"Alpha Estate is one of those hot estates that should draw consumer attention. This winery has been considered to be a "comer" for awhile. It's fair to end that talk. They have arrived and are making terrific wines." eRobertParker.com by Mark Squires # 195 June 2011
Tasting note: Bright purple-red color. Complex, typical bouquet of small berries red fruits, leather and spices (vanilla, pepper, clove), with hints of ripe blackberry. Full mouth, rounded tannins, balanced acidity and well integrated wood tones. Long aftertaste with intense quince aroma.
Variety Composition: Xinomavro 100%.
Region / Location / Vineyard: Amyndeon plateau. Amyndeon viticulture zone. North-western Macedonia. “Hedgehog” sub-region. 690m altitude, with northern exposure, facing lake Petron and mount Voras. 69ha of Linear, privately owned vineyard situated at an altitude of 620-710 m.
Density of plantation / Harvest / Yield: 3.900 shoots / ha. Manual harvesting in small picking boxes, end of September – beginnings of October.5.300 kgrs / ha post to green harvest & selection.
Vinification Method & Ageing: Destemming, light crushing, cold soak - skin contact, alcoholic fermentation at gradual increasing temperatures, maintenance of wine ‘’sur lies’’ for eight months with regular stirring. Twelve months in French oak barrel medium grain, white toasting and twelve months in the bottle. -- Winemaker
"The 2011 Xinomavro Hedgehog Vineyard was aged for 12 months in French oak (half new, half second use). It comes in at 14% alcohol. This is Alpha's high altitude, bargain-priced Xinomavro, and it is usually quite a bargain these days. Rather refined and showing off its balance and finesse on first taste, this then becomes more traditional Xinomavro. The acidity pops up and the astringency on the finish follows quickly. Yet, it's beautifully constructed overall and ultimately very well balanced. Thanks to the late release, this is certainly approachable now. I gave it some two hours of air as well, and it became very attractive and more harmonious. For all of its power and acidity, everything is controlled well. It has lovely, silky texture and a full feel in the mouth on opening, too. It is a perfect food wine, but if you give it another year or two I suspect it will even be better. It is very much still on the upswing. If you're looking for soft, sweet sippers, that is not going to be this wine. For fans of Nebbiolo (it does seem to lean just a bit more in that direction this year), this is another no-brainer purchase in Alpha's lineup. We'll see how this develops, but for the moment it is well worth leaning up."
Score: 92 points
-- Mark Squires, Wine Advocate #221, Aug 2015