WSET3 Palate Notes

Body - Light,
Acid - High,
Alcohol - Medium / High.

Tastes Like: Saline, Lemon, Stonefruit, Minerality, Perfumed, Passion fruit

Immerse yourself in the world of Assyrtiko, a captivating Greek grape variety that tells a tale of ancient soils, coastal winds, and timeless flavors … and now finding a new home in Australia.

I first came across this living in the UK - Gaia’s Wild Ferment was great introduction and continues to impress.

I’ve also tried lots of Vin Santo from Santorini (back when it was very cheap in the UK) and it’s hard to find better value for a late-harvest sweet wine. Nowadays, what once were bargins, are expensive and its harder to find good-value

What you can expect to taste and smell?

Primary Flavours & Aromas

  • Perfumed aromas, ripe citrus, stonefruit
  • Stones / flint / minerality, passion fruit

Cool vs. Warm Climate

Cool Climate: In cooler climates, Assyrtiko maintains its vibrant acidity while showcasing a leaner fruit profile, exuding liveliness and elegance.

Warm/Hot Climate: In warmer climates, the grape can develop riper fruit flavors, gaining a fuller body while still retaining its hallmark acidity.


  • Vin Santo - Late Harvest, then 14 days in Sun and 2 years in Oak aged - oxidative, caramel, nuts

Appelations / Producers of Note

  • Gaia - Wild Ferment - exceptional
  • Hatzidakis
  • Jim Barry - Australia


Assyrtiko shines with youthful vitality, showcasing its signature freshness in its early years.

Exceptional examples of Assyrtiko, especially those from older vines and prestigious vineyard sites, have showcased the grape’s capacity to evolve gracefully over time, developing richer textures and more complex aromas.

First Published: Friday, Sep 1, 2023 Last updated: Sep 3, 2023

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Meet the author

Photo for Damien Saunders
Damien Saunders
WSET3 award - Has been on a journey to learn more about wine, viticulture since I started travelling. Every country has something to drink.