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2018 Santo Assyrtiko Santorini Greece

SKU #1424272 95 points Wine & Spirits

Outer quote mark Founded in 1947, this cooperative has some 1,200 grower-members, giving winemaker Nikos Varvarigos access to a wide variety of terroirs. For this cuvee, he prioritized fruit from Pirgos and Imerovigli, two of the highest points on the island, where the grapes ripen more slowly. This was particularly relevant in 2018, the earliest harvest he'd ever seen in his 33 years of winemaking. Vinified in stainless steel and left for 14 months on its lees, it's a lush, expansive Santorini from its sunny lemon scents to its mouthfilling texture. The flavors are ripe, from pineapple to golden raisin, yet they're balanced by a strong mineral impression, like the scent of hot sand. It holds its form and flavors for days after the bottle is opened, the powerful structure promising that this will just get more complex with age. Whenever you open it, make sure you have some lamb or meaty fish on hand. *Best Buy* Inner quote mark (8/2020)

K&L Notes

Santo Wines was founded in 1947 as the Union of Santorini Cooperatives and represented all Santorini wineries. Today, Santo Wines is the biggest producer on the island. The new, state-of-the-art winery was built in 1992 and is situated on the edge of the Caldera in the village of Pyrgos. Santo Wines, representing all of the producers on the island, is committed to producing authentic Santorini wines of superior quality while respecting the Santorini traditional vinification techniques and protecting the precious Santorini vineyards. They developed their own Research and Development Department to regularly launch special projects to evaluate methods to improve cultivation techniques, vinification processes, and varietal quality.


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Price: $21.99
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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/8/2020 | Send Email
Often we describe wines as having mineral or rock flavors but it is a nebulous term for most tasters out there. How much does something really taste like slate, granite or chalk? It's hard to quantify those flavors, but when used as descriptors they often evoke a quality that makes you think of the land surrounding the vineyards by whispering those minerals into your glass. Then you taste a wine like the Santo Assyrtiko! There is no better example of a wine that has the flavors of crushed rocks than here, and it is a most pleasing experience to be sure. Because on top of that profile are all the underpinned notes of preserved lemons, dried pears and salty sea air that the grape Assyrtiko brings to the table. The Santo is a wine that invokes the land and its not just the flavors of stones, it is the texture. It has a crackle and nerve that almost makes your teeth clatter. But do not think that this is a painful wine to drink or that you might chip a tooth on it. This is a wine that gives you the strength to chew those rocks and mine them for all the flavors they possess. A wine that possesses this kind of minerality is a powerful wine indeed and worthy of pouring in your glass.

By: Sharon Kelly | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/6/2020 | Send Email
Drinking this quintessential summer thirst quencher is like licking salty ocean rock and sucking on meyer lemons - a welcoming swift kick to your palate. Mineral-driven and citrus focused, this is the invigorating freshness we all need as the weather heats up. Pop a bottle of this into your beach bag and, when you reach your destination (which these days is the backyard patio), pour a glass, close your eyes and imagine yourself sipping this seaside. With this great bottle of wine and a vivid imagination you can travel anywhere you want.

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/5/2020 | Send Email
Just one whiff of this wine is enough to make your mouth water. As though you're walking through tide pools on a bright, windy day, the scents of sea spray and wet, sun-baked rocks leap from the glass and latch onto your olfactory glands. Vibrant acid brilliantly suspends the fleshy nectarine and pineapple flavors, tempered by that ever-present salinity and a generous helping of lemon peel. What sets this year apart for me is the texture - viscous and toothsome, but in no way heavy or overbearing. It clings to every nook and cranny of your taste buds, washing away with a tingly sensation like a wave breaking on the shore. Enjoy this cold alongside any and every kind of seafood imaginable; it has me craving scallops with beurre blanc. That said, it would also make for a dynamite pairing with a cheese plate or roast chicken and Greek potatoes.

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