Kir-Yianni Paranga is a blend of Merlot, Xinomavro and Syrah. It is not “good for a Greek wine” but simply a lovely wine. Therefore it is the entry point to a producer that you need to know.
The Kir-Yianni company was founded in 1997 by Yiannis Boutaris. Based in Naoussa and Amyndeon, on both sides of mount Vermion in Northwestern Greece. With vineyards in Naoussa and Amyndeon planted to native and international varieties they have scope to make some truly amazing wines. Their best is by far the Xinomavro based reds.
The most distinguished variety of Northern Greece mostly famously in the Macedonian PDO Naoussa. These wines are dense with silky mouthfeel, big tannins and good acidity. In fact the name means “Acid Black”. These wines have a lot of layers and age well. Often compared to Nebbiolo from Italy it tastes of red fruits, olives, spice and dried tomatoes.
The Northern most part of Greece that survived war, phylloxera and emigration to now be thriving. PDO Naoussa makes possibly the best wines in Greece from Xinomavro. The whites of Epanomi PGI and Sparkling wines of Amyntaio PDO and Florina PGI are worth a mention too.