Monolithos Rosé 2016, Greece
Cost: $16-18
Q uick, name a Greek wine.
Most people will come up with retsina and ouzo (which is really a liqueur and not a wine). Those may have been the traditional Greek drinks found in America, but there is a whole world of fine wines being produced there today.
The Monolithos rosé is a wonderful example of the kind of wine made in Greece.
It’s light, lively, full of fruit and great with food. The wine is a bright red color, deeper than many rosés, with intense aromas of cherries and strawberries. There is enough tannin to give it some body, while keeping the fresh flavors of strawberry all the way through a full finish.
The wine is 80 percent agiorgitiko and 20 percent assyrtiko grown in the Peloponnese region. It is low in alcohol, at 12.5 percent, making it a great summer sipper. It is fermented in stainless steel.
Monolithos refers to a vineyard in the shadow of the mountainous rock of the castle of the “Poliphant,” in Nemea, Peloponnese, Greece. A large part of this rock was sitting in the vineyard for decades before it was shattered to pieces and distributed around the region.
The soil is rich in mineral properties from the rock and adds to the quality of the wine.
Because national rosé day is June 10, and because summer is a great time to drink rosé, I have been sampling a number of rosés recently. I have enjoyed them all, but this one really is special. It is full bodied, not a wimpy version of a red wine, with plenty of flavor.
This really is a wine you could enjoy all year long.
Winery: Ktima Bairaktaris is a sustainable, family-run winery in the historic winemaking region of PDO Nemea, crafting exceptional wines from Greece’s most widely cultivated grape, the agiorgitiko.
The family had grown grapes for a couple of generations in Nemea when in 2005 the youngest generation decided to update the family dream and created Domaine Bairaktaris. The new winery was opened in 2008, using state-of-the-art technology to get the most out of the ancient grapes.
The grapes grown on the estate are agiorgitiko, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, syrah, roditis, savatiano and moschofilero. The family uses no chemicals in the vineyard and uses only natural, indigenous yeasts in fermentation.
The region is rich in history, having been inhabited since prehistoric times. It it reputed to be the location of the first feat of Hercules, the killing of a lion which had terrorized the area.
The region was settled by the Flias, and the Fliashium wine was well known. The legend is that Flias was the son of the god Dionysos, the god of wine. (Coincidentally, my name, Dennis, comes from Dionysos, so I guess I was fated to write about wine.)
Whatever the reason, Fliashium wine grew in fame and was served at the rich meals of King Agamemnon.
Goes with: We sipped on this while I cooked one night last week, and I almost didn’t finish the cooking. I loved this wine.
We were at Thurmond Lake (or Clarks Hill if you live on the Georgia side), and this wine really fit the laid-back mood I was in. I love to sit on the deck or screen porch and stare at the lake as the sun goes down. It’s a great way to get your head straight.
The bright, lively fruit flavors of the wine really got me ready for the meal.
This wine also would pair well with all kinds of chicken dishes, grilled chicken, turkey burgers, a fruit salad, or with a wide variety of cheeses.
This would be a handy wine to have on hand because it is so versatile.

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