Alpha Estate, Amyndeon PDO (Macedonia, Greece) Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard 2020

($27, Diamond Wine Importers):  Fortunately, most people don’t translate the grape’s name, Xinomavro, (literally, sour back) before buying the wine.  It is considered by many to be Greece’s most important and best red grape for red wine.  Frequently described as powerful with significant tannins, the mid-weight and poised one from Alpha Estate, an organic producer, does not fit that profile.  Rather, their Xinomavro from the Hedgehog Vineyard combines red fruit notes with engaging savory ones.  Neither particularly fruity, nor tannic, its multi-layered complexity is captivating.  A touch of bitterness in the finish reminds us that it’s, thankfully, not an opulent wine, but rather, a perfect foil to food.  It is another red best put out on the table to balance the richness of lamb rather than drinking it by itself before dinner.
93 Michael Apstein Feb 13, 2024