Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2018

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

Gaia ‘Wild Ferment’ Assyrtiko , Santorini, Greece 2018

34.00

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 one of the finest expressions 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. 13.5% alc. Drink now-2025.


Press review:

Decanter: “A whiff of white nectarine with a gunflint minerality and hint of spice. Lemony freshness, grapefruit and a hint of wild flowers. Bone dry, with more peach and light plum characters on the palate and a softness on the acidity. Fresh and moderately aromatic; a pleasing alternative to Grand Cru Chablis.. Drink 2020-2025.” 93 points

Jamie Goode: "This is a remarkable wine with powerful, mineral lime curd and salty lemon rind fruit. It has amazing texture and a bit of structure, too, with a real saline intensity. Youthful and tight, with great concentration of flavour, this oozes minerality. There’s a lot of fruit, but it’s not really about the fruit at all. Quite profound." 95 points

Jancis Robinson: “45% in tank, 10% in ceramic egg (which allows about half the amount of oxygen ingress that you get in a barrel), 45% in barrel. Thus also very different fermentation temperatures (16 ºC in tank so more esters; up to 30 ºC you get more varietal character). This has that lovely smoky/fumy wild-ferment nose, and a leesy creaminess. Really stony minerality, dry with a fine grip and a lovely complex mix of spice and creaminess with a richness that is both flavour and texture. The oak is subtle but present. So long. (JH). 13% alc. Drink 2020 – 2030”. 17.5 points

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