Signature grape of the Bulgarian Struma Valley, Melnik 55 makes juicy, medium-bodied, flavour-packed red wines which have quickly won over the hearts of wine lovers in Bulgaria and abroad.
Melnik 55 is a relatively young grape variety. It was created as a successful attempt to improve some of the characteristics of the indigenous Bulgarian grape, known simply as Melnik. Despite the fact that the latter has been grown on the Bulgarian land since antiquity, it is not perfectly suited for the local weather conditions. The issue with Melnik is that it ripens quite late, in October. By this time, the weather becomes cool and damp, so the grapes rarely achieve complete ripeness.
Therefore, in 1963, Bulgarian researchers created a cross between Melnik and a rare French variety, Valdeguié. The new grape was named Melnik 55, or Early Melnik, as it ripens earlier and thus, it is more suitable for local conditions. Today, this grape is widely grown across Struma valley, in the southwestern part of Bulgaria. Melnik 55 wine has become very popular in Bulgaria and abroad.
Aromas And Styles
Coming from one of the hottest parts of Bulgaria, Melnik 55 wine is typically packed with flavours of ripe berries, such as dark cherries, blackberries and blueberries. At the same time it often displays complex notes of aromatic herbs, along with black pepper and other spices. The tannins are usually ripe and silky and, despite the hot climate, Melnik 55 wine usually boasts excellent freshness and elegance, without being too overpowering on the palate. These wines are excellent when served slightly chilled and can be paired with lean meat, dark poultry, pastas or a cheese board.