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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

2004 Damianitza Reserva Melnik

I arrived at a local pizza place before my food was ready and decided to head to the liquor store next door and see what they had. They had all the typical wine you’d expect to find in a grocery store, and for some odd reason, around half a dozen Bulgarian wines. Seeing as I’ve never had wine from Bulgaria, I figured that at $9 it was worth a shot.

My understanding is that Damianitza is the winery, this is their “reserve” wine, and the region/city is Melnik. With some research I discovered that the grape this wine is made from is Shiroka Melnishka Loza, a grape only found in Bulgaria. This is from the Southwest part of Bulgaria near Greece and Macedonia. According to, this region has less than 5% of Bulgaria’s vineyards.

I had no idea what to expect, and I have to say this was a very pleasant surprise. This is excellent quality wine especially at this price.

I get ripe cherries on the nose and some black fruit. The palate hits you with earth for the most part and some plum, blackberry, anise, and oak. There’s plenty of firm, but smooth tannins for a strong backbone. I’d actually say this one is shockingly good. This is an Old World wine and it’s proud of it...earthy and funky with fruit more in the background. If you gave this to me blind I’d probably guess it was a Chianti Classico.

At $9, I’d buy it again and I’d recommend it, if you can find it.

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