2017 Apostolus Thymiopoulos Xinomavro Rosé
Region: Naossa < Macedonia < Greece
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic + biodynamic farming; x soils; grapes are de-stemmed before a 12-hour maceration then a 6-month native yeast fermentation in stainless steel, then rests in neutral 500-liter barrels for a few months before bottling, unfined/unfiltered with minimal added So2; 13% ABV
Winemaker: Apostolus Thymiopoulos
WHY IS THIS A UNICORN? Certified organic and biodynamic Greek rosé that undergoes an insane six-month natural fermentation followed by a four-month dip in neutral oak, resulting in an incredibly complex, layered wine that punches way above the standard rosé class.
Naoussa is in Macedonia, one of the northernmost regions of Greece—a cooler region by Greek standards, and the high-altitude Fyteia, where Apostolus’ biodynamic vines live, is even cooler. Here the family farmed grapes for generations but ultimately sold off all but a few, which grandson Apostolos took over after studying enology in Athens and began making wines with the family name on them in 2003. He makes mostly 100% Xinomavro red wines (the only grape allowed in this PDO) but shaves off a few barrels to make this seductive coppery-hued rosé. No mere porch pounder, this is a serious wine, with intense minerality, structure and layers of crunchy red fruit, herbs, orange peel, and wet earth. Yes, it costs more than that aisle cap at Whole Foods but splurge people, you are worth it – this wine is worth it!