means literally “acid-black”. But while juicy acidity remains a standard feature of this intriguing, noble grape, the “black” part is a bit misleading. Traditional wines are invariably pale garnet-red in color, more like traditional pinot noir or Νebbiolo. But some of the new generation wines of Xinomavro-Naoussa may yet live up to the name mavro (black) again. These wines are bright and much deeper red in color. In any case, the wines of this intriguing, noble grape, are well-structured, firm, dense and vibrant.