Each Friday, #Ottawa sommelier Monique Ippolito introduces us to a new wine worth savouring and sharing. Cheers!
Happy Friday folks! I have recently returned from a wonderful trip to Greece and spent quite a bit of my time sailing around the Cyclades Islands in the Southern Aegean. A large part of my travels took me through a sensory discovery of Greek wines and food. While touring the Santorini wine trail, I fell madly for the wines produced by Estate Argyros.
Now, thanks to the Kolonaki Group of wine and spirits distributors based out of Toronto, we get to enjoy these wines here in our market! Here are several reasons why Estate Argyros Atlantis Dry White is our #wineoftheweek…
LCBO Vintages 371658 | $17.95
1. This wine comes from a century old family-run winery. Their vines have survived over a hundred summers of Santorini’s dry heat, a devastating earthquake in 1956 and even managed to bypass Europe’s phylloxera outbreak (winespeak for a nasty pest to grapevines worldwide) back in the mid-late 19th century.
And nope! My math is not off. Estate Argyros tends some of the oldest vineyards in Santorini. They have vines that are over a 150 years; and some with rootstock that is over 200 years old! This wine in particular comes from vines with an average age of 70 to 80 years, which is actually young for Greece (since they invented Western Civilization and all).
2. This wine is made almost exclusively from the native Assyrtiko grape variety with up to 10% of the blend coming from Athiri and/or Aidani (two other native white grape varieties of Santorini). The aromas are mild – mostly ‘minerally’ (smells like wet rocks) with hints of grapefruit and orange blossoms. Meanwhile, the palate is loaded with apple, stone fruit, mandarin and, of course, mineral notes.
3. These Assyrtiko vines may be ‘old’ (age just a number, right?) but they work hard! Four generations of Argyros winemakers have dedicated all their efforts to “making wines according to the traditional Santorini way.” A large part of this practice meant that the vines get no water or irrigation at all. They had to adapt to survive the hot Santorini climate. The vines’ struggle for nutrients deep down into the volcanic soils of Santorini actually contribute quite a bit to the complex character of the grapes and, ultimately, the wine.