2016 Jim Barry Assyrtiko
What a pleasure to see this in commercial release.
I first covered off the Jim Barry Assyrtiko project this time last year (not long after returning from Santorini). Then, it was just unlabelled bottles of the first non-commercial releases. Trial wines, off tiny initial crops (the vines were planted in 2012, first crop in 2014). Now, with the 2016 vintage in bottle, the Barry family have unveiled the first commercial release of Australia’s first every Assyrtiko. Great to see.
What does intrigue me – and it could just be power of suggestion – is that this smells like it could be Riesling. There’s plenty of the limey, taut citrus you’d expect to see in a Jim Barry Riesling too, complemented by of the pear juice you’d expect in Santorini Assyrtiko too, and the palate packs in the same almost salty tang. Not strictly varietal, though.
As in Greek waters, the appeal here is spanking freshness, and this remains a crisp, somewhat neutral white wine with lots of (natural) acidity to drive things forward. It’s a simple drink, but a refreshing one all the same, and the late texture helped bump the score up for mine.
Does it make me feel like I’m watching the sun going down over the caldera? Entirely possible.
Best drinking: 2016-2018. 17/20, 90/100. 12.5%, $30. Would I buy it? I’d smash a bottle no sweat.
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