Haridimos Hatzidakis was endlessly experimental, making a considerable range of Santorini Assyrtiko. But Louros was always the most ambitious, the pinnacle of his work. The fruit for Louros comes from ancient Assyrtiko vines. Unlike most other Santorini, it is fermented in oak. This gives it a richness that you don't generally find with Assyrtiko, which is cut through by all the extraordinary natural power, freshness and minerality typical of Santorini. It's a stunning combination. The 2016 is the last vintage Haridimos made.
Tasting this wine, I can't help thinking of all the vintages we will not be able taste because of Haridimos's premature departure. The wine is mid gold. The aroma is insanely complex. The fruit is obviously ripe but the freshness is incredible, even at 15% alcohol. The aroma is spiced and golden, burnished, rich, intense, with notes of bitter orange and apricot but also a more savoury quality. On the palate, powerfully spiced but still with the most wonderful ripe citrus intensity and all the while a mineral edginess that is pure Santorini. Tastes dry. Unexpectedly, as it opens it seems to become more smoky and reductive, with a slight struck-match character. Intense, emotional wine that has stunning freshness considering the 15% alcohol. A wine to drink before you die. Perfection perfectly flawed.
Julia Harding MW, JancisRobinson.com
Assyrtiko de Louros
Greece > Santorini
Selected vineyards of ancient Assyrtiko vines, 180-220m above sea level around the village of Pyrgos.
Fermented in oak. Matured on its lees for 24 months in 600 litre barrels.
A complete wine from release, with a harmonious combination of creamy oak and bracing freshness. Will improve for at least 10-20 years in bottle.
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