The 2016 vintage of this wine was awarded 91 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2017 edition review of Greek Assyrtiko (see blue link below).
Gaia Thalassitis 2016 - Aug 2017 Decanter review
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. Gaia's main aim is to present the potential of the indigenous Greek grape varieties to wine enthusiasts worldwide.
A wet winter was followed by a rainy spring, which helped to build soil water reserves. A dry summer saw day temperatures that remained within the optimum range for quality wine making. The grapes reached perfect sugar and aromatic maturity relatively early in September 2017, from a dramatically low yield. The health of the grapes at harvest time was impeccable, resulting in a vibrant fruit flavours and beautifully balanced wines.
This wine is made from the island's indigenous variety Assyrtiko (pronounced Ah-SEERtee-koe) which is renowned for combining full flavoured maturity whilst retaining considerably high acidity. The grapes are produced exclusively from vineyards in the Episkopi, Akrotiri and Pyrgos regions, at elevations of between 50 to 250 metres above sea-level. The vines are between 70 to 80 years old and produce a particularly low yield of between 18 to 25 hectolitres per hectare. The vines are cultivated in volcanic soils which are porous with a high mineral content.
The hand picked grapes were cold macerated for a period of 12 hours at controlled temperatures of 10°C. Fermentation took place in stainless steel tanks at 16 to 18°C with selected yeasts. The wine did not undergo malolactic fermentation. This wine was produced in an unoaked style in order to retain its freshness and purity of fruit and spent four months in stainless steel tanks on its lees with frequent bâtonnage to impart texture and complexity.
Explosive minerality with fresh lemon zest on the nose, crisp acidity on the palate and underlying floral notes. Refreshing with a crisp, mineral finish. An excellent partner to seafood, fish, shellfish or lamb with lemon.