2016 Alpha Estate Fume Blanc Kaliva (750ml)

Sauvignon Blanc from Florina, Greece


The 2016 Sauvignon Blanc Fumé (Ecosystem) is Alpha's single-block (Kalyva) Sauvignon, aged for seven months in new French oak. This is a slightly different wine than the 2014 "barrel fermented" that we also have this issue (as a reevaluation). Since 2015, the Ecosystem branding indicates a single-block terroir—Kalyva—while in the past, there were various vineyard blocks blended together. It comes in at 13% alcohol. I'm not sure it is possible for Alpha Estate to make a Sauvignon Blanc I don't love these days, but it is fair to note that this is another beauty. In its typical style, it is vegetal and grassy, a let-it-all-hang-out Sauv Blanc for purists and fans. That's never all it is, though, and this is less vegetal than, say, the 2014. It is also very crisp and tightly wound, with plenty of tension on the finish. The oak is brilliantly handled, never subduing the fruit or aromatics. Actually, you hardly notice the wood is there. The fruit has wonderful lift to it and the finish lingers. The balance is impeccable—the mid-palate has more than enough stuffing to stand up to the structure. Perhaps the 2015 was more concentrated, but I have found that they tend to flesh out, seeming more concentrated six to 12 months after my initial tastes. This 2016, however, has every bit as much energy. Winemaker Angelos Iatridis said that the 2016, a somewhat cooler year, started much tighter and less expressive than the 2015, but it had the same acidity with a slightly higher pH. This will certainly show everything it has even better in the summer of 2018. Revisited some six hours later, in fact, it was certainly much improved. As with all of them these days, I suspect this will age rather well, but let's be conservative and take that in stages. Its freshness and energy are important parts of what makes it attractive.

93 points, Mark Squires, Wine Advocate (Issue # 233 - Oct 2017)

Alcohol By Volume: 13.0%
8 bottles in stock. Ships in 1 to 2 business days.

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