Lyrarakis Voila Assyrtiko 2019
This tastes like summer in a bottle with its thirst quenching style, but we will drink it all year long now that it is here in the U.S.! Made of 100% Assyrtiko from dry-farmed vineyards located in the area of Vóila, in the eastern part of Crête, at 580 meters above sea level. The soil is composed of loam and the grapes are hand-harvested then fermented on the skins for 16 hours at 12C (53F). Slow fermentation (around 2 weeks) in stainless steel tanks follows. Serve with all kinds of seafood, white meat cooked with lemon and oregano, goat and sheep's milk cheeses, salads or on its own as an impeccable aperitif. This wine is part of the Lyrarakis family's Single Area series, which highlights the place where each wine is grown.
The Lyrarakis Estate was founded in 1966 by brothers Manolis and Sotiris Lyrarakis. It is surrounded by the Lassithi mountains and focuses on rare local varieties and single variety wines. The Lyrarakis family is credited with the revival of two ancient white Cretan varieties, Dafni and Plyto while a third “vineyard treasure”, the indigenous Melissaki, was also recently added to their credit. Indigenous reds such as Kotsifali and Mandilari are highlights at the estate, as well as Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, for which the great Symbolo is produced (also in stock at the Bottle Shop).
The winery is situated in one of the most noteworthy vineyard regions of Crete, namely at Alagni, Heraklion, the most mountainous village of the appellation area (AOC) of PEZA. The company only started bottling wines under the Lyrarakis name in the early nineties, and 1992 was the first vintage. Today, the company is managed by the second generation: Bart (CEO and now good friend of the Bottle Shop), George (Chairman) and Manolis (viticulturalist). The estate vineyards spread over 14 hectares, at an average altitude of 550 meters. The soil is composed of gravel and limestone.
Bottle ShopLook for pure floral aromas with ginger spices and delicate notes of ripe citrus. Marvelously ripe grapes have given this wine a crispy and rich mouthfeel with a mineral and chalky character. This is both classy and charming, mouthwatering and satisfying.
JancisRobinson.comVóila is the name of the area, in Sitia, eastern Crete. Dry-farmed on loam at 580 m. 16 hours' skin contact at 16 °C. Fermented slowly in tank at 14 °C. TA 6.85 g/l, pH 3.05. There's definitely the stony/steely/dusty character of this variety but also a marked note of pure citrus, even a dash of lime and spice. Power and drive on the palate, tension and excellent freshness. Shows that you can make very good Assyrtiko on Crete not just on Santorini. Salty and mouth-watering on the long finish. Bone dry and perfectly balanced with good length. 13.5%. Drink 2020-2023.