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Oenos Mittas Naoussa '20
The Mittas family is one of the oldest in Naoussa, one of the most well-known appellations for the red variety Xinomavro, in northern Greece. Although previous generations have worked within the wine trade, Yiannis Mittas, now all of 28 years old, and who graduated with a degree in agricultural technology, is the first to make and bottle wine. Yiannis also worked for four years at Domaine Dalámara, one of the best, established wineries of the region, further honing his skills and informing what he wanted to produce under his own label. The region is home to some of the biggest producers, but the quality isn’t always so great, so it’s unique when a new, young producer emerges.
The Mittas family bought 1.8 hectares of the famed Pailokalias vineyard, considered one of the best crus in Naoussa, in 2018. The average age of the vines is 25 years old, and the vineyard was planted in 1971. Since then the older vines have been replanted with Xinomavro that offers higher acidity levels and lower alcohols while balancing the tannins. The soils in Naoussa are characterized by more clay and less sand, as well as considerable limestone, compared to neighboring areas. The climate here is continental.
The style of the wines being made by Mittas is broadly traditional. Low-intervention farming (the vineyards are now fully converted and licensed as organic) and wine making are the general rule. Tannin management incorporates only periodic—twice daily—manual punchdowns and 500-liter French oak barrels while the fruit, acidity, and alcohol levels are reminiscent of Naoussa wines from 40 years ago. Mittas’s wines reward on release and don’t necessarily need long aging because of their elegant nature.
The grapes for the 2020 Xinomavro undergo 15 days of skin contact, with twice-daily pump overs. The wine is aged for a year in French oak barrels, 25% first use, and then for an additional year in bottle. On the nose, the wine shows red and dark fruit, plum, and spice notes. The wine is medium bodied, and the tannins are well integrated with the fruit. The wine opens beautifully with a bit of time in a decanter. Enjoy it with your favorite lamb dish.
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