Whatever you do, do not ask me how to pronounce any of these wines.
Santorini is a tiny Greek island in the Aegean Sea, 120 miles from the mainland. Turns out they grow a lot of grapes there, and naturally they make wine from them. Assyrtiko is the main grape here, and it is found almost nowhere but Santorini and other islands in the Aegean. The character is akin to Sauvignon Blanc (with which it is often blended), making very pale-colored wines with mineral and fresh fruit character, and crisp, tart bodies.
We released our inner Kraken and tasted three wines from Santorini to come to grips with this Greek juice.
2009 Koutsoyiannopoulos Santorini – Nice and dry. Crisp with some muted floral notes, fresh figs, and an olive character in the nose. Candied apricots appear for the finish, which harkens back to a little bit of that bitter olive character. Aka Volcan Winery. B+ / $18
2009 San…torini Winery by Artemis Karamolegos Santorini – The fruitiest of the bunch, with distinct peach and lemon notes, a round, Chardonnay-like body, and a buttery overall tone. Not entirely balanced, though. The sum is less than the individual parts. B+ / $NA
2009 Gavala Santorini – Good luck figuring out the name of this winery from the label: It’s written only in Greek. You’ll know it, though, by the blue bottle and by the addition of Aidani grapes to the Assyrtiko. The blend gives this wine some zip, a punchiness that is reminiscent of Gruner Veltliner. Also good, but very different than the other two wines here. B+ / $12