The White Wines of Santorini.

Unique and distinctive wines that let you bring a little taste of Santorini home.

2012 Gavalas Santorini  White 13%  $17
Unspecified blend of Assyrtiko and Aidani
Tight on the nose with a fine blend of mineral and subtle sage like aromas. Juicy on entry, this hits the palate with admirably purity and liveliness showing off very clear and tense flavors of dusty dry earth, yellow fruits, and a faint hint of yellow tomato that picks up where the sage on the nose leaves off. I really the clarity this shows on the palate and tension in the mouth. Definitely towards the lighter bodied end of the spectrum, this is another wine with salty minerality that extends the finish, but accompanied by such a wonderfully refreshing purity of fruit. I can drink a bottle of this on the patio even if I didn’t have any octopus. 91pts
Subtle and complex on the nose with a fine blend of floral, dusty mineral and orchard fruit aromas. With excellent focus this enters the mouth broad and firm delivering layers of polleny floral, pithy citrus and minerally flavors that show excellent depth on the palate. This is at once lean and somewhat rich on the citrus, melon and faintly fig flavored palate and shows excellent length on the minerally and tense finish. Almost salty on the finish this begs one to take another sip, another mouthful of food, another sip... 90pts

Tight on the nose with a hint of tar laying under notes of dried peaches and preserved lemons. Very smooth and polished in the mouth, theres good acidity here and fine underlying minerality but this has a richer mouthfeel than most whites from Santorini, a mouthfeel even a Chardonnay lover could be attracted to. The flavors lean towards the mineral, with some under-ripe apple and peach notes on the mid-palate that lead to a long, slightly astringent and textural finish that offers quite the contrast to the lush mid-palate. A modern take on Assyrtiko that remains true to its roots. The finish here really shows how assertive Assyrtiko the grape . It is not to be tamed. 87pts

Minty and floral on the nose with green tea accent notes helping to frame the core of almost jammy and yet unripe apples with a hint of strawberry like red fruit to it. This is the middle of the road. Everything is in balance with solid acidity, round apply fruit, good minerality but the wine feels safe right through to the mineral laced yet somewhat rounded finish that shows a pleasant pineapple character along with green apple skins. Attractive but I’m not sure what direction this should be going in. 86pts

Honeycomb and pumice greet the nose with subtle notes of old apples, old wood and dried flowers all topped with hints of coriander and caper adding complexity. Moderately rich and certainly powerful in the mouth, this feels less acidic than it might be, though it stays well structured in the mouth relying on both the acidity and minerality for stability. The mid palate is deep and rich with fruit that shows flashes of red fruitiness along with a core of sweet pear, spicy herb and a touch of wood spice before the minerality kicks in on the back end, along with a touch of heat. The finish is so dusty its tactile, with fine length to the pear and peach skin flavors that linger until a fine, bright mineral note appears on the finale. This is a powerful wine that demands some food, and something more substantial than grilled octopus at that. The heat detracts from the appeal a bit but I would like to see where this goes with some age. 86pts

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Top White Wines from Santorini tasted 8/2013

Gavalas Santorini (2012)
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Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko Santorini (2012)
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Boutari Assyrtiko Santorini (2012)
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Artemis Karamolegos (2012)
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Domaine Hatzidakis Assyrtiko de Mylos Vielles Vignes (2011)
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  • All of these are fine wines, but for my money you can't beat Gaia Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2012. It is simply stunning.

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:29 PM

  • Snooth User: Gregory Dal Piaz
    Hand of Snooth Voice of Snooth
    89065 204,040

    Good call. I haven't tasted a bottle for a couple of years but that is one convincing bottle of Assyrtiko.

    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:45 PM

  • Snooth User: Bo Janes
    1267227 14

    I agree. Gaia Wild Ferment Assyrtiko is legit.

    Sep 24, 2013 at 8:01 PM

  • I am glad people talk about the Wild Ferment here. I saw the list and thought, the Gaia Wild Ferment is missing. Good to know i am not the only one.

    Sep 24, 2013 at 9:28 PM

  • Since I am a Greek wine professional myself and--in addition to this--I have met Gregory at numerous international wine occasions in Europe,I have difficulties to express my personal preferences.Therefore,I will only make two additions.....#1.Sigalas "Kavalieros" vineyard,a bit expensive but what an awesome expression of dense minerality,packed with flavor-zingy acidity and aging potential.Plus,"Athina" 2011 (the young lady's-Athina Tsoli-own wine.She is the one who now makes the wine at Karamolengos),a fabulous expression of Santorini Assyrtiko.Just extraordinary

    Sep 25, 2013 at 2:05 AM

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