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The wine we are going to review today is one that we hold dear to our hearts – a single-varietal assyrtiko wine from Santorini – Thalassitis Santorini 2019 by Gaia Wines. Assyrtiko is an indigenous greek variety valued for its ability to express terroir, native to the Santorini island in the south of Greece and perhaps, the only variety in the Mediterranean area that manages to combine full maturity of the grapes with natural high acidity, in spite of the hot climatic conditions of the island. The grapes selected for this particular wine are sourced from the vineyards in Episkopi, Akrotiri and Pyrgos regions, from ungrafted, 80-years-old vines. The vines are grown on porous soils that were formed by volcanic activity, thus extremely poor in nutrients and composed mainly of pumice. The lack of organic matter in the soil resulted in a self-sufficient, terroir-rich vineyard with no infection by phylloxera. That said, without further ado, let’s move on straight to our tasting results.
Take a look at the tasting notes below and our detailed assessment of the wine:
fruit profile: green fruits | citrus fruits | stone fruits
__green fruits: gooseberry | green pear | green apple | wild pear | wild apple
__citrus fruits: lemon | lime | kiwi
__stone fruits: green apricot
fruit character: unripe & ripe
non fruit: herbal
__herbal: hay | straw grass | green grass | nettle | currant leaf
body: round & full
fruit profile: green fruits & citrus fruits
fruit character: unripe
non fruit: herbal
aftertaste: velvety & crisp
maturity: in its prime | developing
verdict: great | a must try
This is definitely a great wine of Greece and with a total of 93.7 points scored, this wine is right there, among the best wines we’ve rated so far. Check our complete database on the wine rating page, where you can find all the wines that we have tasted and reviewed or go to the about us page and find out more about our exquisite rating system.
Verdict: this is an outstanding assyrtiko wine that is right there, at the summit of its prime form, yet one that would easily stand for another year or two of bottle ageing, as all the prerequisites are there. It feels fresh, crisp and round, with a very appealing suppleness on the palate and a nuanced fruity-herbal profile. This is a wine that successfully managed to express the elegance of the assyrtiko variety and the romance of Santorini unique terroir. It tastes elegant and complex, lean and refined, with mouth-watering acidity, fine-grained ripe tannins, well integrated alcohol and an unmatched finesse and harmony that we haven’t tasted for a very long time in a white wine. In order to explore this wine at its full potential, we would suggest to pair it with naturally flavoured seafood dishes, like for example a classic greek shrimp saganaki or some santorini style lobster spaghetti, as a wine that can express the variety this much, deserves a perfect pairing – dishes that can highlight the terroir-driven flavours in the wine with the very finest, genuine ingredients in the food. Enjoy!
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