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Alpha Estate, Malagouzia, 'Turtles Vineyard'

Alpha Estate, Malagouzia, 'Turtles Vineyard'

turtle? Dude, that's a tortoise!

This Greek white is our second Malagouzia (not bad for a variety that was down to just two vines 40 years ago) and is named for the endangered species that nests in the vineyards.
But turtles don’t nest in vineyards, let alone ones 90 km from the sea and 670 m up!  The protected chelonians in question are in fact Hermann’s tortoises.  Biologically, tortoises are just land-dwelling turtles, and the Greek word for both is the same: χελώνες (chelónes). Guess which one comes up first if you run it through Google Translate?
Alpha Estate’s winemaking is much better than their English; this is a fresher take on Greece’s trendy new grape that still shows off its fabulous floral nose.
This earworm gave us our headline.  Warning: you’ll be singing this for months… at least.

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Available at £13.09 per bottle


Serve this powerful dry white cool but not cold: around 11°C.  Give the pouch four minutes out of the fridge before pouring, or half that time if the heatwave returns.
Aromatic grapes can be tricky with food, but this fully dry wine has a mineral intensity that is very food-friendly.  Malagousia has a natural affinity with cucumber, feta and mint, so you can see why the Greeks took to it so quickly!
Try this one with mezze, especially ones featuring those ingredients.  Any combination of greek salad, tzatziki, dolmades and spanakopita will be wonderful, as will seafood dishes like calamari.
When I first opened the bottle it smelt a little bit reductive, though that soon blew off with a few minutes in the glass.  Decanting will fix that: your pouches will be fine but if you join me in buying bottles of this you should aim to decant them an hour or two in advance.  (Actually, fifteen minutes is probably enough but there’s no harm in longer; this wine keeps really well for days after opening, though you may find it difficult to leave alone for that long!)

about this wine

Macedonia (Greece)
(click to find out more)
AppellationFlorina IGT

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