Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Taste of Santorini

It is no secret that I am a fanatic of Santorini wines, and a devoted student and taster (and lover!) of the Assyrtiko grape, particularly its proclivity to proclaim its birthright (uh, terroir much?) and its incredible and, for the uninitiated, unexpected, ability to age.

That said, I was extremely excited and eager, to say the least, to dive into the entire flight of Santorini wines in the EDOAO tasting at Bar Boulud, a flight which represented every incarnation of Santorini Assyrtiko, from each of the best producers, all tasted blind.

The Sigalas wines showed brilliantly---unanimously---as expected, which once again, still, in some way provided a certain validation to the tasting overall, and to my own personal sense of taste. I also, personally, truly appreciated and even adored Gaia’s “wild ferment” Assyrtiko, but as you might imagine, it virtually polarized the room, drawing out a few naysayers to conflict with we lovers of the wine. Two vintages of Thalassitis (also from Gaia) demonstrated the unique ageability of the wines, as did the 07 Kallisti Reserve, another favorite of the group, and the Argyros was agreed to be an excellent example of Santorini, even if slightly overshadowed by preceeding the Sigalas in the tasting, an undesirable position for any wine.

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise, however, was the Nykteri from Santowines, which for many, including myself, showed brilliantly. Some had it as one of their two or three best of the tasting. To that end, in the dessert flight at the very end of the day, which wine would you suppose was again one of my/our favorites? The Santowines Vinsanto 2003, which again held its own next to some of Greece’s finest island muscats and other delicious sweet wines.

Yamas Santorini!

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