Melnik 55 is the name of a special sort of grape, called Early Melnik vine. It is a hybrid variety, a genetic-cross between the local Broad-leafed Melnik and French Valdeguié. Melnik 55 and Broad-leaf Melnik grow almost exclusively in Struma Valley in the Southwestern part of Bulgaria. This mountainous area delivers elegant and peppery reds with flavors of strawberry, blackberry, black pepper, mesquite and soy sauce. Blended wines have bold tannins with bitterness similar to green tea powder. Pure, single-varietal Early Melnik are much lighter in body, similar to Gamay from Beaujolais.
Melnik 55 is partly aged in barrels of Bulgarian and French oak. It has a specific flavor and taste distinctly different from other varieties. Oenologists and tasters all find different aromas in its taste, but some are more pronounced and distinctive than others — wild strawberries, cherry pits, resins, pepper, tobacco, spices and vanilla. Explosive, multi-layered deep flavors and aromas. An excellent wine for any food pairings or to enjoy on its own!
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