Monday, November 12, 2018

Akakies Kir-Yianni Rose of Xinomavro

Sounds Greek to me.  (Rimshot, please.)

Akakies is the best rose we have sold here for most of our recent history.  The French Tavel Roses are the best, period, but they seem to come and go while Akakies is available most of the time.  If we are ever out of stock it's probably due to human error.

What makes this stuff so good?  All of the factors wine geeks always look for.  While most roses are made from lesser grapes, Akakies is made from high altitude (700 meters) hillside produce.  There is sorting though.  The grapes destined for rose are taken from large bunches while the smaller bunches go into red wines.

Amyndeon is the name of the wine appellation where the grapes are sourced.  It is in northwestern Greece (Macedonia) where the terroir shows the kind of poor sandy soil grapevines love.  The locale featuring four lakes which help to moderate its cool continental climate of cold winters and warm summers.  This is the only Greek wine appellation that permits rose production.

The grape itself is Xinomavro, a rare variety indigenous to the area.  The Greek industry considers Xinomavro to be a noble variety, one that is known to produce superior wine.  It has been compared to what Pinot Noir and Nebbiolo would be if they were a hybrid.

Akakies is one of those roses that your palate would tell you was a red wine if you didn't see it.  It is a bright cherry color with an intense nose of focused fresh cherry and raspberry.  The lengthy flavors of the wine feature a doubling down on the berries along with tomato (!) in a rich full-bodied format.  The wine has a robust finish.

Akakies comes from Greek wine royalty.  The full name of the company is Ktima Kir-Yianni and was established in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris of the Boutari Wine Group (est. 1879).  It is fully independent of Boutari.  Along with their Amyndeon holdings the company also owns vineyards in Naoussa on the other side of Mount Vermion.  Now twenty years old the company practises integrated farming which means all of their vineyards are sustainably farmed.

Please join us here at the store this Thursday at 5pm when Adam Bess leads us in a tasting of four reds: Albert Bichot Beaujolais, Chateau La Croix du Doc Bordeaux, Badgerhound Zinfandel, and a nice little red from Lisboa, Portugal.

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