February 16th-Limniona and Xinomavro

Limniona and Xinomavro are both Greek red grape varieties. Xinomavro is quite a bit more common than Limniona but Limniona is increasing in popularity.  Limniona has been around for decades but had always been used as a blending grape. It didn’t get bottles as a single varietal wine until 2007. It originates from the region of Thessaly in Central Greece where Xinomavro and Messenkiola Black are the most planted red grapes. 

The blend I selected was equal parts Limniona and Xinomavro from the family owned winery, Kontozisis Vineyards. Kontozisis has been farming organically since before it was fashionable, starting in 1991. They were an early pioneer in Greek winemaking by being one of the first to obtain their organic certification. The main grapes they focus on cultivating are Limniona and Malagousia (an indigenous white grape) but they also grow more common varieties like Syrah and Chardonnay. 

This 2014 bottle is exhibited a medium ruby color, which surprised me because I’d expect a wine of this age to start changing to have more brown hues. It also had faintly stained legs that wept down the sides of the goblet. The aroma reminded me of the mincemeat pie my mom made occasionally when I was a kid. The ingredients consisted of raisins, baking spices, currants, and candied citrus peel, in addition to the beef of course. This dry wine had a significant amount of alcohol and acid. The tannins and body were far lighter and gentler than the color initially indicated they might be. It would be excellent with a piece of lamb or lamb stew. This wine is well aged and ready to drink. It was enjoyable with a significant level of complexity due to the extended aging it underwent.


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