2013 Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Santorini is Assyrtiko, listed at 13.7% alcohol this year. Fresh and refreshing in this vintage, stylistically this seems to be a very different wine than the rich and ripe 2012 Santorini reviewed last year (or the 2012 Kavalieros submitted this issue). I imagine opinions will split on which style is preferred, but this seems closer to the purist image, if a little bit understated on opening. Showing the fine fruit, minerality and transparency that Assyrtiko groupies hope to see in the grape, it is not one of the wineryís densest or biggest offerings, but its sunny demeanor and lively personality gives it a feeling of both endless purity and irresistible charm. It has substance, persistence and finesse. It's not a "look at me" wine this year, as its 2012 predecessor often was, but it becomes ever more impressive with aeration. The longer I sat with it (tasted over 3 days), the more I liked it... You can dive in now, but it's better that you wait until next summer, at least. These wines always tend to surprise by revealing layers you didn't think they initially had. I'd add, finally, that you can source this wine in Greece for under 12 euros. It's a screaming good value, too. Drink now-2024. (MS)
*Smart Buys* A well-crafted and juicy version, with luscious flavors of ripe melon, red peach, gooseberry and quince. Seductive, lightly smoky notes and a creamy element linger on the complex finish. A textbook Santorini white. Drink now through 2022. 8,000 cases made.(K.M.)
From the importer: "Minerality is evident, as a result of Santorini's unique terroir. Quite 'austere' as wine, with the acidity being the back-bone of the wine, allowing it to age. Petrol notes and honey-suckle appear in aged Assyrtikos, similar to the German and Alsatian Rieslings. Typical, white wine vinification techniques, in stainless steel tanks, under controlled temperature. A certified organically farmed vineyard on the island of Santorini, Sigalas is producing some of the most sought after white wines in Greece. These intensely aromatic whites, based on the indigenous Asirtiko grape, are grown in the volcanic soils of Santorini, consisting of cinders, rust, lava and pumice stone. These wines have excellent structure, good acidity and a long, full flavored finish. With a unique growing method, whereby the vines are trained into a cylindrical shape, the fruit ripens gently within the basket to protect it from the strong ocean winds. High humidity at night allows for just enough moisture intake for the grapes to develop and the soil structure and lack of nutrients ensure distinct minerality in the wines."