Sunday, May 29, 2011

Greek White Wine: Assyrtiko

For a few days, I did not think I would be writing any post on Greek white wines from the isle of Santorini.  My wife bought (with my credit card) me one in New York City last month and I had been sent three from the Brand Action Team and Constance Chamberlain in NYC.  I first opened the one I bought and followed with one that was sent.  The first one was definitely not what I expect in any wine, as was the second.  What I do think is that both spent too much time in the hot sun.  No floral and very little fruit aromas, lots of mineral and ginger. In the mouth I got lots of chalk, ginger and maybe some pineapple. Definitely wines meant for the kitchen sink drain.
Today I decided to uncork the remaining two. I was right, the other two were spoiled. Surprise, Surprise.
And what a Surprise.  Two fantastic wines!!
The first was a Thalassitis White Dry Wine 2008 from the Gaia Estate. The color was a bright grassy yellow. Lots of floral aromas like honeysuckle and even azalea with citrus, peach, melon and some mineral.  Very pleasant mouth feel with a nice citrusy feel on the sides.  The finish was long, very dry with citrus and peach. I opened in early afternoon as a wine break while doing yard work and left some for a dinner of Trout, broiled with a little butter and fennel sprinkled on top, served with Salt Potatoes and a cucumber/tomato salad. Went very well with the trout and also with the Salt Potatoes, which I like in oil and vinegar.
Later, I opened a Boutari Kallisti(Καλλίστη) 2009.  This was another wine made from the Assyrtiko grape. Assyrtiko is one of Greece’s finest multi-purpose white grape varieties. It was first cultivated on the island of Santorini, where it has developed a unique character producing excellent AOC wines. Assyrtiko has the ability to maintain its acidity as it ripens. It yields a bone-dry wine that has citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of Santorini.
Again, the color was a bright yellow with a little green hue.  A little different then the Thalassitis in the aromas and taste.  Lots of apple with some peach and a hint of floral essence.  Some mineral, but expected from this volcanic island.  In the mouth, some herbal or spice along with citrus, melon and pear. A bone dry long finish for this very delightful wine.
The Thalassitis is priced at approx, $25  and the Boutari can be found at approx. $16 - $18.
Both well worth the price.
Now onto some Greek red wines. Can they compete with with the Santorini whites. Well soon fine out, Stay tuned!

1 comment:

CChamberlain said...

What a lovely article! So happy to see you enjoyed the wines :)