Sommelier Julie Dupouy reviews Assyrtiko, Estate Argyros, Santorini, 2013 and Suertes del Marques "La Solana", DO Valle de la Orotava, 2014
Assyrtiko, Estate Argyros, Santorini, 2013
Available: 64 wines, Baggot Street Wines, The Corskcrew, H2G Market.
Santorini island, situated in the middle of the Aegan sea, is very well know for its caldera and its beautiful houses with blue roofs and white walls but did you know that it also produces some of the best white wines in Greece ?
This wines is made by one of the best producers in the island : Estate Argyros. Estate Argyros was founded in 1903 and today it is still run by the same family.
The grape is called Assyrtiko and originates from Santorini itself. Because of the volcanic and arid nature of the island the vines are trained in a very unique basket shape locally called "kouloura". This specific training allows the grapes to be protected from the winds and to preserve dewdrops.
Because the vineyards of Santorini were never attacked by the phylloxera, all the vines are ungrafted and can be over 100 years old.
This wine is very fresh and mineral with a saline and citrusy character. Traditionally this could be enjoyed with some grilled octopus simply seasoned with some sea salt, good olive oil and oregano. However, octopus might not be the easiest ingredient to find in Ireland and some fresh oysters or
barbecued sardines would make for a great wine pairing too.
Suertes del Marques "La Solana", DO Valle de la Orotava, 2014
Available: Greenman wines, 64 wines, Baggot street wines, La Touche wines.
When thinking about Spanish wines, a red wine from the Canary Islands is maybe not the first option that comes to mind. If looking for a fruity and refreshing red wine, once again the southerly island of Tenerife might not be the most obvious choice. However, on the North of the island, in a region called "Valle de la Orotava" some really exciting and incredibly fresh wines are to be found.
La Solana is a single tiny vineyard of 1.5ha. It is planted on clay over volcanic rock and is situated between 350 and 450 metres about sea level. The vineyards are trained in a system called "Trenzado" which make the vines look like giant plates. Once again this vineyards are ungrafted and are over 100 years old.
This wine is made with 100% Listan Negro grape variety. Listan Negro is indigenous from Spanish Islas Canarias and is a dark-skinned mutation of Palomino Fino, the grape used in the production of Sherry wines.
This wines combines beautifully fruitiness, spiciness and juiciness with a darker mineral character. This is a perfect summer red wine as it suits perfectly any types of grilled meat and served a little bit cooler than a regular red wine it could also pair well with richer fish such as salmon or tuna.