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Gaia Santorini Wild Ferment Assyrtiko 2008

Assyrtiko from Greece
  • W&S94
13.5% ABV
  • W&S93
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

For "Assyrtiko by GAIA - Wild Ferment" we took a different approach. The Assyrtiko grape, carefully selected, originates exclusively from the "upland" vineyard of Pyrgos, a factor that makes it a little more aromatic than the Assyrtiko from the other parts of the island.

After undergoing the 12-hour skin contact the must is partially clarified and stored in small chilled INOX tanks as well as in new 225 lit French Oak barrels. The temperature is then allowed to rise naturally, without any further involvement. From that point on, modern technology passes the baton to traditional winemaking.

Alcoholic fermentation begins and develops on its own at a very gradual pace. The yeast strains that have managed to prevail are the ones which eventually determine - to a large extent - the new wine's character.

A particularity of most Assyrtiko varieties from Santorini is that, although we're talking about white wines, they take on the "demeanor" or red wines! Try ageing Gaia's Assyrtiko for 2-3 years, but strictly at a temperature never surpassing 12-14 degrees celsius. The wine will undergo profound changes. Its metallic dimension will subside while the fruity and honey flavors will envelop its body.

Finally, remember to pour Gaia's Assyrtiko (whether new or aged) in a wide decanter for around half an hour before savoring it. The new dimension this creates in the wine will enthrall you!

Critical Acclaim

All Vintages
W&S 94
Wine & Spirits
Elegant, wild Assyrtiko, this is Santorini in a glass. Aromas of sea, salt, volcanic stone and minerals take you there. A small amount of barrel fermented Assyrtiko adds richness to the flavors without adding sweetness. Similar to White Burgundy in its intense minerality and acidity, it's all about the palate-unique and alive. Less than 100 cases made.
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Gaia
Gaia, Greece
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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.

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 wine styles exist, made mostly from Greece’s plentiful indigenous varieties. After centuries of adversity after Ottoman rule, the modern 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 often moderated by cool maritime breezes. Drought can be an issue 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 varieties. Assyrtiko, the crisp, saline variety of the island of Santorini, is one of the most important and popular white varieties, alongside Roditis, Robola, Moschofilero, and Malagousia. Muscat is also widely grown for both sweet and dry wines. Prominent red 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.

Assyrtiko

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A crisp white variety full of zippy acidity and a striking mineral character, Assyrtiko comes from the volcanic Greek island of Santorini, but is grown increasingly widely throughout the country today. The reasons for its popularity are plentiful: it retains its acid and mineral profile in a hot climate, blends well with other grapes and can also withstand some age. Flavors often found in Assyrtiko and its blends include lemon zest, passion fruit, pineapple, flint and fennel. It is versatile when matched with food; try it with oysters, shrimp, salmon as well as grilled chicken, tomatoes and asparagus.

WBW30073667_2008 Item# 101524