2012 Gaia Estate "Thalassitis" Assyrtiko Santorini Greece

SKU #1122793 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2012 Thalassitis, the tank-fermented version, is one of Greece’s more familiar and finer whites. Its vineyard source at Episkopi is 'composed entirely of 70-to-80 year-old, ungrafted vines with a dramatically low yield never exceeding 25 hectoliters per hectare.' Owner Yiannis Paraskevopoulos says that 2012 is a somewhat friendlier vintage than 2011, so perhaps a little infanticide is in order for this just-released wine... With fine solidity and crisp acidity supporting the fruit, plus an amazingly pure, transparent and freshly bottled nuance, this is just lovely on opening, clean and long, although not quite as mouth-coating as sometimes seen. Yes, it seems rather friendly initially, its balance quite impeccable. 'Seems' was a key word there. It was, to be sure, completely unevolved as the subsequent course of events proved. When revisited the next day, it was just a little less friendly and more interesting -- not unusual with young, top of the line Assyrtiko... Consumers should hold this at least until summer for better results. For that matter, it is likely to show even better in the summer of 2014. Given its youthful and unevolved state, let’s be a little conservative at the moment, but this seems right in line with the fine bottlings coming from Gai’a. Drink now-2020.  (2/ 2013)

K&L Notes

Assyrtiko is perhaps the only Mediterranean grape to flourish under the difficult climatic conditions found in this part of Greece. From poor, porous soil formed by volcanic activity and composed largely of pumice, fully mature grapes are harvested with a relatively high acidity. Gaia's vineyard, located on the southeastern slopes of Episkopi, is composed entirely of 70- to 80-year-old ungrafted vines with a dramatically low yield. This is a bone-dry wine with a delicate honeysuckle aroma and a crisp finish, a white wine of a strong personality! Even though it's a white, we suggest decanting it for an hour or so.

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Price: $24.99

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Other White Wines

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Greece

- We have the Greeks to thank for introducing wine into Italy and France. And while the legacy of ancient Greek culture lives on, little recognition is given to its modern-day contributions to the wine industry. From the Peloponnese in the south, to Macedonia and Epirus in the north, and islands like Crete, Samos and Santorini, fine wine is once again being made and most of it from indigenous grape varieties not grown in other countries. Styles range from hearty, rustic reds to crisp, neutral whites and heavenly dessert wines. Click for a list of bestselling items from Greece.