60 year old vine Xinomavro from Macedonia, with juicy red fruit and potential to age
Kir-Yianni was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris, one of the leading figures in the Greek wine industry, when he left the Boutari Wine Group, the premium family wine company that his grandfather established in 1879. Today, Stellios Boutaris, member of the fifth generation of winemakers, leads Kir-Yianni into the next phase of its history, by dynamically exploiting the cornerstones of the Kir-Yianni philosophy: desire for innovation, respect for tradition and true knowledge of the wine, from the grape to the end consumer.
What started in 1997 as a fresh expression of Greek wine is now one of the most progressive wineries in the country. Research and development programmes dedicated to unlocking the potential of Xinomavro. The area is marked by cold winters and warm summers, but the four surrounding lakes create a unique mild mesoclimate. As a result, we get high fruit concentration and ripeness with exquisitely complex and rich aromas.
Kali Riza - which means 'good root' in Greek - is a Xinomavro from 40+ year old vines, sourced from the mountainous appellation of Amyndeon. Some vineyards in this area were never affected by phylloxera due to their sandy soils. The grapes for Kali Riza are sourced partially from such vineyards (some dating close to 100 years) and partially from 40+ year old Xinomavro vines. The high altitude (600m) and the poor sandy soils of the area lead to the production of wines displaying finesse and a rare aromatic character. The four surrounding lakes that act as a buffer zone create perfect weather conditions for the cultivation of Xinomavro, more temperate than expected in this continental climate.
The grapes are carefully selected during harvest depending on their age and content in sugars, phenols and acids. Upon delivery at the winery, they are chilled to a temperature of 8-10°C. After destemming, the grapes are crushed and left to cold soak for 6 days at 10°C to extract more color and aromas. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 2 weeks and is followed by 1 week of post-fermentation maceration. After this period, the wine is transferred to the second-use French oak barrels, were it is left to mature for 12 months. During this time, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation while it is gently stirred on its lees. Finally, the wine is bottled and left to mature for 1 additional year.
Tasting Note: Elegant Macedonian Xinomavro, fragrant with cherries, wild strawberries and sweet spice, complemented and complexified by savoury flavours of tomatoes, olives and cinnamon.
Critics: Jancis Robinson 16.5+/20 (2015), Tom Cannavan 91/100, Wine Advocate: 91 points (2016 vintage).