After two consecutive years of extremely hot and dry conditions, the 2009 season came to replenish the water shortage. Atmospheric humidity during the growing season was the highest observed over the last thirty years and summer temperatures did not rise sufficiently to check the outbreak of downy mildew. Nonetheless, disease did not reduce crop load, as timely disease control ensured proper vine health. On the contrary, water excess raised crop loads relative to the last two years. Xinomavro was picked mid-October. For the most part, the very slow and late ripening allowed continuous berry enlargement with subsequently lower maturity and acidity levels, yet satisfactory phenolic profile. The new blocks planted solely with the preferred Xinomavro clones demonstrated once again their superiority. Meticulous selection process proved to be even more useful during this difficult year. Sorting out grapes not bunch by bunch, but berry by berry, we managed to retain our highest quality standard constant, albeit at an extra cost. So despite the challenges of the year we expect wines with intense and fine aromas, medium color intensities, full-body, and a surprisingly charming harmony. Rating: ****
The grapes are sourced from the viticultural zone of Agios Panteleimon within the Amyndeon appellation in Florina, Northwestern Greece. The high altitude (600m) and the poor sandy soils of the area lead to the production of wines displaying finesse and a rare aromatic character. The four surrounding lakes that act as a buffer zone create perfect weather conditions for the cultivation of Xinomavro, more temperate than expected in this continental climate. The grapes come from 60-year-old vines, yielding no more than 6000 kg/ha. The selection of the vineyards was based on their soil, and the vines’ health and capacity to reach full maturity.
Kali Riza is produced from 100% Xinomavro grapes grown in the area of Amyndeon, in Northwestern Greece. The grapes are carefully selected on harvest depending on their age and content in sugars, phenols and acids. Upon delivery at the winery, they are chilled at a temperature of 8-10oC. After destemming, the grapes are crushed and left to cold soak for 6 days at 10oC, a process aiming at the extraction of more color and aromas. The alcoholic fermentation lasts 2 weeks and is followed by 1 week of post-fermentation maceration. After this period, the wine is transferred to the barrels, were it is left to mature for 14 months. During this time, the wine undergoes malolactic fermentation while it is gently stirred on its lees. Finally, the wine is bottled and left to mature for 1 additional year.