05May

Vinsanto, Estate Agyros Vertical tasting 2006-1980

sugar * sugar

Caldera view, some days before Easter

It was a morning of April, some days before Easter, when I found my self in Argyros winery, having a meeting with Mathew Argyros, one of the co-owners of the estate. Entering the small laboratory room, I saw a dozen of uncorked Vinsanto bottles in a row. “We opened them for some friends, come and taste them when you have some time” said Giwta, sales supervisor of the winery.


“Be careful with the promises you give to children and saints” says the old Greek proverb and here I am, two weeks later, ready to taste 12 Vinsantos from the specialist Giannis Argyros. Some lucky friends (Elli, Maria and Panagiotis), wine professionals, who were on vacation in Santorini, accepted to follow me to this task.

Here we are:

Vinsanto 2006 → along with next one –Vinsanto 1998- is one of the next releases on the market. An intense and flowery nose, baked quinces and some vanilla was the first impression of the evening. Balanced sugar content and acidity, alcoholic but round.

Vinsanto 1998 → a regular vinsanto vintage for other wineries is what Argyros still keeps in his barrels. Some balsamic notes, before a clear attack of dried figs and a real taste of sun dried raisins in the mouth.

Vinsanto 1989 → this is what you will find on the shelves of every store, selling the best greek wines.

Vinsanto 1988 → really smooth aromas of ripe peaches, vivid and crunchy in the mouth

Vinsanto 1987 (“year of the European basketball championship won for Greeks” noticed Panagiotis, who is Bulgarian, but likes Greek basketball) a rather better year for Vinsanto than 1988, very successful vinification and aging, with petrol aroma coming up on stage.

Vinsanto 1986 (“Chernobyl disaster?” asked Panagiotis searching for some references) we don’t know if the accident in the Ukrainian city had something to do with the vintage, but 1986 was characterized by a, technical aromas, dominance in the mouth.

Vinsanto 1984 → the color turns darker, the nose heavier, and sugar and alcohol start becoming more present know. Tobacco and cocoa remind us that we are 26 years back!

Vinsanto 1983 → this wine was my preference for the evening. Complex and sophisticated, with clear notes of Brazilian coffee and caramel, a brandy-like nuance and an excellent finish.

Vinsanto 1982 → it was a bit rougher than the last one. Burned wood and mocha aftertaste.

Vinsanto 1981 → that was a surprise! Although not so intense, this wine was very complex with flower and fresh fruits aromas, with thin and pleasant sugar, and a very cozy mouth.

Vinsanto 1980 → not the best way to finish but still, the mastery of Vinsanto winemaking can be found here to. I thought I had a really sweet and old vermouth, with marmalade fruits and a burned wood taste.

End of the evening tasting. We really needed a good dinner after 12 aperitifs, we found it in a friends house.

Thank you Argyros, keep up the good work.

Written by Ilias Roussakis, Posted in The Wine Blog

About the Author

Ilias Roussakis

Ilias is a wine expert and one of the founding members of Wine in Santorini.

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