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Wot no Assyrtiko?


#1

So we’re off to Crete & Santorini in the summer. Was thinking it would be a good idea to become better acquainted with the wines of the region so we know what to order when we get there (or at least have a vague idea).

Disappointed to see that TWS have no examples of this grape (which seems to be very fashionable). The one reference to it is in a wine that doesn’t have it and is out of stock!

So I’ve picked up a couple of wines from a local wine shop - one cheap and one expensive and will report back…


#2


Picked this one up on Costco, really decent :+1:


#3

This one is my favourite, for its depth of flavour and savouriness (probably to do with the wild yeast):

Not cheap, though…! :grimacing:


#4

This is waiting for the right time to me to open:

The W/S used to stock the standard Hatzidakis Santorini. Hope to see it back after Haridimos Hazidakis’s untimely and tragic death. Gaia and Sigalas’s wines are also great!


#5

Must say, this Acroterra is stunning! Imagine a dry Riesling crossed with a 1er cru St Aubin and you’re there. Fabulous wine, getting close to being worth the £39 paid! Glorious!


#6

I think the very good examples are often as complex as white wines can get!

Last year I went to a blind tasting in Brighton, and the winner was this stunning wine - an Assyrtiko blend. The finish was so long, and the savoury/fruity interplay so interesting… It made me realise that Assyrtiko is a serious grape!


#7

From Crete rather than Santorini, the Oikonomoy/Economou (seems to get transliterated both ways) Sitia (liatiko - not sure I remember having another) red could fit “fabulous wine, getting close to being worth [£48]” perfectly. Theatre of Wine say online they have the 2004, together with a range of other Oikonomoy and Hatzidakis wines (including the excellent Assyrtiko de Mylos).


#8

Just in passing, Assyrtiko can make a fabulous sweet wine (presumably from grapes left to start desiccating), should you ever come across any.

Jim Barry has some Assyrtiko vines in the Clare Valley - the wine does make it over here.


#9

I bought a bottle of this last weekend. Glad to hear it is good.


#10

Thanks for all the suggestions. I feel a Spatburgunder and Assyrtiko dinner coming along! :wink:


#11

I also have a couple of bottles of this that I picked up from costco.

I bought them after having had (and thoroughly enjoyed) a glass of it with dinner at J Sheekey, it was £78 a bottle on the wine list there).


#12

HOW MUCH ?! :see_no_evil::see_no_evil::see_no_evil:! That’s some markup .


#13

That’s why I only had a glass! Actually, I was driving so that also helped keep me in check.

The mark up is hefty! I think about 4.5 times retail price.


Restaurant wine list mark up
#14

ECONOMOU… these wines are pretty cultish. Theatre of Wine now only have the two whites. World-class wines, in any case, though not to all tastes, and like hen’s teeth.

There is a fair bit of Assyrtiko (possibly my very favourite white grape) grown elsewhere in Greece - Economou make one in Crete, as do Lyrarakis (another recommended producer, though far more mainstream - and a lot cheaper!), and many others from N Greece do too. Of course they don’t have that volcanic minerality, but still interesting and enjoyable wines.

I would now put Greece in my top five countries for vinous interest, esp for whites.


#15

Two wonderful examples of Assyrtiko from the pricier end of the range:

My white wine of last year, from the island of Tinos (not far from Santorini)

… and of recent Decanter fame, waiting in my reserves


#16

Anyone tried the Thymiopoulos version in M&S? It’s reduced by 1/3 in the current promotion so worth a try at £6ish if not likely to be at the level of other labels refered to in the posts above. The Xinomavro Jeunes Vignes has just been named as the Jancis Robinson WoTW so if you fancy some get your skates on as Jancis has quoted the Society as the price leader on this!


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#17

The M&S supermarket Assyrtiko and Xinomavro are both OK and well worth picking up at 1/3 off. I only tend to buy M&S stuff when they do these sporadic clearance sales.


#18

My god! Serendipity! Just came home from a quick shop to M&S with this bottle under my arm :smiley:
Looking forward to trying it. And the fact that it is a Malagouzia/Assyrtiko blend makes it even more interesting.


#19

Are you sure about this? Where? Bricks and mortar store only perhaps?

Online I could not see this wine in their 1/3-off promotion. But I do find M&S wine website difficult to understand, so you could well be correct.

The only place I could find it on offer was in their “Food Hall” - apparently a different online shop entirely to where the sale exists. And in a different area I found it available by the half-case, but out of stock - has been for at least the last week or so.

BTW, the M&S wine is priced to be about the same as the Jeunes Vignes, but I was assure by someone (at TWS I think) that it is not the same wine.


#20

I share your frustration! It’s very similar to the Waitrose main ‘groceries’ website, as opposed to their Cellar on-line shop, which more often than not has really interesting wines which you just can’t find in the real shop. A few times I just ended up ordering on-line.

With M&S, as I live fairly close to one - I just pop in when I fancy a look, and if there’s a sale on, I just go for whatever takes my fancy. Don’t think I ever planned this in advance - as you say, the info on the website isn’t always up-to-date or accurate.