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The Early Melnik Grape

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About Early Melnik

(Synonyms: Melnik 66, Ranna Melnishka Loza.)


Map showing Bulgaria’s wine regions.

Early Melnik is a red-wine grape originating in the Struma Valley in the Southwestern part of Bulgaria. It is a complex hybrid: standard (“broad-leaf”) Melnik pollinated with a mix of pollen from Valdiguié (once known in the U.S. as “Napa Gamay”), Durif (now known as Petite Sirah), Jurançon, and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The thoroughly acceptable product was later shown by DNA analysis to have ended up as a hybrid of Melnik and just the Valdiguié. The idea was to get a wine that did not ripen as late in the season as original Melnik does, but the result seems accepted as that and an improvement on the original Melnik (which is still a good grape and wine).

Broadly speaking, monovarietal Early Melnik is somewhat like Pinot Noir, or perhaps Gamay: a light wine but with texture and complexity. It is currently still quite scarce in the U.S.

Factoid: Early Melnik is quite a modern wine, not really going into serious production till about 2000.

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Some Descriptions of Early Melnik Wines

(Almost all the material on the web relating to Early Melnik is about the wine or wines of some one particular winery, thus being in effect advertising. This is about all we cxould find that is generic to the grape.

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Some Early Melniks to Try

(About this list.)

As noted above, specimens of Early Melnik are quite scarce. In fact, there seems to be but one bottling available in the U.S.—and, though there are only a couple of retailers, at least one of them offers inexpensive deliveries even for modest quantities.

Logodaj Melnik 55
(Only a couple of retailers, but quite available.)

• This wine’s Wine Searcher “Reviews” page.
• This wine’s CellarTracker review pages.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by Wine Searcher.
• Retail offers of this wine listed by 1000 Corks.

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For a Splurge

We could find no other Early Melnik wines at all available in the U.S.

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 30 October 2021, at 11:26 pm Pacific Time.