We’ve been on a roll with finding unique and delicious Greek wines lately, and this exciting blend of Agiorgitiko and Syrah hails from the same producer who crafted one of our March white selections - the ‘Mountain Sun’ blend. Founded in 1979, Semeli is named after Semele, the mother of Dionysos: god of the grapevine, wine and joyous celebration. The estate is located in the picturesque village of Koutsi in the lush, upland valley of Nemea, characterized by bountiful vineyards perched on hillsides interspersed with ancient Cypress trees and olive groves. 250 acres are planted to the native grapes Agiorgitiko, Moschofilero, Roditis, Malagousia, along with international varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. The state of the art, gravity flow winery and surrounding vineyards are situated at 2,165 feet in elevation; taking full advantage of the sloping terrain, Semeli forgoes mechanical methods that can damage the grapes and rather, relies on the force of gravity in the pressing, barreling and bottling processes. Although it lacks official certification, Koutsi is considered by local winemakers to be a ‘Cru’ due to its unique microclimate, low yielding vineyards and propensity to produce balanced, concentrated wines.
The native Greek grape, Agiorgitiko (“Ah-your-yeek-tee-ko”) which makes up 80% of this blend, is often compared to Merlot; this makes perfect sense when considering there is a mouth-coating and plush texture to this wine that makes it incredibly easy to drink. The remaining 20% is Syrah which imparts nice structure and its signature violet fragrance. Joining the floral aromatics are notes of black current and blackberry which carry onto the medium-bodied palate yet turn a bit more tart and bright. Flavors of crushed plum and Bing cherry are contrasted with savory elements of black pepper and thyme, while the juiciest of acidities cleanses the palate and keeps the wine lively and crisp. A slight chill makes this wine extra refreshing, and we recommend pairing with something meaty and salty like pork chops or a charcuterie plate.