Wine has always been part of the European culture, even in the regions where the quality hasn't become world famous. Much of Eastern Europe has been governed over the centuries by groups that did not promote individual excellence as much over the general populace, so there was very little effort put towards identifying the best wine producing areas and promoting them the way other countries did. Larger co-operatives were always the name of the game, and workaday value was the goal. But uniqueness still existed in the forms of their native grape varieties that helped to describe and create whatever local flavor could exist. In the last few decades the growth of individuality within the wine industry has helped improve the quality greatly, and when taken purely for what is provided in the bottle delivering outstanding values. The Melnik grape is the cornerstone of the Bulgarian wine industry in much the same way Grenache does for the Rhone/Southern France, providing deep dark and consistent wines that are really starting to see high achievement in the Struma River valley.
Fans of a dark fruited wine like a Syrah will be immediately drawn to this from the first pour with the inky color and deep plum and spicy currant aromas, a touch of toasty new oak and gamey meats. The fruit on the first sip seems almost Australian at first with the richness of texture, but the Melnik grape's dark gamey character keeps the profile from entering that flavor profile, as well as some added tannin from a small portion of Petit Verdot in the blend (a little P Verdot goes a LONG way). This wine delivers a lot for its regular everyday price, but thanks to some special 'end of the vintage' pricing the remaining amounts of the 2013 vintage are an undeniably outstanding value. The promise of more and more wines like this from Bulgaria are promising, even if the Melnik grape never becomes a household name.
Leave a Reply.
The Best of the Best.
We offering free tastings on these wines in the store every Thursday and Friday, and a 10% discount off the retail price through the duration of the day. Come on by and give them a try!