Gaia Estate Wild Ferment Old Vine Assyrtiko 2012 Santorini AOC Greece

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Price: £16.99

 

One of the pioneers of the modern Greek wine revolution, Gaia Estate was established in 1994 by Greek winemakers Leon Karatsalos and Yiannis Paraskevopoulos. Operating two different wineries they make cutting edge wines in both Nemea and Santorini.

The 2012 Assyrtiko “Wild Ferment” is the latest version of this unusual bottling (the fermentation takes place only with naturally occurring yeasts found on the grapes) from 80 year old vines exclusively from the winery’s “upland” vineyard of Pyrgos, said to make somewhat more aromatic Assyrtiko. The wild yeast strain that prevails does so without interference, with “every tank and barrel something different...“ It is aged 50% in tank, 20% in 300L French oak barrel, 10% in 225L American oak and 20% in 225L Acacia. Owner Yiannis Paraskevopoulos says that the Acacia gives Assyrtiko more of a flowery dimension, less of a wood feel. (Mark Squires, Wine Advocate Issue 200, April 2012)

We tasted this recently in London and we were captivated by the mineral complexity and texture on the palate. Produced from 80 year old vines this oaked Assyrtiko is bone dry with a zingy, citrus character along with a hint of marine salts, apple and citrus on the wonderfully textured palate. It's fantastically refreshing and complex. The 2011 vintage won a Gold Medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2012