Gai’a Wines, Santorini DOP (Greece) Assyrtiko Wild Ferment 2018

($38):  Gai’a, a leading producer of Greek wines, makes several wines from the Assyrtiko grape grown on Santorini.  They are probably best known for their Assyrtiko labeled Thalassitis, which is blended from several vineyards on the island. This one, however, labeled Wild Ferment, comes exclusively from a single vineyard, Pyrgos, according to their website. It receives brief, 12 hours, of skin contact and then batches ferment with native yeast in stainless steel tanks and barrels made from French or American oak, and Acacia.  The winemaker selects the best batches for this wine. It’s a rounder, more suave version of Assyrtiko than the norm, while still capturing the grapes minerality and verve.  It trades Assyrtiko’s traditional vibrant energy for a more velvety texture.  Still tight, I would give it a few years of bottle age to allow it to shine as I’m sure it will given its impeccable balance.
92 Michael Apstein Dec 24, 2019