Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Alpha Estate: More Greek Wines For Summer

"Where there is no wine, there is no love."

During the summer, it's best to have a variety of wines on hand, including some White, Red and Rosé.  Each has its place, pairing well with the different foods of summer, from fresh seafood to grilled burgers. Some of these wines will also do well on their own, offering a refreshing and delicious beverage while you sit outside, hanging with family and friends. Let me recommend three Greek wines, one of each wine type, for your summer needs.

Alpha Estateimported by Diamond Importersis located in the heart of the Amyndeon, a wine region in the Northwest of Greece. Their vineyards cover over 160 acres situated on a plateau around 2,000 feet above sea level. The winery is led by Angelo Iatridis, "...considered by many to be Greece's most promising winemaker." Alpha is also considered "...one of the most cutting edge producers in Greece and has established the most technologically advanced vineyards in the viticulture world." I received media samples of three of their wines, and each was delicious and interesting, and would be excellent for the summer, or any other season.

The 2016 Alpha Estate Rosé ($19.99) is made from 100% Xinomavro, which spent two months on the lees, and has a 13% ABV. With a bright pink color, this wine has a delightful fruity nose and on the palate, it is crisp, dry and fruity, with tasty flavors of strawberry and cherry and subtle floral notes. It has a medium-body, with a lengthy, satisfying finish. This is the type of Rosé I really enjoy, and it was a pleasure to enjoy poolside. It also paired very well with some grilled chorizo. This would certainly be a food-versatile wine, from oysters to burgers, roasted chicken to pizza. Though sipping it on its own, while relaxing poolside, is quite the pleasure as well.

The 2016 Alpha Malagouzia Turtles Vineyard ($15.99-$17.99) is made from 100% Malagouzia, a grape that was nearly extinct until being revived in the late 20th century. The Turtles Vineyards is a sub-region of the Amydeon, located at an altitude of about 660 meters, with northwestern orientation, facing Voras mountain. The wine was fermented in stainless steel, spent about two months on the lees and has a 13% ABV.

The wine has a yellowish-green color with an aromatic nose of herbs and tropical fruits. On the palate, it has an intriguing and complex melange of flavors, including spices, herbs and fruit. I could detect notes of citrus and melon, rosemary and mint. It was dry and elegant, with a pleasing acidity and a lingering finish. Each sip seemed to bring something new to my mouth and I was quite taken with it. This wine would go well with seafood, from haddock to shrimp. Or you could sit in the backyard on a summer evening, savoring each sip as you watch the stars.

The 2014 Alpha Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard ($19.99-$21.99) is made from 100% Xinomavro, from the Hedgehog Vineyard which is a sub-region of the Amydeon, located at an altitude of about 690 meters, with north orientation, facing Petron Lake and Voras mountain. The wine, with a 14.5% ABV, spent eight months on the lees and was aged for 12 months in French oak with an additional 12 months in the bottle.

It has a deep red color with an alluring nose of red and black fruits, accompanied by some spice notes. On the palate, it possesses a complex blend of flavors, including ripe plum, black cherry, raspberry, vanilla, pepper and other spices. The tannins are well integrated, it has a nice acidity, and a lengthy, pleasing finish. This is an excellent wine for grilled meats, including burgers, ribs, and steaks. It would probably also work with roasted chicken, salmon, and pizza. On a summer evening, with a cool breeze in the air, you could sip this on its own, and think of the grilling delights you enjoyed earlier.

I often recommend people drink Greek wine and you should explore my Ten Reasons To Drink Greek Wine, which I hope will motivate you to explore the diversity and wonders of Greek wines. All three of these wines from Alpha Estate would be excellent choices to start your sampling of Greek wines.

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