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Yiannis Valambous' father Vassilis was in finance and shipping, originally from the island of Iona, while his mother was from Ithaca (part of the Ionian islands). Dad passed in 2006 and it was in and around 2009 that Yiannis (who was working abroad) decided it was time for a change in philosophy and direction. He moved back to his beloved dad's Santorini and grasped control of the vineyards from farmers who were “theoretically” taking care of them. Solicited help from Oenologist Elias Roussakis and the rest is making history. This PDO is simply labeled as it must be to exult the workhorse and star, that being big production assyrtiko (responsible for 65 per cent of the total) and a 100 per cent stainless steel fermented and raised example that made use of lees to bring weight and heft, but also aiding and abetting to the all important aftertaste. Flint and gunpowder, low pH just above three and great varietal acidity. The flintiness just goes on and on without any wood and only Chablis at Grand Cru level can act the equivalent child of nature taking full advantage of this kind of cause and effect. This is true natural selection in action, as this is the variety that has endured, above and beyond all the others brought to and nurtured on this spark plug of an island. So tight and blessed of intensity riding shoulder to shoulder with the finest striking scintillant wines of this world. Drink 2023-2031. Tasted February 2023.
Revue de presse
This is a very fine sturdy yet elegant assyrtiko with beautifully knit aromas of yellow apricot/pineapple fruit, white pepper and a certain smoky/waxy minerality. It is medium-full bodied, very even, graceful yet solid with fine acid-alcohol weave. The focus and length are excellent. Lovely integration here. Very fine wine. Tasted Oct 2021
This is a clean, intense, yellow-fleshed orchard fruit and ripe citrus-flavoured (pink grapefruit, orange, candied lime) example of assyrtiko sourced from throughout Santorini. The palate is deeply structured, complex, full-bodied, saturated with flavour, even lightly tannic, with excellent length and depth. An explosive wine in the final analysis, with sufficient structure and depth to improve over the next 3-5 years I suspect - a real tour de force - exceptional wine. Tasted October 2021.
The “entry-level” or “sodeiá” from Vassaltis is the assyrtiko least adorned, a straightforward volcanic expression of salt, grit, marine air and “exousía.” Power and control, emotions in check, richness a given when considering the quality of fruit from these northerly Santorini vineyards but salinity and basaltic intensity are at the core and the fore. Captures the true spirit of grape, soil and place with utmost respect and integrity. This is what it is all about and with a level of natural structure to see it age very well. Drink 2021-2027. Tasted October 2021.