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Hats off to Hatzidakis

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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 2012, Assyrtiko, Domaine Hatzidakis ($23.55, 11901171)
100% Assyrtiko. No maceration. After clarification, the must is fermented at 18ºC with indigenous yeasts. Matured on the lees for 40 days. Aged in stainless steal tanks. Lightly filtered and dosed with sulphur dioxide before bottling. 52,000 bottles made. 13.5% ABV. This is the estate’s entry-level bottling. For the glorious higher-end cuvées, keep an eye on oenopole‘s website.
Chalk and quartz sand, lemon  peel, a faint herby/resinous note and eventually some peach. Quite weighty in the mouth yet fluid, like rainwater. Austere but intense: the extract — stuffing more than fruit — holds the coursing acidity in check, then fades, leaving a long-lingering matrix of minerals, lemon pith, powdered honey and sea salt. Carafe this 20 minutes before serving and don’t make the mistake of drinking it overly chilled. Great as an aperitif with olives, a natural with grilled fish and a knockout with oysters on the half shell. (Buy again? Try and stop me.)

Written by carswell

February 8, 2014 at 11:44

Posted in Tasting notes

Tagged with ,

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