The rugged, volcanic island of Santorini is rapidly gaining profile as a high quality wine-making area. Arid and dramatically windy, the vines get their water from the morning dew that condenses inside the traditional basket shaped crown vines, designed to protect against the island`s strong wind. The total absence of clay from the soil makes this a phylloxera-free island, and as a result many of the vines are 200 or even 300 years old. Assyrtiko is the indigenous white grape, which has a great ability to produce intense but crisp, energetic and mineral wines.
Founded in 1903 but working from a new, state-of-the-art winery since 2015, the Argyros Estate owns 65 hectares of vineyards across the island. Their Santorini Assyrtiko comes from vines averaging 60-110 years of age, the grapes being 100% fermented in stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts and aged on the lees for 4 months. Their 2016 is a stunning wine. Pale lemon-green colour, the nose is perfumed and very fine, recalling apricots, almonds, dried white flowers. Palate is light bodied, silky and vivacious, yet there is underlying richness and complexity of fruit flavour, and the most attractive mineral undertone, reminding us of the region`s volcanic soils. Finish is clean, vibrant and enormously refreshing.