Argyros Estate has been making wine on Santorini since 1903, and today they own around 120ha of vines, many of them exceeding 100 years of age. Elsewhere on the planet wines from these old vines would go for 4-5 times the price, but the great Assyrtiko wines of Santorini are only just being discovered by a hot and thirsty world. Unfortunately grape prices have risen enormously in the past 5 years so the wines are becoming more expensive and may increase further in coming years.
The Estate blend is the top wine is made from vines with an average age of vines of at least 150 years, but some may have been planted more than 300 years ago. Yes that is correct! The vines are trellised into a basket (koulara) and at around 75 years yields dwindle away and so are pruned back to their roots to start anew in 2-3 years time - its known that some of these vineyards have experienced this pruning multiple times during their lifetime.
The dry, isolated climate of Santorini allows these vines to long lives without threat from pest or disease. The low fertility soil and lack of potassium in the ground make Santorini Assyrtiko a candidate for lowest pH wines on the planet at less than 2.80 - geek out!!
Assyrtiko on Santorini is incredibly mineral and fresh, with thirst slaking acidity and all the tones of a lemon grove, glazed in lemon zest and drizzled in lemon oil. The volcanic soils and low fertility deliver a salty, refreshing mineral depth to the wine. This is brilliant stuff. Great for summer, or for dreaming of summer holidays in much sunnier, warmer places. Personally I'm ageing this in magnums because I'm fascinated by its cellaring potential.
Origin: Santorini / Greece