Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2016

Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2016.jpg
Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2016.jpg

Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2016

24.95

We could write paragraphs about why the Assyrtiko grape deserves to be recognised as a ‘noble’ grape variety alongside the likes of Chardonnay and Riesling, but the market has a shorthand way of indicating that the word is already spreading by the fact that it has gone up from €0.60 per kilo to €3.00 per kilo in the last 2 years alone. Gaia’s ‘Wild Ferment’ is the finest expression that we know, a wine with the most extraordinary aromas, thanks to the fact that Gaia source grapes for this cuvée from the upland vineyard of Pyrgos, considered to produce the most aromatic Assyrtiko on Santorini and the fact that each barrel undergoes a wild ferment, meaning that every barrel is slightly different depending on the particular yeast strain that initiates the fermentation, not to mention the fact that the wine is aged in stainless steel, French oak, American oak (some new, some used) and acacia barrels. It’s an astonishingly complex, intense, rich, bone dry and refined white wine that perfectly balances varietal expression with winemaking influence and the salty lemon identity of Assyrtiko from Santorini really shines through. Yiannis Paraskevopoulos thinks 2016 is the best he has ever produced (the first vintage was 1994). 

Jancis Robinson: "Complex aroma that has not lost its salty minerality but it does have the spice and leesy/mealy character of the oak, and that herbal/fumy quality that I associate with wild ferment. The oak and acacia certainly contribute aroma and flavour but do not overwhelm the Assyrtiko purity and precision. Long and very grown up. (JH)." 17.5 points

Decanter Magazine
: "Powerful, savoury, smoke and oak nose. Dense, rich-textured, dry; deep core of oak-wrapped, spicy, honeyed-lemon fruit; deft acidity." 92 points

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