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14 February 2023

Chloi Assyrtiko Flor 2021 - Assyrtiko in a new direction

By Yiannis Karakasis MW

One doesn't get to taste the unexpected every day. This is precisely what Assyrtiko Flor 2021 is; one more brilliantly crafted wine by super-talented Chloi Chatzivaryti, who is moving forward and discussing different interpretations of Greece's most famous variety. 

''I want to make new things, but it is essential to find the right balance,'' she says, adding that from the following vintage onwards, she will be entirely in charge of the Chatzivaryti winery in Goumenissa as, to date, she vinified only the low intervention wines. We will have to wait and see what her approach to classics, such as benchmark Goumenissa, will be.

Back to Assyrtiko Flor, this time, it is not the quantity but the concept that matters, evidence of what a forward-thinker Chloi is. When her Assyrtiko stopped fermenting in October, she experimented. ''We harvested it on Sep 27, and it was half a barrel. With the cold temperature of October, fermentation stopped. I waited and saw flor (film of yeast on the surface of wine) developing that consumed the sugar needed to feed it''. The rest is history wrapped around a bottle of wine. 

Assyrtiko Flor 2021 will be released in 152 bottles. It has an orange colour, as it has seen two days of skin contact, and possesses all the classic Fino/Manzanilla aromas, but with great freshness on the palate along with telltale minerality. Layered and unique for adventurous wine lovers. It is even worth driving to Goumenissa to get hold of a bottle. (YK*)

(Assyrtiko from Pentalofos at 600 m elevation Paiko Mt, single vineyard, low yields, 13% abv, next year more will be produced, no added SO2, retail price approximately 30 euros)

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