Domaine Tatsis 'Young Vines' 2018
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This is a great example of the soul-satisftying wines being made by Periklis and Stergios Tatsis. 50% Xinomavro and 50% Negoska, made from younger vines in Macedonia; the older vines in this plot go into the Tatsis "Goumenissa". Xinomavro, with it's edgy sour cherry notes, has a resemblance to Nebbiolo, while Negoska's lower acidity and darker, earthy, tones are a perfect complement. Lots of crunchy herbal notes here: rosemary, violet, cranberry, and sarsaparilla, with a nervy backbone of grip and earth. Plenty of personality here but the funky flavors are reigned-in. The extra aging helps soften up and integrate the more gnarly ruggedness and add some complexity. This is an astounding wine for the money.
Tatsis was one of the first producers to doggedly stand behind Greek grape varieties and older, natural winemaking techniques in Macedonia. When Periklis and Stagios Tatsis joined their father in the vineyards in the late 1990s, there were probably only four or five other winemakers who were working like they did. The Tatsis brothers really embody the idea that looking to the past is the way forward. They are working with organic and Biodynamic methods and zero sulfur. Jonathan Kemp