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Diamantakos, Naoussa XinomavroMacedonia, Greece 2018 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Diamantakos, Naoussa Xinomavro Macedonia, Greece 2018 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
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Alcohol
“The Naoussa winegrowing zone has been hailed as “the Barolo of Greece,” with the local Xinomavro grape sitting in for Nebbiolo. This wine doesn’t merely emulate great Barolo, but fine red Burgundy and many other world-class reds besides.”

While grown in several PDOs (Protected Denominations of Origins) across northern Greece, the region most sommeliers are fixated on is Naoussa, in the southeastern foothills of the Vermio Mountains. We’ve offered several excellent Naoussa wines here on SommSelect, but the 2018 from Diamantakos was a total game-changer. We were all completely transfixed by it, and, speaking as the one who got to take our sample bottle home, I can confirm it only got better over two days open. Naoussa is often referred to as the “Barolo of Greece,” and while Diamantakos’ does indeed give a hat-tip to Barolo’s Nebbiolo grape, it seems to have its sights set more squarely on blue-chip red Burgundies from villages like Vosne-Romanée and Chambolle-Musigny.

George Diamantakos tends 30+-year-old vines, with the cumulative knowledge of three generations and a degree in viticulture and enology. His wines are undeniably influenced by Burgundy, the pinnacle of what Greece is capable of today. The pocket-sized estate is run with the utmost attention to traditional methods. Xinomavro is famously persnickety—just like Pinot Noir—and requires careful canopy management to thrive. The sandy, limestone-rich clay soils, and vines are dry-farmed for maximum structure and additional fruit.
 
There’s an intoxicating intensity to the fruit on this wine, each sniff dripping with ripe strawberries, tomato paste, vanilla bean, and cocoa powder. The nose unfurls luxuriously over the next hour, coaxing out spicier notes of anise and warm clay to balance the initial fruitiness. The palate is equally refined with hints of pepper and black cherry. Diamantakos really shines in terms of structure—tense, a touch velvety, and wonderfully acidic for optimal food pairing. 

  • CountryGreece
  • RegionMacedonia
  • Sub-RegionNaoussa
  • SoilClay, Sand, Limestone
  • BlendXinomavro
  • Alcohol13.5%
  • OakMostly Neutral French & American Oak
  • Temp.Serve at 60-65° F
  • GlasswareBurgundy Stems
  • DrinkingNow-2028
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingRigatoni w/ Lamb Ragù

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