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Flat front label of wine

Alpha Estate Axia Red 2011

Other Red Blends from Greece
  • RP92
14.5% ABV
  • RP90
  • RP90
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14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Splendid, purple red color. Complex, typical bouquet of spices (vanilla, pepper, clove), with hints of ripe blackberry. Full mouth, with vanilla aroma, rounded tannins, balanced acidity and wood tones. Long finish with intense quince aroma.

Blend: Xinomavro 50%, Syrah 50%

Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Axia, the typical 50-50 Syrah and Xinomavro blend, was aged for 12 months in second-use French oak, medium to light toast. It comes in at 14.5% alcohol. This can sometimes be a bit closed in its youth, but I gave it a little extra rest this year and was rewarded with another performance that makes this one of the best red values in Greek wine. Pointed and powerful, with a crisp finish, it doesn't always seem deep, but it never fades or thins, either, and by Day 2 it seemed far better. It filled the mouth with fruit fairly respectably. Laced with earthy nuances on the finish, it is perhaps the most intense of the offerings this issue, but it certainly holds its own in any event. As often happens with this bottling, the two grapes are at war periodically. Sometimes, it seems the Syrah is winning and the nose is Syrah. At other times, the Xinomavro power takes over. They eventually join forces and make this an impressive offering. At the price point, it is a "can't miss" buy for those who like their wine with structure and intensity. It will make a great food wine.
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Alpha Estate

Alpha Estate

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Alpha Estate, Greece
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Alpha Estate is a winery located in the depths of Amyndeon's finest pastures. Alpha represents the "new beginning", the "birth" of a new era in the world of Greek wine. Makis Mavridis, a third generation skilled grapegrower, and Angelos Iatridis, the winemaker, educated in Bordeaux, trained in France, Italy and Greece and ''good father'' to many international well known Greek wines, planted a 65ha vineyard in the Amyndeon region in the late 1990's.

The creation of a privately owned estate vineyard was an enormous and pioneering investment at the time, which signalled the birth of pilot-structured vinicultural exploitation. Our on-going mission is to make wines that bring out the true characteristics of the region they originate from, wines that can reveal the characteristics of the soil, the climate and the typicity of the grape varieties they are made from.

Contribution of the human factor is indispensable to achieve our final goal, which is the production of grapes of the highest quality potential. The wines produced from such grapes are powerful and complex, displaying an intense fruity flavour and excellent balance. The company devotes a tremendous effort in improving the quality of its wines, through carefully planed investments and research programs, in collaboration with many research institutes. The success of these programs allows the company to evaluate permanently the quality and the character of its wine from one "vintage" to the next.

A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of wine styles exist, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. After centuries of adversity after Ottoman rule, the modern wine industry took off in the late 20th century with an influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology.

The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is often moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue during the long, dry summers, sometimes necessitating irrigation.

Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival and refinement of many of these native varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red varieties include full-bodied and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

MSKRAL062_2011 Item# 146292