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MWG May 16th tasting (3/5): Hatzidakis cubed

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A native of Crete who worked for Boutari, Haridimos Hatzidakis founded his eponymous estate in 1996, starting with vines owned by his wife’s family. The vineyards surrounding the canava are certified organic, a rare occurrence on the island, and the vines are trained into the traditional basket or nest shape, which offers some protection from the wind and sun and helps conserve precious moisture. Like all vines on phylloxera-free Santorini, they are ungrafted.

Santorini 2011, Assyrtiko, Domaine Hatzidakis ($21.95, 11901171)
Assyrtiko (90%), Aidani (5%) and Athiri (5%), which, oddly  enough, is the exactly the same blend as Argyros’s Atlantis. No maceration. After clarification, the must is fermented at 18ºC with selected dry yeasts. Matured on the lees for 40 days. Aged in stainless steal tanks. Lightly filtered and dosed with sulphur dioxide before bottling. Around 50,000 bottles made. 13.5% ABV.
Minerals on steroids, lemon and a whiff of turpentine. Smooth on entry but with some bite on exit. A mouthful of lemon with the pith, chalk, quartz and trippy acid. Long, saline finish. (Buy again? Automatically.)

Santorini 2011, Assyrtiko, Cuvée No. 15, Domaine Hatzidakis ($28.95, 11901189)
100% organically farmed Assyrtiko. Macerated on the skin for for 12 hours. The must is then separated from the grapes, clarified and fermented with indigenous yeasts at 18°C. Maturated on the lees in stainless steel tanks for eight months. Bottled manually, unfiltered with only a small amount of sulphur. 2,700 bottles made. 14.5% ABV.
Minerals and lemon again but with a candied edge. Not bone dry on the attack. The mid-palate is laden with extract, polished stones and firm acidity. A dry astringency and a bitter note creep in on the finish along with the expected sea spray. Long, long, long. Wow-worthy. (Buy again? Imperatively.)

Santorini 2009, Cuvée spéciale nº 15, Domaine Hatzidakis ($28.15 in 2011, oenopole, NLA)
100% organically farmed Assyrtiko. Wine-making is similar to that for the 2011. 14% ABV if I’m remembering correctly.
While the 2011s were silver-gold with pale green glints, this was tending more toward gold-bronze. Striking, magnetic nose of preserved lemon, dried pine needles, oxidized honey and more. Dry and complex in the mouth, dense but saved from heaviness by the firm acidity and general savour. Layer after layer of bitter minerals. The finish is long and, yes, saline. Impressive. (Buy again? Gladly.)

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Written by carswell

May 28, 2013 at 17:43

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