This year's Decanter World Wine Awards Regional Trophy for Greek Red over £15 went to Alpha Estate, Xinomavro Reserve, Amyndeon, Macedonia 2009 (13.5%)
- Digenakis, Marisini Cabernet-Syrah-Liatiko, Heraklion,Crete 2010
It was an auspicious recommendation to take a postgraduate degree in oenology in Bordeaux that set Angelos iatridis on track for a career in wine production. Along with second-generation grower and Amyndeon local, Makis Mavridis, he was drawn to establish Alpha Estate in northwest Greece thanks to the reputation of the 700m-high slopes and the suitability for both viticulture and winemaking.
Angelos chose the site in 1990 but the estate’s purchase was not completed until 1995, with work completed on the winery in 2005 – just in time for the release of Alpha’s inaugural 2003 vintage. The winery is set to double in size, though there will be no increase in production – the additional work being to maximise quality and a minimal- intervention approach across all 14 labels. (These include two previous DWWA Trophy winners.)
The estate’s 85 hectares – a single block subdivided into 100 smaller blocks – include the ungrafted, 93-year-old bush vines from which this Trophy- winner is made. yields are a meagre 23hl/ha and only 20,000 bottles are produced, exported to 22 countries. Iatridis says it is the ultimate expression of Ximomavro and the Amyndeon terroir.
Written by Decanter