(2020) California popularised the 'Fumé' style of Sauvignon Blanc, but of course it harks back to traditional top-end white Bordeaux, where Sauvignon is often the major component, and invariably it is barrel-fermented and aged. From a single vineyard planted at between 620 and 710-metres, this was fermented in medium toast Vosges oak barriques, with regular stirring, and up to seven months in oak for maturation. Its a wine that has a sheen of almond and oatmeal oak, but which lets the very peachy fruit sing, a slice of pink grapefruit adding cut and acid balance, just subdued herbal notes, but fresh, dry and zesty in the stylish finish. Stockist at time of review may not be for this vintage.
(2020) From Alpha Estate's high-altitude vineyards on the Amyndeon plateau, this Malagousia was made in steel, with two months on the lees with regular stirring. Peach and lime, a lick of ozoney saltiness, and a background note of passion fruit and elderflower that is aromatic and a tiny bit reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc. In the mouth there is plenty of sweet, ripe, nectarine and honey fruitiness, but good grapefruit and lime acidity, again, maybe one for those who appreciate the cut of a good Sancerre.
(2019) This rosé from northern Greece is absolutely packed with flavour and personality. Made from 100% Xinomavro, it's a rosé for the Sauvignon Blanc lover perhaps. A little whiff of reduction blows off to reveal zesty and elderflower notes, a flinty quality remaining, and lots of small red berries. Dry and punchily flavoured on the palate too, a swish of tangy graperfuit drives along with the softer berry fruit giving this plenty of vivacious bangs per buck. A lot of web sites selling this are using an old picture with a much darker wine: this is the fashionable, pale Provençal shade of pink.
(2019) Sauvignon Blanc 60%, Assyrtiko 40% and super-fresh and citrussy, good pure Sancerre-like Sauvignon aromas. Lovely running-water clarity, peach and nectarine verging into pineapple. Deliciously appealing style, so much sweet fruit but excellent acid balance.
(2019) A 50/50 blend of Assyrtiko and Semillon, which was barrel fermented and aged in oak, 50% of the barrels new. The barrels give a creamy and lightly minty character, then some green and passion fruit notes. The palate has more texture, and a real keen lime fruit and lime acidity. Long and the limpid texture and freshness, that works beautifully with food.
(2019) Blending 50% Assyrtiko with 50% Malagousia, this is made in all stainless steel. Definitely some floral notes here, but a more citrus and green apple bite and freshness. The palate is very pure, with the touch of saline and plenty of citrus freshness.
(2019) Made from the variety Malagousia that was saved from virtual extinction by Vangelis Gerovassiliou who championed the variety. Twenty percent of the wine is fermented in seasoned barrels. Floral, Muscat-like aromas dominate, jasmine perfume and fragrant peach down and lemon zest. Lovely fresh and crisp palate, quite Sancerre-like in the mouth, with plenty of zest.
(2019) Viognier was planted here in 90s, and a percentage was fermented and aged in new, but neutral (low toast) French oak barrels. A little reduced at first, then good apricot and pear Viognier aromatics come through. Juicy and fresh, a blast of orange acidity streaks through the finish. A good expression of Viognier this.
(2019) A blend of three rarely-seen varieies, Limnio 40%, Mavrotragano 30% and Mavroudi 30% fermented in open oak casks, then aged 15 months in barrel. Deep, solid colour, spices and bramble jam fruity depth, some little floral notes too, and then dry on the palate. A touch of slightly resinous oak, but it fills out to help give a bit of flesh and breadth on the mid-palate through to the finish.
(2019) Kicking off an impressive set of wines for Alpha Estate, this rosé has a pale, Provençal colour and character, spices, small, firm red berries and a touch of watermelon. The wine is a bleed-off from the press, of grapes destined for the 'Hedgehog' cuvée. A nice salt and bright red fruit freshness, this is long and nicely tempered, elegant stuff.