(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) 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.
(2019) 50/50 blend of Syrah and Xinomavro, this is aged in French oak from Alliers, in this vintage 50% new. Bold and ripe fruit character, also some floral notes from the younger vines. Small red berries, sweet pot-pourri spices. Good length and a nice bit of structure here.
(2019) Hedgehog is the name of this single vineyard, planted 25 year ago. The wine spends 12 months in French oak, 50% new. Lovely cherry and floral fresh character, made in rotating horizontal tanks for gentle extraction. Lightly smoky and nutty and earthy, lovely juicy acidity and freshness with spice and medium body. Almost sneaked a score of 92.
(2019) From the Barba Yannis single block of 99-year-old ungrafted vines, this was fermented with wild yeasts. The soils are 90% sand at 650 metres, and this was harvested at an extremely low 20hl/ha and spent years in all new oak. Complex, elegant, has the wild herb and floral edge to rich black fruit. Spicy and textured, but has a red fruit elegance too, spices and so much fresh acidity into the finish against the refined tannins.
(2019) From Naoussa and 100% Xinomavro, this comes from a small, single-vinyard plot. Deep ruby in colour, there is real lift and fragrance, wild garrigue herbs and flowers, Laspang souchon tea, and taut black berry fruit, quite dry and mineral. In the mouth it is both fruit-forward and subtly mineral, very precise, slaty acids and dry tannins, but the inherent sweetness and intensity of the black fruit, cherry skins and tart blackcurrant, gives elegance and polish. Long and concentrated without every throwing its weight around, it is a lovely, lovely wine.
(2019) Its fame on the island of Santorini has perhaps spurred on many modern Greek producers to grow Assyrtiko, undoubtedly a - if not the - star white wine grape of Greece. From vineyards at an altitude of 700 meters and poor, sandy soils, this is typically crisp and zesty and is unoaked. It doesn't have the ozoney seaside freshness of some of the Santorini wines, but instead a yellow plum and lime freshness, lees ageing adding to the texture to give it quite a full and grippy presence, the finish bone-dry and hinting at river stones and saltiness.
(2019) A white wine, blended from 80% Roditis and 20% Malagousia, this is a highly aromatic wine, a subtle spritz on openining seeming to release a waft of jasmine and honeysuckle, over mango and more crisp, apple and citrus fruit notes. Unoaked, the palate zings with that delicate but substantial flavour profile, very zesty, a touch of Mandarin orange to the acidity keeps it dry and fresh, but very approachable. An aperitif style for sure, but could be lovely with thai or spicy szechuan dishes.
(2019) Blending 50% Merlot with equal parts Xinomavro and Syrah, this is a robust and characterful red, very deep in colour and mixing a cherry and briar, herbal quality with rounded berry fruit. That sweet fruit of the nose translates to the palate too, backed by a little chocolate bittersweetness, perhaps a touch of olive, and a grippy rusticity to the tannins that, along with nicely pert acidity, freshness the finish nicely.
(2018) From the super-impressive Alpha Estate in Greek Macedonia, this has the delicate Provençal colour and character, spices, small hard red berries and a touch of watermelon. Made by running off some juice from the red wine cuvée, 'Hedgehog', after two hours in the press, it has a nice salty mineral freshness. Long and nicely done.