KTIMA DIAMANTAKOS | Naoussa
posted on 25/04/2016

Most wine enthusiasts in Greece are familiar with the quartet of new generation winemakers of Naoussa: Dalamaras, Diamantakos, Thymiopoulos and Markovitis. This grouping is not only because the protagonists are in all cases young people just above 30; it is also because they and their wines have redefined the wine heritage of this historical region and represent a synergy development model that is rare and unique for the Greek reality. Of course both their scientific background and deep understanding of Naoussa help towards this direction. This time we choose to visit Ktima Diamantakos in Mantemi, just four kilometers from the center of Naoussa.

 

 

Preknadi and Naoussa by Domaine Diamantakos

 

Part of the 4 hectare vineyard

 

The entrance of Domaine Diamantakos


That day both sunshine and the charming tango music event organized flooded Diamantakos winery with a beautiful cosmopolitan aura. The wines were really elegant and fully justified the producer’s status in the minds and hearts of wine lovers in both Greece and abroad.

 

Domaine Diamantakos is located just ten minutes from the center of Naoussa, at the foothills of Vermio


The vineyard soil at Ktima Diamantakos consists of a penetrative, quite soft dark brown stone called 'Mantemi'. This type of soil -which also gives its name to the region- allows the vine roots to be easily directed downwards, searching deeper for food and moisture delivering grapes and wine with character and depth. In fact, what distinguishes the wines of Naoussa among different producers are the different soils in which each producer’s vines are planted. This is the main reason that explains why many consider Naoussa as the 'Burgundy of Greece'.


Oenologist George Diamantakos is the owner and manager of Ktima Diamantakos, belonging to the third generation of the estate; the first vineyard was planted by his grandfather. Of course George’s father also contributes with his significant experience and knowledge. But George is the one who sets the estate’s pace and the one who has defined the characteristics of their work: trend towards using larger oak barrels (500 liters), French and American origin oak barrels of two and a half years average age, controlled yields, emphasis towards the fruit and aromatic character of the variety, along with the very good tannic structure that characterizes Xinomavro.

 

 

With George Diamantakos

 

Finger-food, wine and smiles at the winery

 

 

The work of the estate, ready for shipment

 

The vineyard plot at the Winery’s backside


After a walk through a part of the 4 hectares vineyard, we get back to the winery located right in the center of the vineyard. We visit the barrel cellar, fermentation room and distillery. Talking with George we get to know 2015 was a very good year for Naoussa, with very healthy grapes and a good potential. I mention this because wine production is never guaranteed; nature is wise but sometimes harsh: 2014 was a year with no grape harvest at all at Ktima Diamantakos as the two-hour hail before harvest destroyed the entire crop.


We ended up at the main hall where we tasted three wines: white Preknadi and red Naoussa from two vintages. I hereby share my notes with you:

 

  • Preknadi 2014 (100% Preknadi) – Wine from a forgotten white variety of Naoussa re-planted by Diamantakos family ten years ago in one hectare. The result is a beautiful white wine with stone fruit aromas (especially peaches), some tropical fruits (melon, mango), minerality and oiliness (lees). Moderate acidity on the palate, medium alcohol and body, with a more neutral taste that makes it ideal to accompany food. Medium+ length.

  • Diamantakos Naoussa 2012 (100% Xinomavro) – A very beautiful Naoussa from the family’s 3 hectars Xinomavro vineyard, from 25 to 30 years old vines. Cherry aromas, flowers, spices, hints of smoke, sweet red fruits and sour cherry. High acidity, medium+, quite sweet (for Xinomavro standards) tannins, moderate alcohol and an excellent overall balance.

  • Diamantakos Naoussa 2011 (100% Xinomavro) – Nose of dried red fruits, plums, tomato paste, cherries, blueberries and mushroom notes. Exemplary barrel use that improves the wine structure without indicating its presence. Balanced palate with the fruit sweetness exemplary supporting its high tannins and acidity. Coffee notes at the finish and a long aftertaste. An excellent, European style wine that puts Naoussa to the forefront.
 

George Diamantakos and Peru

 

Naoussa and its wines never seize to amuse us. Congratulations go to George Diamantakos and his family. We wish them to always reach the highest winemaking peaks and keep up contributing to the wine legend of Naoussa!

 

 

"A violin, an accordion and Xinomavro". A musical journey with "Nuit del'art" from France of Édith Piaf and Argentina of Astor Piazzolla to Greece of Manos Hadjidakis. Dancing in front of the copper pot distiller that is -literally!- on fire every year after harvest.

 

Photos: Stavroula Mariamou

 

Gregory Kontos, DipWSET


Wine writer and taster, sommelier graduate and WSET Diploma holder, with an appreciation for food, traveling, music, friends and bon vivant things in general. Co-partner at Aegean Food Exports and founder of Aegean Wine Selections, a Company focused in Greek wine exports. He is married to Stavroula Mariamou and they have a son. 

 

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