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Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia


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Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia: a Review

Wine is as good as life to a man, if it be drunk moderately: what life is then to a man that is without wine? for it was made to make men glad.
    —Ecclesiasticus, ch. 38, v. 1

(Our sample bottle was purchased by us at standard retail.)


About Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia

Note thast this wine was formerly designated Alpha Estate "Axia", so if you run across references to Axia Malagouzia, this is it.

Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia comes from, surprise, Malagouzia grapes from the single "Turtles" vineyard. It was vinified without crushing and left on the lees (with stirring) for two months.

Alpha Estate Malagouzia is reasonably widely available, including from some large online retailers, at prices running from $15 up to $22, averaging (per Wine Searcher Pro) about $18.

(Note that this variety is also often spelled "Malagousia", or even "Malagoussia"; there seems no pattern to the usages.)


Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia: Tasting Impressions

Mind, we tasted this while both of us had colds, so we were reaching a bit for the aroma and flavor qualities through stuffy noses. Even so, though, we think we got enough to form opinions.

The wine exhibited what we take, making due allowance, to be modest to moderate aromas and flavors, mainly of a generally floral nature. The body was medium, but the most striking characteristic was the definite acidity. Curiously, the wine had a slight but noticeable pétillance, which added a bit to its charm. It was just edging off true dryness; it wasn't actually off dry, but one senses that that is what it would like to be when it grows up (just a figure of speech there).

In general, we have been somewhat disappointed by Malagousia as a varietal. None of the ones we've tried has really had any defect or deficiency, but none of the advertised qualities— "especially aromatic", "elegant", "exciting aromas of exotic fruits, citrus, jasmine and mint"— have shown up, and by now the roll call is large enough that it's hard to attribute it all to mere bottle variation (though that there is, to be sure). Or, as a note at the CellarTracker reviews below suggests, maybe the 2013 we tried was just an off year for this particular wine.

Since that was written, our general opinion of the variety has been changed by the Gerovassiliou Malagousia mentioned below, which was a very fine drink.

If you haven't tried this variety yet, we'd suggest the Gerovassiliou Malagousia as a first step (though it's not inexpensive). After that, you can venture to the Alpha or Zafeirakis or or Porto Carras or Avantis or whichever else catches your fancy and see if you can discover more in them than we have found so far.


Alpha Estate "Turtles Vineyard" Malagouzia: Other Opinions

On CellarTracker.

On Wine Searcher's Tasting Notes page.

Of some major wine-review sites:


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