27 Dec 2012 by JH
Date tasted 21 Dec 2012
Producer Alpha Estate
When to drink 2012 to 2022
Date tasted 21 Dec 2012
Very smart packaging, just a shame the bottle is so unnecessarily heavy. When they say old vines, they mean it: 88-year-old bushvines. 24 months in French oak, 12 months in bottle before release. Unfiltered. And just look at the acidity: pH 3.32, TA 6.9 g/l.
Mid cherry red. Intensely aromatic with ripe sour cherry fruit, so inviting, with something almondy as well, like a vinous bakewell tart (but not that sweet). Maybe a slight volatility, like you get on some Amarone, but that just lifts the aroma further. Even after 24 months in oak, the fruit is the absolute star here in its purity and brightness and depth with the effortless intensity of old vines. So mouthwatering, the tannins firm and lithe. Great ageing potential too, if you can keep your hands off it now. This is strictly for those who like plenty of acidity in their wines. (JH)
Jun 2011 Mark Squires93
Drink: 2014 - 2032 $35 (35)
The 2008 Xinomavro Reserve "Vielles Vines" is a very old vines Xinomavro (87 years old), aged in French oak for 24 months, an uptick over the 2007 Reserve, also reviewed this issue. I questioned whether it was such a good idea to increase the oak treatment, but the wine handles it well. Winemaker Angelos Iatridis has scored big here. A year younger, and with that longer time in oak, it is a wine that is a little harder to evaluate early on than the2007. I tended initially to give the edge to the 2007, but this should win the race over the long haul. After some hours open, this 2008 inched ahead. It should have a long enough lifespan to allow the longer oak treatment - which it handles exceptionally well even now - to integrate perfectly. Despite that oak treatment, it should with time show purity of fruit and sunny intensity. Not quite as expressive at the moment as its 2007 sibling, reviewed this issue, it seemed racier. The longer it was open, the more the natural acidity of Xinomavro showed. It does not feel quite as rich and concentrated on opening as the 2007, but that may also be a function of the way this interacts with its acidity. Plus, it fleshes out beautifully with long aeration. After watching this evolve with aeration, I believe this will eventually come into impeccable balance and there will not be a hair out of place, although that may not be until around 2015-2018 or so. It is shut down just now, but a couple of hours of aeration did wake it up. It seems sure to be a big success. Just be patient. At the price points, this and the 2007 (although that will be harder to track down) are simply steals. Drink 2014-2032.
2008 Alpha Estate Xinomavro Reserve
The low-yielding, 90-year-old bush vines are planted (on their own roots) on sandy soil over limestone, yielding less than 27 hectolitres per hectare (1.8 tonnes per acre). The wine spends two years in new French oak and a further year in bottle in the winery prior to release. The bouquet and palate exude red and black cherry, plum and warm spice aromas and flavours, the tannin structure excellent, the overall mouthfeel and balance very good, the oak integrated. 13.5% alc; cork
94 points; drink to 2025; $40
2008 Alpha Estate – Xinomavro Reserve, Amyndeon, Northern Greece, Greece
Lovely ruby pale colour (like a Nebbiolo) with gamey notes combined with savoury herbs and spices. A fascinating range of flavours in this wine made from old vines. Alpha Estate has crafted a fantastic expression showing the potential of this grape variety. The wine was matured in French oak casks for 24 months. Ready to drink but will keep for at least 6-8 years.(91)