Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their January 2018 edition article: The Most Exciting Wines of 2017 (see blue link below).
Alpha Estate is located in Amyndeon, North West Greece. It is the brainchild of two visionaries, second generation vine grower Makis Mavridis and Bordeaux trained wine maker Angelos Iatrides. Angelos is one of the most talented winemakers working in Europe. This pristine estate in the cool highlands of Western Macedonia comprises 120 hectares of privately owned single block vineyards and employs the most up to date vineyard techniques and winemaking technology to produce world class wines from French and indigenous Greek varietals.
The Single Block Barba Yiannis is named in honour of Mr Yiannis, from whom the block was purchased in 1994. The vineyard is located in Amyndeo, in the region of Macedonia. The vines are ungrafted, pre-phylloxera bush vines which are over 90 years old. The summers are hot, so in order to avoid extreme water deficit a "root zone drying irrigation" is used, to ensure the optimum conditions for the nourishment and maturation of the grapes. The vines are grown in sandy clay soils.
The grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and cold soaked with skin contact. The fermentation took place using an indigenous yeast strain. Fermentation took place at gradually increasing temperatures, before being maintained "sur lie" or on its fine lees for eighteen months with regular stirring. Maturation took place in Allier - Bertrange French oak casks of medium grain, for 24 months, with a minimum of a further 12 months ageing in the bottle. The wine was bottled without fining and filtration.
A complex and typical Xinomavro (pronounced Ksee no' ma vro), showing aromas of smoky black fruits, strawberries, dark cherries, liquorice, sundried tomatoes, and delicate spice. Full bodied and structured on the palate, with a rich depth of fruit, concentrated savoury notes and a touch of oak. The velvety tannins lead through to a persistent and aromatic finish.
A perfect match with juicy red barbecued meats, roasted lamb, spicy sausage and red peppers baked in olive oil.
This wine is suitable for vegetarians.
A well-structured wine with intense ripe fruit aromas and flavours, herbal nuances and well-integrated oak flavours, silky tannins and a velvet finish.
The 2015 vintage was awarded 89 points and Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their July 2017 edition review of Summer reds (to chill) (see blue link below). We are now "onto" the 2016 vintage, which we judge to be of similar quality.
One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini. Gaia's main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide. Vineyard Produced from grapes of exceptional maturity that are cultivated in a low-yielding, non irrigated vineyard on the hills surrounding the Nemea wine region. Here, the soil structure consists of a shallow clay layer of approximately 70 to 80cm, that lies upon the lime soil. This type of clay retains humidity and releases it back to the vines when required thus helping to naturally monitor the water stress in the vine, producing concentrated flavours in the berries.
This wine, Agiorgitiko 85%, Syrah 15%, was matured in new 225-litre French oak casks from the Nevers & Allier departements, with medium-plus toasting.
A light bodied wine with spicy flavours of fresh plums and red cherries. A lovely summer red. Light bodied with a refreshing, velvety mouth feel and intense, persistent aromas of ripe red fruit, with elegant notes of butter caramel on the finish. A good all rounder that can be enjoyed with a variety of meals from light snacks to red meats.