Founded in 1979, Seméli is named after Semele, the mother of Dionysus: 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 Moschofilero, Roditis, Malagousia, along with international varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Gewürztraminer. The carbon-neutral, 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, Seméli forgoes mechanical methods that can damage the grapes and instead, relies on gravity in the pressing, barreling and bottling processes. Although it lacks official certification, Koutsi is considered by local winemakers to be a grand cru of sorts due to its unique microclimate, low yielding vineyards and propensity to produce balanced, concentrated wines. Although Nemea is known primarily for red wines and the native Agiorgitiko in particular, we have a soft spot for the region’s fresh, aromatic whites like this delicious and quirky Mountain Sun blend.
A blend of 80% Moschofilero and 20% Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes were harvested by hand and transported to the winery, where they were chilled at 45 °F in cold storage, followed by pneumatic pressing. After settling, the juice underwent a temperature-controlled white wine vinification. While it’s a little counterintuitive to assume that these two completely distinct and assertive varietals would go together, the combination works surprisingly well!
This lively blend is bursting with heady aromas of orchard fruit and jasmine. On the palate, the citrus-leaning and herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc helps to tame the opulent floral quality of the Moschofilero, yet does not overwhelm its lovely charm. A racy acidity cuts through the subtle richness in the wine, with notes of lemon icebox pie, honeysuckle, rose water and citrus zest leading to the crisp, clean finish.