Item Number: 29027
Not Vintage Specific
Item Number: 29027
Wine & Spirits 95
"This assyrtiko may not be as powerful as Sigalas’ single-vineyard bottlings, but the 2017 excels in the simple joy and purity it transmits. It’s a liquid landscape of Santorini, from the clean, salty scent of a white-sand beach to the blinding brightness of the white limed buildings, telegraphed here in sunny, pithy lemon flavors. It feels minimalist and yet dynamic, thirst-quenching and vital. "
Wine Advocate 93
"The 2017 Santorini Assyrtiko, the flagship 100% Assyrtiko (which I have often called in the past either Assyrtiko or Santorini, as both fit) is unoaked and comes in at 14.5% alcohol. Maybe it was just due to my tasting this next to some of the brilliant 2016s this issue, but this seemed rather understated by comparison and a bit off of its normal brilliance. Then, I went back and did what I find is important to do when tasting quality young Assyrtiko—taste it again the next day. Sometimes, you might need two days. Or three. Decanting helps, too—a simple taste is not always revealing. If I was somewhat unimpressed with this originally, on the second day it was suddenly interesting, even exciting. "Understated" is the last word to use. It exploded in the glass. Showing fine freshness despite its size, it is simply gripping on the finish, filled with energy and very tense. It is also very concentrated. The wine doesn't seem thick exactly, but it is actually a little unctuous as it sits on the palate, showing how ripe and rich the fruit is. It fills the mouth. For all that, it seems to keep its balance. As good as this is, it left me wondering where it goes and how it will develop. Will it stay in balance? Become more expressive? With another three years in the cellar, it might show a lot like the 2016 Imerovigli Village this issue or maybe the Megalochori Village, but let's be a little conservative right now. I still have a couple of questions it has not answered."
"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