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Today we are going to review a wine that blew us away from the first sip – Ecosystem Xinomavro Reserve Single Block 2016 by Alpha Estate. This is a single-varietal xinomavro wine from the Amyndeon plateau, situated at the 660m altitude in north-western Macedonia. Single block, old vines wine (Vieilles Vignes), made of xinomavro grapes that are sourced from ungrafted vines that were planted in 1919 in the Barba Yannis vineyard. Xinomavro is often regarded as the ‘Barolo of Greece‘, pale ruby in color and with a high tannic content, the resulting wines are austere in their youth – those are wines that are meant to be aged. This particular wine has been fermented only with indigenous yeasts that come from the isolated flora of the Barba Yannis block (cru), then the wine has been aged on fine lees (sur lies) for 24 months with regular stirring. Afterwards the wine spent 24 months in white toasted, new Allier-Jupilles french oak casks and another 12 months in the bottle before its market release, with no treatment or filtration before bottling. But enough of all that theory – that said and without further ado, let’s take a look at the wine tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:
colour: pale ruby
clarity: hazy garnet hue
intensity: rich & mature
fruit profile: red fruits
__red fruits: sour cherry | cranberry | dried plum | dried currant | pomegranate skin
fruit character: overripe & dried
non fruit: vegetal | spice | oak | savory | earthy | other
__vegetal: wormwood | sweet bell pepper | capsicum
__spice: red pepper | nutmeg
__oak: cherry tree wood | lightly roasted oakwood | tobacco | cigar box
__savory: iron | leather
__earthy: compost | turf | loam | forest floor | truffle
__other: dried leafs | cherry tree sap | sun-dried oakwood | hints of violets
__wood: new / white roast
__dominant: acidity & alcohol
body: voluptuous | medium+
fruit profile: red fruits
fruit character: ripe & underripe
non fruit: spicy & savory
aftertaste: crisp & seedy
maturity: developing | age for 2-3 years
verdict: great | a must try
This is definitely a great wine of Greece and, with a total of 92.9 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.
this is a very fine and noble wine, one that has yet to reach the summit of its prime form – complex, voluptuous and crisp, with seedy tannins, overwhelming acidity and a touch of alcoholic warmth on the palate, this wine screams for more ageing, as it can definitely resist another 2 or 3 years in the bottle. This is a wine that does not lack neither character nor structure, as it feels supple and well balanced, with a fruity-savory accent on the nose and some subtle vegetal hints in the background – a wine that has both, its own distinctive personality (on the mouthfeel it feels like a blend of Pinot Noir and Barolo) and the footprint of the Amyndeon terroir, with those mesmerizing savory-earthy notes of dried leafs, turf, compost, forest floor, loam, violets and some subtle hints of black truffles. Delicious!
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