75cl * 12.5% ABV * Heraklion, Crete, Greece
Zacharias Diamantakis has something of a cult following in Greek wine circles, who snap up as much of his production as they can. His modern Diamantakis winery is located in the southwest part of Heraklion in the heart of the Malevizi province. In the era of Venetian-occupied Crete, the rhythmic clack of the loom pedals (Petali) worked by the nuns of the Monastery of Agios Antonios (St. Anthony) filled the air, resounding to the Asites. Today, it is here, just outside the village of Kato Asites, that the traditional Assyrtiko variety is cultivated, inspiring the name and label of this wine.
The Assyrtiko grape variety hails from the Cyclades island of Santorini but over the past 10 years, Assyrtiko has increasingly been planted on the island of Crete. The grape is quite at home in hot, dry conditions and the argil-clay and limestone soil in Crete seems to be the perfect company for the Assyrtiko vines. Classic white vinification at low temperature is followed by three months maturation on its fine lees before bottling, providing depth and complexity. The result is a pale yellow wine with fresh citrus, floral aromas and Cretan herbs of thyme and oregano. Fresh with a high, crispy acidity leading to a long finish with some notes of minerality.
Best served at 12-13°C with seafood, oysters, fish, and smoked cheese.