To say I am excited about this wine would be undercooking it like sashimi. There's such hair-curling value lying in this one wine I would almost say that if you are a) a Bowes Wine client and b) a red wine drinker, you are obliged to buy a case at the very minimum. Here's why:
We offered the 2008 vintage of this wine. As is so often the case with Bowes Wine offerings, I really wanted a case myself and I duly squirreled one away. I drank my first bottle some months ago whilst fishing in the north of Scotland and the gathered party had its flabber thoroughly ghasted at the loveliness of that bottle.
Then, last evening, having cooked a pretty nifty moussaka I opened another bottle (evidently having expended much mental acuity on the recipe as the Greek food/Greek wine connection didn't hit me until some time later). It was, frankly, a stunner. And I recorded a video tasting note, which you can see below.
As remarkable as the '08 is (and if you bought some from that offer all that time ago, you can give yourself a pat on the back and prepare yourself for extreme gratification) I believe that the 2012 vintage may well offer yet greater reward to those willing to give it a few years in bottle.
*N.B. This is a wine well under £20 a bottle that Rachel Harding MW, staffer on jancisrobinson.com, anointed with a score of 19/20*
Rachel said: "...Deep crimson. Ripe and deeply complex aromas - both fresh dark cherry and some dried fruits - but dried cherry not raisins. And there is still the lifted, here almost floral, character of the variety. Powerful, dense and deeply chewy at the moment but with exciting savoury tension too. Very very backward at the moment but will reward patience. Incredibly long and savoury on the finish."
Mark Squires, writing on roberparker.com, wrote about it at rather more length, thus: "...It seems to be, potentially, Alpha's finest effort. That said, it will require some patience and it is not fully expressive just now. To be sure, Alpha makes refined wines these days, and they try not to sear the palate with tannins and acidity. This is by no means an undrinkable brute, in other words, but it is more backward than last year's seductive beauty, the 2011. It has a bit more depth, a bit more power, a bit more everything. Yet, it still seems in beautiful balance. It just needs a little bit more time. This should age beautifully. Drink the 2011 while waiting for this to develop some complexity and pull in its relatively modest oak. This may yet be entitled to an uptick and it will likely still be improving when the 2011 hits peak."
2012 Xinomavro Reserve Vieilles Vignes, Alpha Estate, Amydeo, Greece
£81 in bond per 6 Drink 2018-29
Now has a purity of dark cherry and plum fruit showing a fresh and welcome snappiness. Rich and dense across the tongue...then a sudden burst of acidity. A very backward and busy wine: very fresh and long and dense. A baby!
Email Caspar to order this wine.