2016 Alpha Estate "Hedgehog Vineyard" Xinomavro Amyndeon Greece

SKU #1424274 94 points Wine & Spirits

 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.  (8/2019)

92 points Decanter

 Appealing nose of spice with strawberry accents. Light bodied palate with juicy cherry and a long, cranberry finish. (DWWA 2019)  (5/2019)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard was aged for 12 months in an equal mixture of used and new French barriques. It comes in at 13.6% alcohol. This seems riper than the 2015-which is not a synonym for saying "better," but I suspect in the long run this will be better. Right at the moment, neither is ready and they were both a little hard to read when I originally received them (only the 2016 is here, the new release). Just lovely, this silky Xinomavro is perfectly balanced, fresh and crisp. It finishes tight and lingers. It is a perfect food wine but not quite ready. The world won't end if you pop it open, but you'd be better off coming back around 2021, both to allow tannins to moderate and for the fruit to become more expressive. I will say that, with about two hours open, it started to show sweeter and more expressive fruit. Graceful and precise, this is another fine bargain from Alpha Estate in this brand. (MS) 90+  (4/2019)

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Price: $19.99

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By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/25/2019 | Send Email
Everyone should be drinking this wine. For a wine that is often described as needing time (5-10+ years) to be ready for drinking, this is highly charismatic and approachable right now. The aromas are rich with red fruit and an herbaceous whiff that reminds me of my farmers market herb vendor. The palate is layered with ripe plum, raspberry and peppery spice. The tannins wave hello and linger just long enough, the energetic acid is perfect for that rib eye waiting for me at the butcher. There is so much complexity and personality in this wine - bring this to your next grill ‘n chill gathering for a perfect match to a hearty piece of meat. This has all of the elements to make it a great tenant in your cellar for several years, too.

By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/21/2019 | Send Email
So, stay with me here: What if Nebbiolo and Gamay got together and had a baby? You would probably get Xinomavro! It shares many wonderful qualities of these two distinct grapes! Wild herbs and leather with that great mineral backbone of the Nebbiolo. The Gamay side gives it that touch of light, bright red berry fruit. It all comes together with enough structure to pair with some yummy Greek fare. This is definitely a grape you need to take a look at. Alpha Estate produced one of the best expressions I have had!

By: Greg St. Clair | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
I’ll be honest I am still trying to figure out Xinomavro, I’ve got the pronunciation down, but it is a wine I haven’t been able to categorize in my mind. On the nose it shows lots of leather, spice, grit and hints of fruit compote while on the palate it shows a bit of grippy tannins with a replay of the nose. The finish seems to accent the tannins, they’re not big and powerful but evident. This is a wine that you need some rich, heavy, textural food to have this with, while obviously Moussaka seems the choice I think you’re better served with a good’ol American lasagna.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/15/2019 | Send Email
I have been singing the praises of Greek whites for some time but there are a few Greek reds that are worthy of your attention. The Alpha "Hedgehog" is one such bottling and is the finest and most fun example of a Xinomavro I have tasted in some time. Xino - is often called the Nebbiolo of Greece and with its high acidity and sometimes muscle-y tannins it is hard not to see why. But... this Xino, while having many of those qualities, has a freshness and lively fruit quality that distinguishes it from the pack. It is a pure and joyful expression that is humming with strawberry jam, red flowers, potpourri and dried spices. It has a bright fleshiness that is inviting and a medium bodied texture that counter balances the light grip of the tannins. This is great drinking Xinomavro that is wonderfully accessible and puts Greece's reds in a whole new light.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/14/2019 | Send Email
As soon as I tasted this wine I knew it would become one of my new favorite summertime reds. There’s a beautiful herbal note on the nose that’s quickly followed up by red cherries and strawberries. The body is light to medium but don’t be fooled by the translucent color. There’s plenty of structure and grip here to make it interesting. This will be a go-to wine for grilled lamb chops with a dusting of fresh rosemary and a splash of best quality olive oil. The quality of our Greek wine selection is without peer. It’s wonderful to see just how well our clients respond to these wines. A wine whose time has come..now it’s your turn to try.

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- We have the Greeks to thank for introducing wine into Italy and France. And while the legacy of ancient Greek culture lives on, little recognition is given to its modern-day contributions to the wine industry. From the Peloponnese in the south, to Macedonia and Epirus in the north, and islands like Crete, Samos and Santorini, fine wine is once again being made and most of it from indigenous grape varieties not grown in other countries. Styles range from hearty, rustic reds to crisp, neutral whites and heavenly dessert wines.