Located in the outskirts of the small city of Naoussa, the seat of the greater region of the same name, within the hills and slopes of Dalamari, along the road to the historic village of Arkochori. This is beautiful, lush, country, roads twist around ravines, clinging to the earth like serpents; ancient farm country. The winery, primary vineyards, bottling equipment, a distillery, and wine cellars are all within one facility.
Stavros Kokkinos realized his dream to operate a boutique winery in 2009. The vineyards are located in Dalamari and Paleokalias. Formed during the Pleiocean and Pleistocene eras, the soils are sandy and clay, rich in magnesium, poor in potassium, with shale and marble mixed within. The primary grape variety is Xinomavro, the unchallenged most important grape variety of northern Greece. The climate is temperate Mediterranean with mild continental trends. The altitude provides for a significant diurnal shift, the mountains provide shelter from high winds.
Stavros is something you don’t hear of too often in Greece, or indeed Europe; a first-generation winemaker and grape grower. Indeed, his family, like most in Naoussa produced fruit, including peaches and apples. The current property in Imathia was initially a poultry farm. However, with his ascension, Stavros, pursued his dream to make wine, excellent wine. The roosters on the label reference his father’s efforts, as well as the legacy he plans to pass on to his sons.
The Dalamari plot sits at 400 meters above sea level. The vines were planted in 2004. Wines from this vineyard tend to be upper medium body, with reasonably high alcohol. Fruit tends to be a pleasant balance of dark red and purply black.
Winemaking is fairly traditional. During the initial soak, the must is pumped over the cap, with total extraction of phenolics taking place in 12 days or under. The wine is then transferred to another tank for fermentation. Wines spend 6 months in rest and racking, then aged appropriately to the individual wine.
The workhorse Xinomavro is aged in French Ermitage 225L Oak barrels for 12 months. The wines are aged in bottle for another 12 months prior to release. While the location of these vineyards could easily produce a dense, chewy wine, the house style leans more towards something akin to Barbaresco or a more feminine Barolo. However, as the region has a bit more heat, there tends to be more black to purple hues than red. The licorice is typical as well, although not dominant as is possible. This wine may well be the best bargain for Xinomavro, and indeed this style of wine, in all of the markets available in the US and beyond.