Gaia Thalassitis Submerged 2011: Straight from the Sea
From just three bottles recovered in 2014 to five hundred in 2016 it has a been a long way for Gaia Estate Thalassitis (translates as coming from the sea) Submerged version. This is the classic, salty and steely Santorini that Gaia produces with the notable detail that this wine matures under the sea at a depth of approximately 30 metres for five years.
Everything started as an experiment to see how the wine behaved under totally different maturation conditions yet now at its third vintage, the submerged version is becoming more mainstream for the people. An actual launch of the wine took place last night in Piraeus.
The mechanism of maturing wine under the sea is quite complex. To give an idea of what takes place I am briefly quoting the findings from a research that was published in Tong magazine a couple of years ago under the title ''When wine ages''.
The research was held in Bilbao, Spain (Underwater Laboratory for the ageing of beverages) and it showed firstly that in fact there is greater exchange of oxygen for wine below the sea surface (Dalton's law, more pressure at 15 metres compared with that on the sea surface) so there is no need for decanting. The wine then matures in an authentic biodynamic system because the sea is a vast energy centre and thirdly that the changes in sea temperature create small but numerous changes in the volume of wine impacting on its organoleptic characteristics. Finally, blind tastings in white and red wines clearly showed no reductive aromas, expressing aromatic complexity and emphasising on fruit purity and minerality. On the palate the tasters agreed that the wines developed fine balance with high volume and freshness. In reds however the impact of oak was strengthened.
The wine: The nose showed high intensity of roasted hazelnuts and coffee aromas that gives you the impression that the wine is oaked which in fact is not the case. So we have an evolution on the nose without any sign of fatigue though. A solid core of citrus and stone fruit is also present. On the palate it is still tight, very mineral with integrated acidity and fine balance. Lovely, elegant precision, fruit purity and an excellent job done well by Gaia Estate. 93/100