Monemvasia, Laconia White "300"
Monemvasia, Laconia White "300"

Monemvasia, Laconia White "300"

Peloponnese, Greece 2021 (750mL)
Regular price$32.00

Monemvasia, Laconia White "300"

This morning’s discovery took us to the ancient island fortress city of Monemvasia, and the nearby winery of the same name. To say that we’re all in on the wines of Greece in general, and those of the Peloponnese specifically, would be an understatement. But just to hammer it home, we’re doubling down on Laconia, and on Monemvasia in particular with a scintillating bonus offer. Though complex, aged reds like “ Monemvasios” are the true hidden gems, the coastal vineyards here are probably best known for their crisp, saline white wines, and our friends the Tsimbidis make a standout version from the local Kydonitsa variety, blended with everyone’s favorite Assyrtiko. As the days get shorter and colder, you’ll be needing a mood lifter, and this salty, sea breeze and island sunshine-in-a-bottle is the perfect elixir. 

Monemvasia is a very small island that sits just a few hundred meters off the coast of Southern Peloponnese and is connected to the mainland by an ancient bridge. Its strategic location and easy fortification have made it a prize of warring armies and empires for thousands of years. It is also considered the birthplace of Malvasia, and the sweet, honeyed, aromatic wines from this locale have been liquid gold to Mediterranean sailors for centuries. Well aware of this heavy weight of history, Yorgos and Elle Tsimbidi established their winery on the mainland just a couple miles from Monemvasia in 1997, and chose to name it for the famous island city. Yorgos, a chemist, and Elle farmed everything organically from the beginning, and their continuing mission is to focus on the local grape varieties and showcase their special, and very old, relationship with the soils of Laconia.

Kydonitsa is the perfect example of this hyper-local focus, as this obscure grape is basically only found in Laconia: So forget about international varieties, most of the rest of Greece hasn’t heard of this grape. Kydonitsa brings aromatic intensity and bright, snappy orchard fruits while Assyrtiko, the darling of Greek Island varieties, adds structure and the classic core of saline minerality. The vineyards are planted on coastal hills at about 300 meters above sea level, which is half the reason for the cuvée name of “300,” the other half is a cheeky reference to the legend of 300 Spartans who stayed behind to defend retreating troops in an ancient battle with the Persian Empire. It’s a classic hero story of teamwork and grit, albeit a gruesome one, but the inspiration is the idea that “in unity there is strength.” In this case, the unity is between the two distinct grapes blending into something that is greater than the sum of its parts.

Winemaking at Monemvasia is straightforward and without adornment, again the goal is to highlight the varieties and the terroir. For the “300” that means fermentation and aging in stainless steel only, with regular stirring of the lees for about 5 months, before a gentle fining and then bottling. The process is fairly simple, the result is a beautifully fresh, expertly balanced dry white that speaks directly to the unique geology and ancient traditions of the land where it was born. Serve at around 45 to 50 degrees in an all-purpose stem and you’ll be rewarded with snappy green apples, quince, yellow grapefruit, lemon peel, white blossoms, and wild sage all wrapped around a core of sea salt laden minerality. Though clearly in the crisp, bright white wine camp, the Kydonitsa adds just enough texture and body to make this a versatile pairing for anything from fresh shellfish to roast chicken, or turkey. Of course putting a Greek twist on whatever recipe you choose would be highly recommended. Enjoy!

Monemvasia, Laconia White "300"

Daily Discovery

Build a Case is a one-of-a-kind subscription service that allows you the freedom to explore our expansive wine selection and consolidate your orders into a custom case over time — without the cost of shipping.
View all