Xinomavro Reserve [Old Vines], Alpha Estate
Xinomavro 100%. Amyndeon plateau, of the “Turtles” sub-region. 660m altitude, with north-western exposure, facing mount Voras. 90 year old vines, tended in sandy clay soils over limestone. 69ha of Linear, privately owned vineyard situated at an altitude of 620-710m. Destemming, no crushing, cold soak – skin contact, alcoholic fermentation at gradual increasing temperatures, maintenance of wine “sur lies” for eight months with regular stirring. Eighteen to twenty four months in Allier – Bertrange French oak casks medium grain, white toast and eighteen to twenty four months in the bottle.
Bright dark ruby color. Complex nose with typical bouquet of sundried tomatoes, smoky black fruits, strawberries, dark cherries, licorice and spices. Full body, with rich fruit depth, blackberries, plums, herbaceous hints and oak on the back. Solid, velvety tannins and long aftertaste with persistent aromas.
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Press & Reviews
The 2012 Xinomavro Reserve Vielles Vines is the newest release in this brand, on the market just now. It is also part of this issue's focus on Amyndeon terroir. Sourced from 91-year-old vines at 620 to 710 meters in altitude, this was aged for twenty-four months in new French oak, light to medium toast. This vintage, Winemaker Angelos Iatridis said to me, featured a hot summer, but balanced September prior to the October 4 harvest. It all worked out. It seems to be, potentially, Alpha's finest effort. That said, it will require some patience and it is not fully expressive just now. To be sure, Alpha makes refined wines these days, and they try not to sear the palate with tannins and acidity. This is by no means an undrinkable brute, in other words, but it is more backward than last year's seductive beauty, the 2011. It has a bit more depth, a bit more power, a bit more everything. Yet, it still seems in beautiful balance. It just needs a little bit more time. This should age beautifully. Drink the 2011 while waiting for this to develop some complexity and pull in its relatively modest oak. This may yet be entitled to an uptick and it will likely still be improving when the 2011 hits peak.