A powerful Greek wine in a Janus-like way…
This 100% Xinomavro offering from the Boutari/Naoussa Winery feels Greek to the core, at least in terms of the god Janus. Both the outside and inside of the wine appeared to have two sides.
On the outside, the label had a dramatic, masculine appearance, with gold-on-black lettering and a very prominent number, 1879, the year John Boutari started the
Naoussa Winery. As well, the wax-dominated top, although interesting, came across as excessive, if not overkill. In fact, we struggled to extract the cork due to the abundance of wax.
Inside the bottle, the wine came across as passionate and Old-World in style, with its combination of minerals, fennel, iron, and dark, tart fruit. As it opened, however, we felt it lost some of its balance, with alcohol dominating our palates, which seemed contrary to what would normally happen.
We tried it with a margherita pizza (cheese, tomatoes, and basil), and it overpowered the dish (we acknowledge the poor pairing). It would likely pair much better with grilled red meat, including filet mignon topped with peppercorn sauce or a red wine reduction. At over $60 CAD per bottle (factoring in exchange rates), we found it on the pricey side.
Rating (from 70 to 100): 84/100
The Bottle Details…
Name: Legacy 1879
Producer: Naoussa Winery – Boutari
Region/Country: Trilofos, Bas Karter, Greece
Grape Varietals: Xinomavro
Alcohol content: 14%
Consumed: At home on December 14th, 2017, as we prepared for the holidays.
Recommended By: Found it at the duty free shop in the Athens airport.
Cost: About $65 CAD (factoring in exchange rates)
Bottle Presentation: A plain, masculine label, with a prominent number (1879), the year John Boutari established the winery in Noussa.
The Tasting Details…
Appearance: Medium garnet, with some haziness—we wondered whether the wine had been filtered or not.
Nose: Medium-to-pronounced nose, with iron/ferrous, raw meat, fennel, mocha, and sour cherry or gooseberry notes.
Taste: Medium body, pronounced biting and drying tannins, and medium acidity. We tasted mineral (iron), fennel, dirt, and dark fruit (blueberry, blackberry, and black cherry). The wine’s tartness made our mouths pucker. As it opened, we also had tobacco, cigar box, and leather notes, but the wine lost its balance, with the 14% alcohol making its presence known.
Finish: Medium, earthy and tart fruit finish.