The 2017 Thalassitis is an unoaked Assyrtiko coming in at 13% alcohol. This is a bottling I usually prize for its freshness, elegance and lively demeanor. This year, one in which the wines could have a lot of concentration if you could avoid heat spikes, it has all of those things still, but it seems to lean to a deeper style instead of an exhilarating one. Overall, it finishes with a big hit of fruit, nicely supported by its acidity. On the first day tasted, it was a bit stolid. The next day, it reminded me of Thalassitis again-big acidity slicing and dicing that fruit, even in a year when it seems very dense and ripe. The score went up notably. The gripping and tense finish, by the way, seems endless. This does lack its usual finesse, so we'll see where it goes when it unfolds. This does have some things to prove in the cellar. In the new Santorini Assyrtiko trend, it is no longer acceptable to make wines that just drink well for five years, at least not if you want to be at the top of your game. It mostly seems pretty super, and it is worth leaning up right now. (MS)
This is a Santorini unlike any other. Cold macerated for 12 hours on the skins, then fermented without any added yeasts in an array of French and American oak barrels, as well as some made from acacia, it could stand in for a young Meursault. The initial oak scents are quickly subsumed in a tsunami of saline, chalky flavor, broad and savory, the texture as creamy as a meringue. It lasts on salt, lemon and chalk, ready to take on sliced leg of lamb with avgolemono.
Lemon pulp and orange rind aromas start this robust but elegant Assyrtiko from Gaia. It offers zippy minerality and fresh fruit flavors in a clean and balanced package, with the characteristic smoke and saline edge from its Santorini terroir. (SK)
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