Xinomavro: A Slippery Slope?
The red Greek grape Xinomavro wears mask of different colours.
As a still red wine it can be tannic, chalky and a difficult swallow. But if well made and aged at least 10-15 years like an old-fashioned Barolo it can be magnificent. I avoid young Xinomavros like Greek voters recently rejected P.M. Alexis Tsipras in favour of Kyriakos Mitsotakis of the centre right New Democracy party.
As a sparkling rosé it can be magnificent. How can that be?
As a still rosé?
The Kir-Yianni Akakies 2018 Xinomavro rosé if its anything like its sparkling brother could be joyous.
It has a medium pink colour. A good solid nose of raspberry, watermelon, raspberry with a hint of thyme. Very pleasing.
On the palate solid but far from harsh and tannic. Notes of artichoke, roast lamb, pomegranate, cinnamon and strawberry. Solid enough to compliment roast lamb and potatoes minus a traditional lemon marinade but replaced by a pesto slathering. Good with a goat or rabbit stidafdo (stew).
All said and done a muscular rosé built for food. A sipper I think not.
Like a donkey of old in the Greek isles. Stocky, short, strong, reliable, noisy and in terms of carrying a heavy load it can match a great variety of foods.
(Kir-Yianni Akakies Xinomavro 2018 Rosé, Protected Geographical Indication Macedonia, Kir-Yianni, Nauossa, Greece, $13.95, 750 ml, LCBO #071050, Set The Bar Rating 90/100).
It may have been Tsipras’ agreement with the Republic of Macedonia to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia in 2019 that ended his reign. In order to claim its part of Macedonia Greece had a brutal struggle with Turkey. Permitting Macedonia in the name is a deep wound to Greek pride. Having been in Macedonia recently and visited the Museum for the Macedonian Struggle in Thessaloniki you can gain an understanding of why so many Greeks were upset with Macedonia remaining in a foreign country’s name.