Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2018 – Gaia.
In this review we are discussing a variety that is synonymous to Greece, more specifically to the famous Greek island of Santorini. Assyrtiko is one of the best known (indigenous) varieties for white wines and the 2018 vintage of the Assyrtiko Wild Ferment by Gaia wines is todays wine of choice.
About the Variety
Assyrtiko is a grape indigenous to the Greek island of Santorini. It is widely planted in the volcanic-ash-rich soil of the island. On Santorini, many old vine plantations (over 70 years of age) of Assyrtiko exist, of which many are non-grafted. These plantations have shown resistance to Phylloxera.
In the volcanic soil of Santorini, there appear to be some unique characteristics that develop in the grape variety, and therefore in the wine. One of these characteristics is that Assyrtiko does not lose its acidity even if it is very ripe. The grape and its wines focus mostly on structure and minerality opposed to being very aromatic.
About the Winery
Gaia has become one of the most prominent wineries on Santorini. The winery was founded only in 1994 by Yiannis Paraskevopoulos and Leon Karatsalos. The winery consists of two estates, Nemea on Peloponesse and one on Santorini. Both have their own style and characteristics, complementing each other in the portfolio. On Santorini Assyrtiko plays an important role.
About the Wine
Assyrtiko Wild Ferment is an interesting wine. Not just because of the variety, but also because of the winemaking process chosen by the Gaia winery. The wine is vinified separately in different ways, using steel tanks, French and American oak barrels and Acacia barrels. Because of the choice for wild yeast the creation of the wine is full of surprises and leads to new characteristics in every vintage.
In the glass the wine looks modest with its pale yellow colour, but there is more to it. The nose is filled with citrus fruit, accompanied by mineral notes and supporting oak. Moving on the palette brings you a wine with a robust body, strong but controlled acidity and an excellent balance. The aftertaste is powerful with bitterness, freshness and a nice kick. This wine has an interesting ageing potential and the capability to transform when treated with care.
For sure this Assyrtiko needs some patience, and when consuming it will take some time to fully show all its colours. For that reason, it is recommended to decant the wine half an hour before consuming. All in all, a fine wine that breathes nature and has a surprise around every corner.
Price: ~ €28
Taste date: June 2022
Score: 93/100 DWA Score
Website: Gaia Winery