Akra Chryssos is a new project of fourth-generation viticulturist Spyros Chryssos using his family’s ancient vines (100-200+ years old) on the island of Santorini. Everything here is extreme: the volcanic pumice soils, wind, sun, and dryness. Phylloxera couldn’t survive in the sandy, volcanic soils, so the vines are ungrafted. Farming is organic. The wine is 80% assyrtiko, 10% aidani, and 10% athiri. Winemaking is straightforward: spontaneous fermentation followed by 6-8 months of élevage in stainless steel vats, and no filtering.
The wine smells of ripe orchard fruits, struck flint, and wild herbs and flowers. In the mouth, it is fairly rich and textural, with deep complexity, great acidity, and a spectacularly salty, mineral finish. Drink it in a Burgundy or other large wine glass with a richer fish done ladolemono-style (olive oil, lemon, and oregano; add capers if you want), or vegetables with the same dressing. While the wine is terrific now, you shouldn’t hesitate to age it for another 3-5 years.