Gaia Santorini Thalassitis Assyrtiko 2013 Front Label
Gaia Santorini Thalassitis Assyrtiko 2013 Front Label

Gaia Santorini Thalassitis Assyrtiko 2013

  • W&S93
  • RP92
750ML / 13% ABV
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  • W&S92
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Assyrtiko is perhaps the only Mediterranean variety of grape to flourish under such difficult climatic conditions. From poor, porous soil formed by volcanic activity and composed largely of pumice, we harvest fully mature grapes with a relatively high acidity. Our vineyard, located on the Southeastern slopes of Episkopi is composed entirely of 70-80 year old, ungrafted vines with a dramatically low yield.

Thalassitis is a bone-dry wine with a delicate honeysuckle aroma and a crisp finish. A white wine of a strong personality.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 93
Wine & Spirits
As is typical for Thalassitis, this is long, lean and tightly wound, needing air to get past the initial green onion notes of reduction. Then it begins to build, slightly herbal and cucumber-crisp, a leesy richness bringing fatness to all the minerality. The wine lasts, one of the most austere of the vintage, wanting another few years in bottle to come into its own.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In its youth, this is quite aggressive, the acidity lacing into the palate and leaving a lemony nuance. There is a lot of tension on that finish, notable grip and some very nice fruit, too. I expect this to calm down a bit, and it should drink much better this summer, but it is actually quite exciting right now. This does seem to be a rather pointed Thalassistis, though, eschewing any hints of lushness for precision and tension. I loved the juicy finish a lot.
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Gaia, Greece
Gaia Leon and Yiannis in the vineyards Winery Image
GAIA WINES was founded in 1994 by Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos.

Thalassitis, a Santorini A.O.C. white wine, inaugurated the company's first appearance, and quickly won a place in the Greek wine market. The 9,800 numbered bottles of Thalassitis in 1994, rapidly rose to more than 100,000 in 1999, all the while maintaining its commitment to quality.

In 1996 GAIA WINES acquired a private vineyard in Koutsi region of Nemea, along with a perfectly equipped winery of a total capacity of 3.000hl.

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A picturesque Mediterranean nation with a rich wine culture dating back to ancient times, Greece has so much more to offer than just retsina. Between the mainland and the country’s many islands, a wealth of Greek wine styles exists, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. After centuries of adversity after Ottoman rule, the modern Greek wine industry took off in the late 20th century with an influx of newly trained winemakers and investments in winemaking technology.

The climate—generally hot Mediterranean—can vary a bit with latitude and elevation, and is mostly moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue for Greek wine during the long, dry summers, sometimes necessitating irrigation.

Over 300 indigenous grapes have been identified throughout Greece, and though not all of them are suitable for wine production, future decades will likely see a significant revival and refinement of many of these native Greek wine varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline Greek wine variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white wine varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red wine varieties include full-bodied and fruity Agiorghitiko, native to Nemea; Macedonia’s savory, tannic Xinomavro; and Mavrodaphne, used commonly to produce a Port-like fortified wine in the Peloponnese.

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A crisp white variety full of zippy acidity, Assyrtiko comes from the volcanic Greek island of Santorini but is grown increasingly wide throughout the country today. Assyrtiko’s popularity isn’t hard to explain: it retains its acid and mineral profile in a hot climate, stands alone or blends well with other grapes and can also withstand some age. Somm Secret—On the fairly barren, windswept Mediterranean island of Santorini, Assyrtiko vines must be cultivated in low baskets, pinned to the ground. The shape serves to preserve moisture and protect the growing grapes in its interior.

STC955319_2013 Item# 141985

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