The Melnik grape is named after the town of the same name in southwestern Bulgaria, which is the smallest town in the country with only a few dozen inhabitants. The Melnik is a late-ripening grape variety, grown in small quantities exclusively in Bulgaria. The young wines are distinguished by their saturated cherry colour, intensive aroma in which the cherry note dominates, sufficient depth and characteristic, spicy tartness.
They develop very well in contact with oak. The mature wines of the Melnik grape stand out with a rich, complex aroma in which interesting notes of tobacco and leather are palpable. The taste is characterized by preserved freshness and soft astringency. Melnik itself is said to be Winston Churchill's favorite wine grape.
Two different clones of the Melnik grape are known — Broad Leaved Melnik Vine and Early Melnik Grape (an early ripening variety developed in the 1960s).
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