Orbelia Melnik 55, 2016 – One of our best friends in the autumn

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The non-professional winelover’s review of a bottle of Melnik 55, 2016 by Orbelia Winery

Bulgarian grape varieties are our secret passion when we are talking about wine. Wherever we go, we first ask for them.One of our most beloved varieties is Early Melnik grape (or Early Melnik vine), also known as Melnik 55.

About Melnik 55, 2016 by Orbelia

We received this beautiful bottle in one autumn day, sent to us by Orbelia winery for tasting. We were more than enthusiastic to try it and immediately loved the elegant colour that filled our glasses.

Melnik 55, 2016 by Orbelia winery, Bulgaria

Melnik 55, 2016 by Orbelia

After smelling it a few times, we could actually find only one aroma – the aroma of a good red wine. we are not professionals in wine tasting so recognising many different aromas in a glass of wine is still a challenge for us. However, we can separate a good wine from a low quality one and this was was really promising. According to the description, the aromas include cherries and other red fruits.  It also features a juicy, tasty body with the taste of a mature fruit.

It is really juicy and makes you want more and more. With fresh taste, soft tannins and a memorable finish. What we can sincerely say is that we loved it.

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Maria tasting wine

A very interesting point in this wine is the technology it was made by. Half of the wine fermented with wild yeast and the other half – with cultivated yeast. Then it aged on the lees for 10 months but not in an oak barrel. The wine had no contact with oak during its production.

Orbelia winery is located in Kolarovo village, near Petrich, Southwest Bulgaria. The vineyards are near Levunovo village. Melnik 55 is a traditional variety for the area.

Orbelia Melnik 55 with food

Trying to be more helpful to anyone reading this review, we decided to taste the wine with different foods and share our experience. We started with a plate of Italian Mortadella (we love Mortadella since our visit to Bologna), blue cheese, some French soft cheese and a little bit of Lukanka (traditional Bulgarian dried sausage).

Орбелия Мелник 55

Orbelia Melnik 55

Mortadella was a great choice. Its light texture and special aroma went perfectly well with the aromatic and juicy wine. We loved Melnik 55 with cheese, too. Lukanka was not the best choice but we had to try – it usually goes well with red wines, but probably with heavier ones.

According to the official description, Orbelia Melnik 55 goes well with pizza, pasta, meat salads, white and red meats, cheese and salami. The best temperature if the wine is 16 – 18 degrees.

Final impression of Orbelia Melnik 55, 2016

Orbelia Melnik 55, 2016 is a wonderful wine at very good price (5 – 6 EUR a bottle) and we would definitely drink more bottles this season. It is a great choice for the autumn and goes well with cheeses and meat delicacies. Also a great idea for a pizza party with friends.

About Melnik and Melnik 55

Melnik is the smallest town in Bulgaria but well-known across the country for its centuries-old wine production and the many wineries in the area. The reason is mainly geographical. The sand soils in that area are not suitable for growing many culture but vines go very well. In addition, this is the warmest and driest area in Bulgaria which provides many sunny days in the year – which are great for grape production.

One of the most special local varieties is Broad Leaved Melnik vine. Known for centuries, this variety makes wonderful aromatic wine but is difficult to grow and matures late. So, in the 1960s, Bulgarian scientists decided to cross it with other varieties and created several new varieties, one of which is Melnik 55. Nowadays almost every winery in the area grows the Melnik 55 variety and keeps the tradition of making great Melnik wines.

Orbelia Melnik 55 Bulgarian wine

Our Melnik 55 bottle in autumn mood

Melnik 552016

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