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Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini 2010

Assyrtiko from Santorini, Greece
  • WE92
  • WS91
  • RP90
  • RP95
  • RP94
  • W&S93
  • W&S94
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

#83 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2011

When opening a bottle of Assyrtiko-Athiri, the eye is captivated by the bright straw blonde color and light green shades. The nose of wine is dominated by ripe citrus fruit, with lemon coming to the fore, while its excellent structure and acidity compliment its nose granting vibrancy and a lingering aftertaste.Assyrtiko-Athiri is excellent with traditional Greek recipes, fish dishes and white meats with light sauces.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

Sigalas sets the bar high for Assyrtiko as usual. This 2010 is a balance of rounded citrus, crisp sea salt and sparkling minerality. Delicious with grilled fish, fruit or alone on a hot day, this is an elegant gem of a white that represents some of the best of Greek wine offered today.

WS 91
Wine Spectator

Juicy and rich, with concentrated pear, apple and white fruit flavors that are backed up by plenty of fresh acidity. The intense finish features mineral notes, joined by sea salt and white pepper. Should turn creamy with time in the cellar. Drink now through 2020. 7,000 cases made.

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

The 2010 Santorini is Assyrtiko, of course, and it is a big, burly one, coming in at 14.2% alcohol (a jump over typical 13.5s and the listed 13.2 for the 2009, due to weather conditions explained in the accompanying article). Sigalas, on the back label, boldly recommends cellaring this for two years before consumption, not exactly typical for Greek whites. His wines certainly show very steely when young and age better than most, so take his recommendation to heart. For many of his wines, two years may not be enough, although that should work here. After decanting this, the wine showed a lot better, integrating its parts, showing fine fruit and an unusually ripe fruit flavor nuance that the 2009 did not have. It seemed quite delicious at times, but like many Santorinis it has an underlying hard edge to it in its youth. It came around fairly quickly and mostly handled its alcohol well, although, tasted next to the 2009, it seemed more obvious. Yet, just when I thought I had a handle on it - it changed again. This burly, ripe, somewhat hard-edged Santorini seems to be a bit different, but I believe that it has many virtues of its own. Despite some initial caution, I'm leaning up on it, but it will be interesting to see where it goes over the longer haul. Drink now-2021.

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Sigalas

Domaine Sigalas

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Domaine Sigalas, , Greece
Sigalas
On the plain of Oia, in Santorini, and more specifically in Baxedes area, the winery of Domaine Sigalas can be found. Here, the most vibrant variety of the Mediterranean zone, the Santorini Assyrtiko as well as the Aidani, Athiri, Mandilaria and the Mavrotragano are put to the best use possible, and with the proper respect to their organoleptic characteristics, the quality wines are produced which receive acclaim in international competitions, both in Greece and abroad.

Burgundy

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A legendary wine region setting the benchmark for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay worldwide, Burgundy is a perennial favorite of many wine lovers. After centuries of winemaking, the Burgundians have determined precisely which grape clone grows best on which plot of land, determined by the soil type, the elevation, and the angle in relation to the sun—this is a region firmly rooted in tradition and the concept of ‘terroir’ reigns supreme here. Because of the Napoleonic Code requiring equal distribution of property and land among all heirs, vineyard ownership in Burgundy is extremely fragmented, with some growers responsible for just one row or even one vine. This system has led to the predominance of the "negociant"—a merchant who purchases fruit from many different growers to vinify and bottle together.

Burgundy’s cool, marginal climate and Jurassic limestone soils are perfect for the production of elegant, savory, and mineral-driven Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with plenty of acidity. Vintage variation is of particular importance here, as weather conditions can be variable and unpredictable. Spring frost and hail are near-universal risks. The Côte d’Or, a long and narrow escarpment, forms the heart of the region, split into the Côte de Nuits to the north and the Côte de Beaune to the south. The former is home to many of the world’s finest Pinot Noir wines, while Chardonnay plays a much more prominent role in the latter, though outstanding red, white, and rosé are all produced throughout. Other key appellations include the Côte Chalonnaise, home to great value Pinot Noir and sparkling Crémant de Bourgogne; the Mâconnais, producing soft and round inexpensive Chardonnay; and Chablis, the northernmost region of Burgundy and an acidity-lover’s Chardonnay paradise.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

HAWSigalas_2010 Item# 113705

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