Alpha Estate Hedgehog Vineyard Xinomavro 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Here’s a red to buy by the case—one case for this summer, as it’s light enough to chill, and another for the cellar, as this is structured enough to keep. It comes off of Angelos Iatridis’s younger vines, growing in a sandy 23-acre vineyard close to his winery. Cold-soaked and fermented in stainless-steel tanks, then aged in white-toasted barrels for one year and in bottle for another, it’s bright and fresh, with no perceptible wood influence to get in the way of the fruit. That fruit is cherry-red and layered with spice, notes of wild herbs and fennel fronds accenting its cool feel, but it’s the acidity that gives the wine its tautness and precision, an energy that makes it ready to enliven the evening. Best Buy
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 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.
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.