The full taste of Assyrtiko wine apparently surprised judges of Decanter’s World Wines Awards 2018. They credited it as ‘‘an outstanding summary of this unique terroir,” and included Assyrtiko from the winery ArtemisKaramolegos on the island of Santorini among the 50 Best in Show.
Just 0.3% of wines tasted at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2018 won one of the prestigious Best in Show medals.
A total of 16,903 wines were tasted this year, with 50 wines awarded the Best in Show accolade, having previously made it through to the Platinum level.
France scooped up the most Best in Show awards this year with 12 medals, ahead of Spain with nine accolades. Italy and Australia scooped six each, with other Best in Show medals heading to several other countries around the world, from New Zealand, South Africa and the US to Canada and Greece.
Among some of the more surprise winners in the top echelon of DWWA 2018 was an Assyrtiko from Artemis Karamolegos winery on the Greek island of Santorini. Judges credited it as ‘an outstanding summary of this unique terroir’.
Further west, a Cabernet Franc from Thirty Bench Wines added more evidence that wine lovers should be taking note of what is happening in Canada.
Karen MacNeil, Regional Chair for the USA and Central America, said: ‘Wines at the DWWA are given an enormous amount of consideration and thoughtfulness. Among all wine competitions in the world, this is the competition producers would want to be part of.’
Full winner’s list and more about DWWA 2018 here
Assyrtiko is a white Greek wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. It is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini and other Aegean islands as well as in Halkidiki.
The mineral profile of the grape bodes well for blending and in recent times it has been blended often with Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon and Malagousia.
Assyrtiko grapes clusters are large, with transparent yellow-gold skin and juicy flesh.
In the volcanic soil of Santorini, there appear to be some unique characteristics that develop in the grape variety, and therefore in the wine. One of these characteristics is that Assyrtiko does not lose its acidity even if it is very ripe.
Throughout Greece, the grape is vinified to make a variety of dry and sweet wines, including Vinsanto-like musky and syrup-sweet dessert wines.