When my good friend Richard, founder of Wanderlust wines knew I was off to Santorini he insisted I go to Vassaltis. ‘Best wines on the Island’ he told me. Started by Yannis Valambous a former financier in London. It is Santorini’s newest winery, outside the village of Vourvoulus. The winery is sleek modern light and spacious with excellent views over his vineyards to the sea.The first wines from Vassaltis were released in 2015. We were lucky enough to meet their two highly talented winemakers, Elias Roussakis and Yiannis Papaeconomou.
Richard was bang on.
The wines are fabulous. The restaurant menu excellent too and the vibe atmosphere and service of the staff lived up to all expectations. Definitely a highlight of our vinous tour of Santorini
Tasting notes below courtesy of Kiran
Aged for up to 2 – 3 years
The label design is shape of a volcanic stone.
Nice floral nose.
Fresh with peachy and citrus notes some jasmine florality and medium body with high acidity but less than Assyrtiko A lovely aperitif style wine.
A blend of 3 whites Aidani, about 30% Assyrtiko and Athiri.
Lemon sorbet and wet stone on the nose.
More lemon zest, mineral and lovely salty tangy phenolic bitter finish. A great food wine.
100% Assyrtiko a blend of grapes from different vineyards all over Santorini 24 eur.
12 months on lees then bottled.
Immediate hit of dried herbs, rosemary thyme etc. then some lemon zest. Then emerging hyacinth quite floral.
Quite full bodied tannins felt on gums high cripsp acid nice long salty finish.
Gramina means field so this is a single vineyard wine from Vourvoulos the village nearby. 100% Assyrtiko grapes are handpicked early morning and the wine spends 12 months on lees and 12 months in bottle.
On the nose an attractive petrolic whiff with an undertow of herbs and wet stones
Full bodied, smooth texture with dried green herbs, fresh acidity and a long lingering salty stony finish. Excellent.
Darker richer in colour than the 2020.
A much more complex nose: petrol, honey, baked lemon, over ripe honey dew melon then salted almonds, really interesting.
Lovely silky texture, very complex ripe with some sweetness and nuttiness the saltiness is still there but less aggressive softened out by the other flavours and age. A superb wine showing how well Assyrtiko can age.
Santorini barrel aged. 2019
Smokey lemon and lime sorbet hint of petrol faint tarragon
Taught and almost austere structured wine herbs minerals and sea salt. Long.
Santorini barrel aged 2017
On the nose smoke a bit of vanilla and over ripe mango AKA petrol.
The nuts honey, increasingly complex.
Lovely full body with a silky elastic texture, sweet notes, complex softening out the austerity found in the 2019 Gramina. Very long and persistent. Another fantastic wine.
Laterals would be an aged Riesling or a grand cru Chablis with a few years. In other words, premium wines of complexity and character.
Open to debate but generally the non oaked versions seem to retain more of a unique assertyko character although the oaked versions are extraordinarily well made wines.
Late harvest Assyrtiko 6 months on lees then 8 months in old vinsanto barrels which are 60 years old then 2 years in bottle. A gap is left on top and sometimes flor grows.
This closest to Nykteri approach that Vassaltis has.
Nose is reminiscent of a vinsanto, roasted nuts, smoke, hint of caramel, touch of balsamic. Very complex, a hint of Christmas.
Rich mouth feel, spices, orange peel and a characteristic sea salt and wet stone tang. Very very long. An outstanding wine, extraordinary.