I have searched for Assyrtiko on TWS and got zero hits. I think it is a bit of a shame, as the grape produces some truly great wines. I think TWS might be missing out on potential business as this variety gets more sought after. Might it be that some is being held back for an upcoming promotion?
I’m sure I’ve seen some before, there might just not be any in stock at the moment. Another reason why I think the wine database searches should have the option of showing out of stock as well as in stock and even possibly an option to show future planned stock.
That would be a glaring omission. Have really enjoyed examples from hatzidakis and Gaia wines of Santorini.
Your post has also reminded me that I have neglected this fine grape this summer and need to buy a couple of bottles.
I for one would definitely like to see some stocked. There is no white Burgundy alternative topic yet, but Assyrtiko and Furmint are my front runners in this respect. Often better than the real thing.
You are much more qualified to comment on the Furmint front, but I totally agree about Assyrtiko. The Gaia Wild Ferment example (of which I only got 1 bottle of the 2017 left) is such a weighty, complex and yet totally delicious white - it would be great if the Society stocked it. Or any other good producer of Assyrtiko, to that matter.
Interestingly, when I bought the Gaia wine a while back, the local merchant told me that he would not be re-stocking it once it’s sold out, as he’d seen the price steadily going up, and feared that not many people would want to pay £26 (or more) for it. It’s a shame - but I guess a sign of how sought after it is.
I’d like to echo this! The Greek selection is looking pretty sparse in general at the moment and nothing at all from Santorini. Prices are going up, but that’s to be expected I guess and I’d say that the value is no worse than for other fine wines.
I’m about to buy some Santorini Assyrtiko for a tasting, and was quite shocked to see how expensive it is now. It was not exactly cheap a few years ago, but it seems to have gone up quite significantly. Pity because I like the wine - but current prices definitely would make me think before buying.
I will also be showing another excellent Greek grape - Xinomavro. That is still available a lot more reasonably, and is sold by TWS in the form of Thymiopoulos Jeunes Vignes.
The society has usually offered some Assyrtiko - I presume it’s just out of stock at the present (see separate discussion on desirable things going out of stock).
While I’m here, Assyrtiko can make a fabulous sweet wine, but rarely is it seen. Also, Jim Barry has some Assyrtiko vines in the Clare Valley, and the wine is available in the UK for those who fancy seeing what it does in Australia. Not cheap.
Not least, there is the Vinsanto wine of Santorini (always one word, unlike the Vin Santo from Italy). It can include other grapes, but is primarily Assyrtiko.
Have you tried Jim Barry’s Assyrtiko? I thought it was OK, but I was not particularly impressed.
I haven’t yet, but I do have a bottle, which I was going to sit on for a few years. The reports I had read - a bit like yours - suggested opening it young may not show it to advantage. Of course, I have no idea whether it will go anywhere, but it struck me as a useful thing to try.
I’ve been inspired so I’ve just popped one in the fridge… There will definitely be some wines opened tonight .
I know we shouldn’t mention other wine merchants, but I received an email from lay and wheeler today regarding this wine.
I would echo all your sentiments. I’d very much like to see Assyrtiko stocked too.
I wonder if the problem is lack of availability. I’ve only tried examples from Santorini, although I know it’s produced elsewhere in Greece, and would imagine it’s produced in relatively tiny quantities ( from photos, the vines on Santorini don’t look like big producers either ). Combine that with the grapes cult status, and rising prices that reflect that, then maybe TWS buyers don’t think it offers the value it once did and that members might not buy the wines as a result ?
As an aside, the 12 year old Santorini Vinsanto from Argyros is probably the best wine I’ve bought from TWS in my time as a member. It may have been £42 for a 50cl bottle but it was worth every penny ( and then some ).
I see from my Order History that I bought Hatzidakis Assyrtiko from Santorini most years from 2008 until 2016, during which time the price rose from £10.50 to £13.50 a bottle. It was one of my favourites, although I liked it better at £10.50 a bottle…
The Argyros Assyrtiko is currently stocked Costco for around £16 … I’ve had it a number of times and think it’s a pretty decent drop
Thanks for the heads-up, nice one. There’s a branch of Costco two miles from where I live. I’m not a member but a friend is. Will give them a call and tag along on their next visit.
And if stocked, like it was on my last visit with them, pick up some King Crab legs too !
That’s a very good price, but then Costco is usually has the lowest wine prices in the UK.
I’ve just done a Wine-Searcher search, and the best price for Santo Santorini PDO I found was around £18. (Santo is the coop on the island and, while not to be sniffed at, is usually about the cheapest you can get.)
I’m really surprised at Costco’s wine prices, they are really good. They are currently selling 2012 veux telegraph CdP at about £35 inc Vat and Chateau Batailly for similar . They are also the cheapest place I’ve seen Kung fu girl Riesling at £10 . I always pick up a couple of bottles when I’m there .
Haven’t come across this one before…has it got a bit of a kick in it?
There are a number of Assyrtikos from other bits of Greece, thanks no doubt to the success and acclaim Santorini wines have had.
Lyrarakis Assyrtiko from Crete is available from Oddbins (and elsewhere) at £12.75:
Great Western wine have Ktima Kyr Yianni’s Amyndeon (Macedonia) Assyrtiko at £14.75