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Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes, Thymiopoulos 2021

4.000000000 star rating 18 Reviews
The master of this increasingly modish Greek grape won plaudits from our 2023 Wine Champions judges for fragrance, freshness and sheer personality. Packed with juicy fruit and infused with savoury herbs, it’s eminently chillable too.
is no longer available
Code: GR2641

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Medium-bodied
  • Xinomavro
  • 75cl
  • Now to 2025
  • 13% Alcohol
  • oak used but not v. noticeable
  • Cork, diam

Apostolos Thymiopoulos

Apostolos Thymiopoulos, the current head of operations at the family winery, is described by many as the young star of Greek wine. The family has been growing grapes for generations, but it was Apostolos’ father that first began to do so commercially: he grew grapes to sell to local wineries, and took the task of cultivating good-quality grapes very seriously indeed.

His passion obviously rubbed off onto his son, who went on to study oenology in Athens. It was during his studies that he and the family began seriously experimenting with the xinomavro grape. They had been growing it for some years, but now they wanted to bring this indigenous northern Greek variety to the rest of the world in a new, modern, high-quality form. Apostolos released his first wine – the 2003 vintage – in 2005. Named Ghi Kai Uranos (‘earth and sky’), it possessed qualities similar to that of modern Barolo, with powerful, concentrated ripe fruit, excellent acidity and good ageing potential.

Xinomavro actually means ‘sour black’ (it has also been translated as ‘black of Naoussa’) and this gives a good description of its key characteristics: a dark colour and high acidity. Its healthy tannins means it is likely we will enjoy watching some of the earlier wines evolve for many years to come. Another of xinomavro’s key characteristics is a remarkable ability to reflect the land in which it is grown, so the vineyards are of course key to its character. It isn’t grown with any particular success anywhere...
Apostolos Thymiopoulos, the current head of operations at the family winery, is described by many as the young star of Greek wine. The family has been growing grapes for generations, but it was Apostolos’ father that first began to do so commercially: he grew grapes to sell to local wineries, and took the task of cultivating good-quality grapes very seriously indeed.

His passion obviously rubbed off onto his son, who went on to study oenology in Athens. It was during his studies that he and the family began seriously experimenting with the xinomavro grape. They had been growing it for some years, but now they wanted to bring this indigenous northern Greek variety to the rest of the world in a new, modern, high-quality form. Apostolos released his first wine – the 2003 vintage – in 2005. Named Ghi Kai Uranos (‘earth and sky’), it possessed qualities similar to that of modern Barolo, with powerful, concentrated ripe fruit, excellent acidity and good ageing potential.

Xinomavro actually means ‘sour black’ (it has also been translated as ‘black of Naoussa’) and this gives a good description of its key characteristics: a dark colour and high acidity. Its healthy tannins means it is likely we will enjoy watching some of the earlier wines evolve for many years to come. Another of xinomavro’s key characteristics is a remarkable ability to reflect the land in which it is grown, so the vineyards are of course key to its character. It isn’t grown with any particular success anywhere outside of Naoussa, which is possibly why Apostolos and his family now dedicate their production to this one variety in an attempt to champion this underrated region.

Over the years, they have converted to biodynamic viticulture, and Apostolos lets the vineyards’ character shine through by not interfering with nature too much. For instance, he does not prune the vines so they can find their own balance, and he is careful not to over-irrigate as it can lead to unpleasantly dominant tannins. Various pests are an issue – in particular, wild boar from the surrounding woods have a very sweet tooth – but Apostolos uses nature to counteract them. For instance, to counteract a plague of locusts in 2012, he released fifty guinea fowl into the vineyards who quickly devoured the problem!

The vineyards’ stony, chalky, green slate and red marble soils come in a beautiful mosaic of different colours, and Thymiopoulos’ vineyards have the added bonus of being up to 50 years old, with established root systems and excellent drainage.

In his small winery in Trilofos, the winemaking process is very gentle so as to retain the wines’ fruit character. Apostolos is also beginning to make white wine using the magalousia grape at a friend’s winery in central Greece.
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Delicious.com

Greek reds, especially from the xinomavro grape, have swung into fashion lately; here’s a fine example with blackcurrants, plum and violets. Try with charcuterie too.

Susy Atkins

Delicious

Greek reds, especially from the xinomavro grape, have swung into fashion lately; here’s a fine example with blackcurrants, plum and violets. Try with charcuterie too. 

Susy Atkins

The Daily Telegraph

Star Greek winemaker Apostolos Thymiopoulos has deliberately made this xinomavro in northern Greece in a fresh and lively style. Scented like just-picked blackcurrants with a hint of violet, it tastes of...
Star Greek winemaker Apostolos Thymiopoulos has deliberately made this xinomavro in northern Greece in a fresh and lively style. Scented like just-picked blackcurrants with a hint of violet, it tastes of red-plum skins and black cherries, sightly herbal. Could be enjoyed on its own, lightly chilled, or matched with charcuterie.
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Victoria Moore

Decanter

The Wine Society sells bucket loads of this lively Greek red, made by Decanter's Rising Star of 2022, Apostolos Thymiopoulos. And it's obvious why: it's fantastic value for money, and is one of my...
The Wine Society sells bucket loads of this lively Greek red, made by Decanter's Rising Star of 2022, Apostolos Thymiopoulos. And it's obvious why: it's fantastic value for money, and is one of my favourite everyday reds, not only in summer, but year round. It's a brilliant introduction to the xinomavro grape, juicy, approachable and fresh - serve it lightly chilled and enjoy the cranberry, cherry and herbaceous tomato leaf flavours. There's no oak here (it's aged in a mix of stainless steel and concrete), just an uncomplicated, joyful fruit purity. Some whole-bunch in this vintage adds extra juciness. If you enjoy it, experiment with some of the other Wine Society-listed Thymiopoulos xinomavros, including the more complex Raspani Terra Petra and the new Xinomavro Rosé.
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Amy Wislocki

The Scotsman

Xinomavro is known as 'sour black', but here it's at its most user friendly; light, elegant, perfumed red fruits.

Rose Murray Brown

The Daily Telegraph

Reds made in Greece from the xinomavro grape are more transparent in texture, somewhere between pinot noir and nebbiolo, with a marked taste of strawberries. Good examples include Thymiopoulos Xinomavro...
Reds made in Greece from the xinomavro grape are more transparent in texture, somewhere between pinot noir and nebbiolo, with a marked taste of strawberries. Good examples include Thymiopoulos Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes 2021.
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Victoria Moore

The Daily Telegraph

Reds made in Greece from the xinomavro grape are more transparent in texture, somewhere between pinot noir and nebbiolo, with a marked taste of strawberries. Good examples include Thymiopoulos Xinomavro...
Reds made in Greece from the xinomavro grape are more transparent in texture, somewhere between pinot noir and nebbiolo, with a marked taste of strawberries. Good examples include Thymiopoulos Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes 2021.
Read more

Victoria Moore

The Mail on Sunday

Made using grapes from young vines, this is a light and summery, fragrant red. Slightly chilled, it even works with fish, including grilled salmon.

Charlotte Kristensen

Daily Mail Online

A lighter, tangy Greek red that's a winner with spicy flatbread, this is best served slightly chilled.

Olly Smith

jancisrobinson.com

Sweet, energetic fruit and real structure. Leaps out of the glass. A good price for an artisanal wine, with the grainy tannins on the end less marked than in most Xinomavros. Good value

Jancis Robinson MW

2020 vintage reviews
2019 vintage reviews

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