Dorothy Parker Wines

by Harry Eyres
For the past three years I’ve been serving on the committee of my local tennis club in west London. Calling it a tennis club is accurate up to a point;...

Santorini 2023 Report

by Peter Pharos
“What a wine”, I commented on the Instagram feed of a London wine merchant who had just posted a new import from Etna. “Good enough to give anything on Santorini...
90

2022 Athlon Limited Edition Assyrtiko, Macedonia

( £6.99, 12%, Aldi )

Greek Assyrtiko has become so trendy these days that even Aldi are doing an own-label. The top wines, especially from the volcanic island of Santorini, have crept up in price, so it’s a pleasure to find a very drinkable example of the grape on the high street. This one hails from Macedonia in the north west of the country and was judiciously blended with 10% Chardonnay. Crisp and unoaked, with citrus, wet stone and chamomile flavours complemented by a hint of peach.

BuyDrinking window: 2023-28Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Greece, White, Assyrtiko, Chardonnay

Santorini Assyrtiko 2022 Report

by Peter Pharos
It is rather unlucky, if not downright unwise, to start producing a report on a grape variety at a point in time where its prime terroir underperformed. When I compiled...

In Praise Of Assyrtiko

by Peter Pharos
Growing up in Greece means you get used to following two parallel tracks, the national and the international. There is the local music scene, and the global music scene; the...
94

2019 Argyros Estate Assyrtiko, Santorini

( £28, 14%, Bottle Apostle, Philglas & Swiggot, Tanners )

Oh to be sitting in a bar in Santorini drinking a glass of this amazing wine. But sipping it in London’s still a pleasure, reminding me of the lure of the Greek islands. Made from old, ungrafted bush vines grown on volcanic soils, it’s a stunning white from Matthew Argyros, demonstrating Assyrtiko’s classic combination of salty, briney aromatics, crunchy minerality and flavours of preserved lemons and wild herbs. Long, focused and beautifully balanced.

BuyDrinking window: 2020-24Similar Wines: £20-£30, 90-94, Greece, White, Assyrtiko

White wine rising

by Christy Canterbury MW
Though the “ABC”, or “Anything But Chardonnay” campaign continues to rail against it, Chardonnay remains the favourite white grape of USA wine drinkers. It is also the planet’s most planted,...
91

2017 Atlantis, Santorini

( £8, down from £12, 13%, Marks & Spencer )

Currently on a deal that has reduced its price by £4, this was worth buying at £12, but is especially so now. Made from Greece’s increasingly trendy Assyrtiko, with 5% each of Aidani and Athiri for company, this is a brilliant seafood white that’s crunchy, pithy and slightly salty, with lemon and lime zest fruit, an undertone of wild herbs and a long and very refreshing finish. If the summer ever starts again, drink a bottle outside in the sun. If not, imagine you’re on a Greek island. Drink young and well chilled.

BuyDrinking window: 2019-21Similar Wines: £5-£10, 90-94, Greece, White, Aidani, Assyrtiko, Athiri

In praise of Retsina

by Peter Pharos
An English acquaintance of a certain age, likes to bring up Nana Mouskouri every time we meet. He appears to find her not only an endless source of amusement, but...
93

2013 Gaia, Thalassitis, Assyrtiko, Santorini

( £14.95, 13%, Noel Young Wines, Winedirect )

Assyrtiko is one of the most under-rated grapes in the world, especially when it’s grown on the volcanic soils of the island of Santorini. Bone dry, minerally and deliciously austere, this example from Gaia shows the variety at its delicious best with notes of quinine and lemon zest and incredible extract and concentration. A total bargain at £14.95.

BuyDrinking window: 2015-17Similar Wines: £10-£20, 91-95, Greece, White, Assyrtiko