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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Wine Review: Orbelus Melnik 2013

It's the Fifth Annual Bulgarian Wine Month thanks to BulgarianWine.comYou can read all of the content and reviews from Bulgarian Wine Month under the Bulgaria label.

To read about the fascinating history of Bulgarian wine, check out Bulgaria - Part 1: Three-Thousand Years of Wine History. To learn about the grapes, wine regions and Bulgarian wine's place in the market, read Part 2: The Current State of Bulgarian Wine. And if you'd like to see what Bulgaria's national drink is all about, find out in Part 3: Invincibility of Rakia.

Near the border of Greece in the Struma Valley of the Bulgarian Thracian Lowlands is a town called Melnik, and that town has an indigenous black grape variety named after it that Struma is known for. Even after five years of tasting all of these Bulgarian wines this is the first time that I will actually try a Melnik. As I said a few reviews ago, August is my favorite month on the blog because of stuff like this. Where would I ever come across a Bulgarian Melnik on Cape Cod? Let's waste no further type and start drinkin'!

Orbelus, the producer of this Melnik, was founded in 2000 with the mission to "produce high quality red and white wines in a nature conscious manner, guaranteeing its products’ ecological purity." So, naturally, they are Certified Organic under the laws of Bulgaria.

The color of this wine is a caramelized red (is that even a thing?), and if you want to compare it to anything you would recognize then it's kind of Zinny with that big candied and stewed fruits and high ethanol. There's also this rye bread / sour milk aspect that reminds me of a few of the Malbecs that I've had from Cahors, France. That rye bread is so strong at first that I seriously thought that this bottle might have been corked, but the longer I let it breath the more it calmed down and let other characteristics come out.

So, in case you didn't get my point, let it breath. After everything has settled down it has a complex nose with aromas of candied cherries, stewed plums, a pile of dry autumn leaves, toffee, mustard seed, and rye bread. In the mouth it's medium bodied and still has a tightly grained tannin and ethanol heat that dominates everything (the next day these both softened up), but it still lets the dark fruit and chocolate and rye bread on the midpalate creep though. Then it finishes hot from the ethanol heat and flavors of stewed plums and mustard seed.

So it's okay and interesting but I'm left here questioning if this is really my thing or not. I don't think it is, unless I'm pairing it with some messy saucy barbecue. It would work so good with that.

It doesn't look like you can buy this wine directly off of, so if you're interested in this wine just send them an email and see if it's still available!

Price: $19
Rating: 2.5/5 = Not Impressive / Satisfying (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.

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