Wines from Santorini
Sun poured through panes and lit the wines of ten producers from Santorini–Domaine Sigalas, Hatzidakis, Argyros and Gaia… Assyrtiko. Vinsanto. Lincoln Center, Alice Tully Hall. We walked the room and poured our glasses, lips-snacking over Jonathon Sawyer‘s eye-candy fare.
With a dwindling population yielding a reduced commitment to the vineyard, Santorini’s wine production is a few tanks short of becoming an endangered vine. With findings that date cultivation to 5000 BC, Santorini suffers the curse of beauty…and it’s tourism that threatening the vineyards’ life. With soils born of a catastrophic eruption in 1600 BC, old vines struggle, digging deep to quench thirst. Pumice, volcanic ash, solidified lava, and sand. Minerality and acidity, with ocean mist and sea fog adding a touch of brine.
Woven in circles, the vines live as baskets–bunkers that protect grape clusters from night gusts and intense sunlight. Koulara. Ampella. Two names for the same method–tight woven canopies that enable a vine 75 years of life.
Domaine Sigalas–Some vertical notes:
Sigalas Santorini 2009–Citrus flavors and inviting like an arm’s warm crook.
Sigalas Santorini 2008–Initial funk. Jackfruit and stony with spice.
Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2009–Oak tempers tart, enveloping its bite. Minerally and silky.
Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2007–Light nose. Citrus, anise, and smoked nuts.
Sigalas Santorini Barrel 2006–Hot Rocks and ripe stone fruit.
Sigalas Vinsanto 2000–Salted plump raisins. Toffee. Lingering salinity. Lovely and complex.