Alpha Estate Xinomavro 2015 Reserve Vieilles Vignes Single block ‘Barba Yannis’ Ecosystem
Amyndeo’s vine heritage
High acidity is Amyndeo’s trump card. This landlocked plateau consistently makes wines that are not warmer maritime Greece. The diurnal difference oscillates from +- 19C hence the growing season is slower and longer. The existence of 5 lakes blunt the extreme winter snaps which reach -15C. Alpha Estates vineyards now in production reach 140 hectares situated at an altitude of 620-710m. The long view has always been a credo in this ventures journey. In search of complexity one of the singular most important decisions was not to harvest the third and fourth vintage. This allowed the root system to reach beyond sandy clay loamy topsoils into the limestone bed rock which contributes longevity and finesse to wine. They now consist of 93 blocks. All of this boasts 600 kms of underground pipes for a precision deficit irrigation system. What is more remarkable such is technology’s reach that the numerous vats can be monitored via a laptop anywhere in the world. As the 2018 harvest was winding down with the grapes of the reviewed wine, tractors and neatly arranged grape bins were gliding up in almost a whispering orderly silence. After going through the destemmer grapes rolled through optical sorting. Behind all this extraordinary infrastructure is the vision and implementation by Makis Mavridis. On his desk was a blueprint of another new vineyard. This enlightened farmers technical and managerial skills are obvious. MM and his partner Angelos Iatridis most admired asset is to be found beyond their success story, it lies in their modesty. The size of their office is amongst the production team and one of smallest in their sprawling winery.
Named after the last owner Barba Yannis block was planted in 1919. It is un grafted bush vine. As of the 2013 vintage this wine is now made using yeast flora selected from this historic block. It shows: contributing a smoother softer deeper natural picture. The harvest date of October 1st is telling. The north-western exposure facing Mt.Voras is high enough to hold a ski resort and influences this. Year in year out this grandaddy vineyard is last to harvest. In essence it is a memory of Amyndeo’s vine heritage. Thanks to its isolated remoteness and sandy topsoils Amyndeo Xinomavro after phylloxera became the source to replant Naoussa which lies on the other warmer side of Mt. Vermio. There are few red grapes in the world that have an inherent natural high acidity. Nebbiolo is one that comes to mind. If you like ‘cerebral’ wines that muster your attention to engage in a ‘dialogue’, you may want to have a look to this high grown heritage vine expression. An old friend recently reminded me of one the great personalities in wine Oz Clarke saying ‘ Wine is all about disagreement’. If you need a solid standpoint you should take a punt wearing Xinomavrist colours. My only promise, it will be anything but boring.
Diam 30 closure. No treatment or filtration before bottling. Youthful rim medium dark ruby. Sweet fruited exotic scented nose, crushed all spice – cherry toned with a pyritic twist on the ever changing fine aromatics morphing to strawberry. Remarkably harmonious with a juicy fruit-acid lively thread through the spicy layered with mocha finish. Great purity. Intense bone dry. Viscous-acid aftertaste noted for it’s depth. A pretty wine which teases and intrigues. The charm and wisdom of these near centenary vines delivers all this from a relatively low alcohol: 13.12% vol. (This 2015 is more forward than the more closed 2013). Carafe or long bottle maturation. Should age fascinatingly. Best 2020-2032.