2014 Boutari Naoussa, Naousa (750ml)

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Country: Greece
Region: Naousa
Grape Varietal: Xinomavro
Review Score: 87WA
Alcohol By Volume: 12.0%

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The 2014 Naoussa, the last in this issue's modern vertical, will be released sometime in 2017. (I don't see why, actually. There is no reason for a late release of this precocious vintage.) It was aged for 12 months in used French oak and comes in at just 12% alcohol. From one of Northern Greece's worst vintages, this is what Boutari will offer in Xinomavro. The Grande Reserve will not be bottled and has been declassified. (Most producers are declassifying upper-level bottlings.) For what is left, this is nice, if restrained and understated. It won't be confused with the best of the breed, but it is a respectable offering at this level. On opening, it seemed particularly impressive. In the long run, though, the concentration is modest and the fruit just doesn't have the same sunny, lifted feel as we see in other years. There is little persistence. CEO Yiannis Voyatzis said they tried to compensate with strict selections and other techniques. There is still some crispness here, delicious fruit and a bit of power. If it stays at that level it would be pretty good, but it did seem to decline a bit with aeration, too. Still, at the price point, it won't disappoint for short to mid-term consumption. Early on, though, it may seem better than indicated.

87 points, Wine Advocate (Issue # 226 - Aug 2016)