This white grape was grown for centuries only on the island of Santorini, where the nutrient poor volcanic soil made the vines' rootstock impervious to the Phylloxera louse which devastated vineyards throughout Europe in the 19th Century. Every 100 years or so the grower chops off the vine's trunk allowing it to grow a new shoot. This has been completed several times over the centuries leading many to believe these are the oldest vines in the world! Additionally, the winds on Santorini are so strong that traditional vine training is not used. Growers have to coil the vine into a basket with the bunches of grapes hanging inside, protected from the wind. This is a unique grape variety. Assyrtiko yields a bone-dry, high acid wine that has citrus aromas mixed with an earthy, mineral aftertaste due to the volcanic soil of Santorini. It is one of the few white wines that can age and it is recommended to decant for an hour or so before serving.
The Wild Ferment is produced by letting a combination of small 1,000 liter Inox tanks and 225 liter French barriques ferment on its own using native yeasts. Upon completing fermentation, only successful tanks/barrels (not all complete fermentation as required with wild yeast) are blended and the resulting wine is fabulously complex and aromatic, while still maintaining the mineral, almost salty, nature of the grape. It is big, ripe and impressively pungent with white pepper, salt and volcanic pumice. There is a seamless duo of intense acidity and a layered very austere structured grapefruit saline finish. Compact with loads of extract. With age, the wine will lose its mineral dimension and develop complex fruity and honied notes. Drink now or hold for up to 5 years.
The grapes for the Monograph Assyrtiko come from vineyards located in the semi-mountainous Koutsi region of Nemea. Unlike the bone-dry, volcanic soils of its native Santorini, the calcareous soils of mainland Greece impart an entirely different character to the varietal, giving it a wider range of exotic fruit flavors and aromas. This is a youthful, intensely fruity Assyrtiko, with a bouquet of honeysuckle and citrus fruit and a refreshing acidity on the palate.
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