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Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini 2009

Assyrtiko from Greece
  • RP93
  • RP95
  • RP94
  • W&S93
  • W&S94
  • RP93
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Winemaker Notes

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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RP 93
The Wine Advocate

The 2009 Santorini adds depth to the 2009 Asirtiko/Athiri blend and quite a bit of power, too. As it interacts with the palate, it becomes ever more gripping and intense. I decanted it, and it seemed to just become more piercing still. Yet, underneath it has fine fruit that asserts itself and it seems transparent, stone washed and pure. Its steely demeanor is impressive, but that's not all it has. It may not show all it has for another year or three, though. The longer this was open, the more complexity it showed. As it warmed up, it became more gripping and showed more minerality. For a monovarietal white, its ability continually to keep changing and become something different was quite remarkable as it warmed up and aired out. Pretend that this is red and think about cellaring. It should age well if well stored and I'm more than a little curious myself to see what is going to be here in 2020. Just when you think you have a handle on it - it turns into something else interesting. I often find that is a characteristic common to top level young wines. Drink now-2023.

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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.

One of the most iconic regions of Italy for wine, scenery, and history, Tuscany is the world’s most important outpost for the Sangiovese grape. Ranging in style from fruity and simple to complex and age-worthy, as well as in price from budget-friendly to ultra-premium, Sangiovese makes up a significant percentage of plantings here, with the white Trebbiano Toscano trailing far behind. Within Tuscany, many esteemed wines are produced in their respective sub-zones, including Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, Bolgheri, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. The climate is Mediterranean and the topography consists mostly of picturesque rolling hills, with the hillside locations hosting the best vines, as Sangiovese ripens most efficiently with maximum exposure to sunlight.

Sangiovese at its simplest, often carrying a regional designation of Chianti or just Italy, produces straightforward pizza-friendly wines with bright red fruit and not much more, but at its best it shows remarkable complexity. In top-quality Sangiovese-based wines, expressive notes of sour cherry, balsamic vinegar, dried herbs, leather, fresh earth, dried flowers, anise, tobacco smoke, and cured meat fill the glass. Brunello in particular is sensitive to vintage variation, performing best in years that are not too hot and not too cold. Chianti is associated with tangy and food-friendly dry wines at various price points. A more recent phenomenon as of the 1970s is the “Super Tuscan”—a wine made from international grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, or Syrah, often grown in Tuscany’s Bolgheri region, with or without Sangiovese.

An easy-going red variety with generous fruit and a supple texture, Merlot’s subtle tannins make it perfect for early drinking and allow it to pair with a wide range of foods. One simply needs to look to Bordeaux to understand Merlot's status as a noble variety. On the region’s Right Bank, it dominates in blends with Cabernet Franc, and on the Left Bank, it plays a supporting role to (and helps soften) Cabernet Sauvignon—in both cases resulting in some of the longest-lived and highest-quality wines in the world. They are often emulated elsewhere in Bordeaux-style blends, particularly in California’s Napa Valley, where Merlot also frequently shines on its own.

In the Glass

Merlot is known for its soft, silky texture and approachable flavors of ripe plum, red and black cherry, and raspberry. In a cool climate, you may find earthier notes alongside dried herbs, tobacco, and tar, while Merlot from warmer regions is generally more straightforward and fruit-focused.

Perfect Pairings

Lamb with Merlot is an ideal match—the sweetness of the meat picks up on the sweet fruit flavors of the wine to create a harmonious balance. Merlot’s gentle tannins allow for a hint of spice and its medium weight and bright acidity permit the possibilities of simple pizza or pasta with red sauce—overall, an extremely versatile food wine.

Sommelier Secret

Since the release of the 2004 film Sideways, Merlot's repuation has taken a big hit, and more than a decade later has yet to fully recover, though it is on its way. What many viewers didn't realize was that as much as Miles derided the variety, the prized wine of his collection—a 1961 Château Cheval Blanc—is made from a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.

PIO50038810_2009 Item# 115020

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