Great Greeks – Sweet irresistible sugar; 2003 Vin Santo from Domaine Sigalas


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Holy shmoly! This is sweet. I mean really, really sweet. But you know what? I kinda like it. No, I love it!

Vin Santo. A wine perhaps mostly associated with Tuscany. Did you know there was a Greek one as well? While tasting my way through Greek wines earlier this year, I bumped into the Vin Santo from Domaine Sigalas. Santorini. Volcanic soil. Home sweet home for me.

Late picked grapes. Then sun-dried. You start to get the picture right? 9 per cent alcohol. 300 grams of residual sugar left per litre. Almost Tokaji Essencia levels. Just almost. The 2003 Vin Santo from Sigalas is the current vintage on the market and consists of 75 per cent Assyrtiko and the rest being Aidani. Aged in oak, it is a real beauty!

The wine is served slightly chilled. Dark color. Almost like an old Malvasia from Madeira. Wow! I’m bombarded with perfumed scents; dried jasmine and quince. Fresh walnuts, pipe tobacco, maple syrup, dates and figs. Some orange peel as well. Alluring!

I guess my palate wasn’t prepared for the sweetness but after a few sips the instant shock has switched to fascination. It’s thick, sweet and oily character actually are pretty unique thanks to the high acidity. Flowers, dried fruits, apricots and dates especially, dark chocolate with orange peel, nutmeg and sugar cane. Creamy and long finish with refreshing acidity. Think Tokaji Essencia meets a Jerez Dulce and you have the Vin Santo of Santorini and Domaine Sigalas.Truly fantastic.

It’s not cheap but then a half bottle of this will make several people happy. Besides, serving this allows you to be lazy and not prepare any dessert. This IS dessert.

2003 Vin Santo, Domaine Sigalas, Santorini, (92-93 p)