The Rapsani region is on the short list of important Greek wine regions and produces wines that compare very favorably with the best that Burgundy and Barolo can offer. In fact, this wine tastes a bit like a fascinating cross between those two. This is no Frankenstein wine, however. Its millennia of development assures us a distinctive wine of subtlety and elegance that wasn’t needing validation by the outside world; the locals knew. The Greek debt crisis following the great recession forced Greek producers to look beyond their domestic market, however, so we are now in on their secret. Located in the southeastern foothills of Mt. Olympus and beginning only eight miles from the Mediterranean, the region receives extra cooling at night as the cool air from the perennially snow-covered gorges descends, allowing slower ripening and lower alcohol content. The indigenous grapes Xinomavro, Krassato and Stavroto are required to be co-fermented and in this bottling Xinomavro makes up 50% of the blend with Stavroto and Krassato splitting the remainder. The Xinomavro gives acid and tannins, while the Krassato and Stavroto soften the mouthfeel while adding more aromatic intensity and complexity. The alluvial soils are mainly schist and iron-rich marl. That iron, accessible because of the certified biodynamic farming of the old vines, gives a real boost to the intensity of the flavors without being apparent on its own. A portion of the grapes are fermented whole cluster after a weeks-long cold soak to give a nice pop of fruit and fresh flowers. The large-format, used French oak barrels utilized for the 14 month aging assure that those fresh aromas aren’t slathered in vanilla and baking spices, but are just accentuated and concentrated. Heady flavors of bing cherries and red plums, chaparral and leather on a medium bodied chassis. Delicious on its own, but will sing with a hearty pasta with spicy tomato sauce such as Pastitsio, sausages or pizza.