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2012 Kir-Yianni "Yianakohori Hills" Red Blend Macedonia

SKU #1233097 90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Yianakohori Hills is a blend of Xinomavro (50%), Merlot (30%) and Syrah (20%) aged for 14 months in well used, French 225-liter and 500-liter barrels. Lovely this year, this is fresh and flavorful up front, with power on the finish. Bright and chock full of flavor, this is superb, showing reasonable concentration and the structure to support the fine fruit. It is immensely appealing at the moment. It will be approachable young, but it will be better next year and it should drink well for the better part of a decade thereafter, or more. How long it stays at peak may be another question, but it drinks beautifully now and is clearly on the upswing. In fact, it is far more appealing just now than the Ramnista reviewed this issue (but has less character and upside as time goes on). Tip: it certainly drank a lot better with just a bit of coolness. Even just a few degrees under 70 (F) helps. (MS)  (10/2015)

K&L Notes

Yet another example of what this awesome winemaking family can do. Typically I don't go for the international varietals blended with indigenous. BUT, in this case I must back down off of my soap box, this wine is super and I'm really excited about it. I'm a sucker for Xinomavro and it is the first thing that hits you - bright cherry and blue fruits, minerality, and elegant depth. Then the Syrah kicks in with running layers of soft, smoky layers of meatiness. Then, the Merlot wraps up and rounds out the two other powerhouse varietals and makes for three peas in a pod. If this just so happened to be your first experience with Greek reds you will be starting off with a very high standard of winemaking. (Eric Story, K&L Greek Wine Buyer)

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Price: $16.99
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Staff Image By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/11/2016 | Send Email
This is an extremely satisfying wine. The dark yet almost sour fruits of Xinomavro, the plums and alpine blueberries, taper off just as pepper spice of Syrah and the smooth character of the Merlot pick up. The mouth feel is full, yet velvety smooth. Those same tannins will keep this gorgeous wine drinking well for many years to come. This is a great candidate for 6 or 12 bottles as it is so delicious now, but will surely continue to evolve over the next decade.

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2016 | Send Email
This elegant Greek blend boasts aromas of violets, dark cherry and anise. The palate is lifted and bright yet soft and polished. Flavors of dark plum, blackberry, and chocolate dominate the palate while having a backbone of graphite and a subtle sanguine quality. While this is drinking well now, the bright acidity and polished tannin structure would make for an interesting wine to cellar for a few years.

Staff Image By: Kirk Walker | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2016 | Send Email
A "Super Grecian" for lack of a better term. This is a great combination of French and Greek varietals. The Xinomavro is the core of this wine, giving plenty of structure and a hint of earth. The Merlot and Syrah flesh out the wine with a pleasant mix of dark fruits, tobacco and subtle game. Polished with the right amount of French oak, this wine over-delivers for the price.

Staff Image By: Mahon McGrath | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/3/2016 | Send Email
There’s a rich, plummy character, with a tart edge, on the nose here which is nicely accented by some subdued spice. Something like an alternate-world claret in body, there’s boysenberry, bay leaf, and asphalt flavors in this blend, along with bright acidity, and lively tannic structure(hello, Xinomavro!), marking this one as best suited to the dinner table. If it’s rich, savory, and/or meaty, this one will get along with it swimmingly.

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- We have the Greeks to thank for introducing wine into Italy and France. And while the legacy of ancient Greek culture lives on, little recognition is given to its modern-day contributions to the wine industry. From the Peloponnese in the south, to Macedonia and Epirus in the north, and islands like Crete, Samos and Santorini, fine wine is once again being made and most of it from indigenous grape varieties not grown in other countries. Styles range from hearty, rustic reds to crisp, neutral whites and heavenly dessert wines.