22 Dec 2007

Porsche Polish

Watch This Estate
THIS FINE-grained Northern Greek, fashioned from native, ungrafted variety, Xinomavro, lured me into an interesting and very satisfying olfactory exploration. An '03 with altitude, not attitude, and herbal, rather than fruit driven, it is the sixth vintage from Alpha Estate, so-called because it represents a 'new era in the world of Greek wine' - meticulously estate grown, with sensitive consultation, and estate bottled, bravely unfiltered. With an anonymous appearance (my companions and I found it hard to find distinction in its hue of red), the nose initially suggested 'volcanic livestock farmyard' (although the animals left quite fast!) This curious flavour tally was followed by briefly scorched red soil, a chew of Fisherman's Friend, al-dente fried auberine with mincemeat, old crunched cranberry and even light lassi drink.
On the palate, black tea sachet with vanilla with very beautifully, subtly contoured tannins, immediate balance, lithe, quenching acids and a prolonged fresh mint infusion during the aftertaste. Pleasantly lubricated, the tannin is in fact covert, with a little plum, lavender pot pourri and licquorice. As sleek as Porsche Polish. Lovely. I detest points. Reducing something to figures. Although such stylish, understated elegance deserves to be highly rated. It is, however not quite ready - still climbing towards the zenith.
I dreamt I lunched with Andrew Jefford. It went well. He said he could open doors. In reality, I met him once in '03 at a Waitrose tasting. A dignified presence patiently susceptible to wine boar abuse! And also a prose perfectionist - the very best living wine writer.