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Alpha Estate Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro 2015

Other Red Wine from Greece
  • W&S90
  • WE90
  • RP90
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • TP92
  • RP91
  • RP92
  • RP91
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

#99 Wine Enthusiast Top 100 of 2018

Bright purple-red color. Complex, typical bouquet of small berries, red fruits, leather and spices (vanilla, pepper, clove), with hints of ripe blackberry. Full mouth, rounded tannins, balanced acidity and well integrated wood tones. Long aftertaste with intense quince aroma.

Perfect match with juicy red barbecued meats, spicy sausages, red baked peppers in olive oil, stew rabbit, light spicy fool body cheeses.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
In an easy, inviting style, this plays up the sun and the breezes of the high, cool Amyndeon plateau, presenting a wine that’s plump with cherry fruit whisked along with brisk acidity. Some mineral tones keep it firm and savory; for lamb souvlaki.
Best Buy
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Raspberry, spicebox and herbal aromas take the lead in Alpha Estate's popular Hedgehog red. On the palate, lush red cherry, pepper and a distinct mineral spin give it poise and purpose. Pair it with grilled meats, pork and tomato dishes.
Editors' Choice
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2015 Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard was aged for 12 months in an equal mixture of new and second use French oak and comes in at 12.8% alcohol. If you want to know why this region and grape have a reputation for acidity, this issue certainly shows you. This is one good example. Alpha's Axia is another and the Kir-Yianni Kali Riza yet a third. Silky yet fruity, without a lot of concentration but with enlivening lift to the fruit and plenty of power, this has all those old-school Xinomavro nuances of earth and amber to go with the big hits of acidity. These types of Xinomavro make me think "Nebbiolo" every time. In fact, this often seems to have more rusticity than Alpha's upper-level (and typically more refined) Vielles Vignes bottling. When these old-school types come down the road, you are best off letting them rest a bit and coming back in a few years. The acidity and tannins will preserve them for a long time, perhaps longer than expected, so there is no rush. This is a fine value that does a lot of great things that wines in this price category often do not—but you will need some patience, and it does have to be your style.
Rating: 90+
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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.

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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 exists, 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 mostly 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.

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Other Red Wine

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Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.

PBC9140280_2015 Item# 495930