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Sigalas Aa Assyrtiko-Athiri Santorini 2009

Assyrtiko from Greece
  • RP90
0% ABV
  • W&S92
  • RP92
  • W&S90
  • WS91
  • RP91
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2009 Asirtiko / Athiri (with the winery's atypical spelling of Assyrtiko as part of the brand name) is 75% Assyrtiko, the rest Athiri. While the style is different than the Sigalas' Santorini (which is labeled just with the appellation name and is 100% Assyrtiko), this is not always as far off of the Santorini as you might think and it is often more charming to drink when young, although not quite as ageworthy. This 2009 is a superb vintage of this inexpensive white. Steely, piercing and mouth gripping, it seems little different in this vintage than the Santorini in most vintages. It should age exceptionally well. A wine at this price level with this much intensity and minerality is a steal. With a touch of lemon on the finish and all that intensity, it takes awhile to come around, but it gradually evolves and shows better integration of fruit and acidity. At that point, it clearly seemed to have less depth and body than the 2009 Santorini, but it held its own pretty well. I came back to it an hour later - after decanting - and it was showing beautifully. Keeping in mind that it is already a year old or so and still remarkably intense, it should age beautifully. Bottled with synthetic cork (Nomacork) it is a wine that the winery says may age "more than 5 years," while noting that it is anticipated to be consumed in 3 in most cases. Five years is a lot for many Greek whites, not to mention those bottled with synthetic cork, but not a lot for Santorini or Sigalas Santorini. I think this one has the stuffing to hold better than most from this bottling. Hopefully it will. Drink now-2017
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Sigalas

Domaine Sigalas

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Domaine Sigalas, Greece
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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.

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 with a striking mineral character, Assyrtiko comes from the volcanic Greek island of Santorini, but is grown increasingly wide 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.

PIO50038830_2009 Item# 115021