Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 24366
Wine Advocate 95
"The 2016 Assyrtiko is unoaked and comes in at 14% alcohol. One of the island's benchmarks, this is always in fine form these day–and always rather hard to evaluate when it is young. Deceptively, this bottling doesn't seem intimidating on first taste, but it always hides many layers. I tend to decant them or taste them again the next day when they are young. Otherwise, you tend to miss too much. Wonderfully elegant and finishing with a salty nuance, this shows impeccable balance. Its best feature is the lingering and intense finish, with plenty of tension and grip. It has far more power than it seems on a casual sip and that power doesn't go away as the wine airs and warms. I tried it the next day, in fact, and it put on weight, absorbed the salt and showed even more power. Two days later, it still preened in its power and precision, fresh as a daisy and wholly unevolved. (The salt was back, too.) The gripping finish that coated the palate was simply impressive. This is another beauty from Sigalas, something that has a lot of upside potential still. Granting that I do not have them side by side, this might even be superior to the 2015. It's hard to overlook the superlative combination of concentration and intensity. If nothing else, it is a worthy competitor to the 2015 and fully its equal. While I am leaning up on it today, it is all about the potential as not many whites are this tightly wound. Try this again at the beginning summer 2019, and you will no doubt have a better experience. You can dive in now, if you insist, but I suspect this may not be fully expressive until 2020 or so. It should also age effortlessly, but let's start here and take the rest in stages. I won't be shocked if handles 20 years or more well, but let's be conservative for the moment."
"The Sigalas Santorini is 100% Assyrtiko, fermented in tempertature controlled stainless steel. The vinyards are in Imerovigli in the northern-most part of Santorini. The soil here is Aspa – black volcanic lava, ash and pumice and is very poor in organic matter. Low yields (15-30 hl per Hectare) and over fifty year old vines add to the mineral complexity and natural acidity of the wine.
"Sigalas is one of Greece's finest white wine producers - in fact, a short list candidate for the best. I would like to take credit for that conclusion, but there is not much dissent here. This producer is universally acclaimed for his skill with Assyrtiko of all types - dry, barrel fermented and sweet - and I can only climb on the bandwagon. Sigalas is simply a master with this grape."
-The Wine Advocate
Domaine Sigalas was founded in 1991 by Paris Sigalas, Christos Markozane and Yiannis Toundas. Initially, Sigalas made his wine at the converted Sigalas family home. In 1998 a new vinification, bottling and aging unit was built in a privately owned area of Oia, on the northern part of Santorini.
Sigalas has been a pioneer in the organic viticulture and has participated in a government organic farming methods program since 1994. Paris Sigalas remains committed to the founding principles of Domaine Sigalas - a creative relationship with the tradition, the Santorini Vineyards as well as the use of the best in winemaking technology and experience.
Sigalas concentrates on native grape varieties works most closely with Assyrtiko, but also has plantings of Athiri, Aedani, Mandilaria and Mavrotragano. The winery owns 14 hectares of organically grown Assyrtiko and includes permanent cooperation with local grape producers. Recently under cultivation are another 4 hectares of Aedani and Mavrotragano, 2.5 hectares of Assyrtiko and in the near future plans to add another 15 hectares of Assyrtiko.
The porous volcanic soil of Santorini allows the earth to retain water, giving the vineyards the ability to stay nourished during the high summer temperatures. During the hot Greek summer, rains are extremely rare and the only source of water for the vineyards is the nocturnal fogs. After the evening sun sets the island becomes enveloped in a fog that comes in from the sea. The vines are able to retain the water they need from this evening fog and use it during the warm daylight hours when it is needed most.
Santorini was also one of the rare wine-making areas in the world not attacked by phylloxera, because of the high content of sand found in volcanic soil. Because of their resistance to phylloxera the vines retain their original root stocks.
The winds saturate the island throughout the year. The only way for the grapes to survive from the direct exposure of sun and strong winds is to be protected inside low-basket-shaped vines, the "ampelies", as they are called locally forming a unique pruning system. The refreshing northerly winds that blow from July to September, known as the "meltemia", also help keep the vines from developing the numerous fungi that can result from the combination of summer heat and humidity. " ~ Winery notes