A stop at the Meridiana Wine Estate was a highlight of the Malta tour. The winery has an excellent second floor outside covered tasting terrace with scenic views of the vineyards and surrounding hillsides. There also is a well appointed inside wine tasting room.
We were warmly greeted by our Hostess and were in for a treat, as we sampled 3 white and 3 red wines that were served with a variety of cheeses, crackers and fruit between rounds. The whites included a surprise 2011 "Isis"Chardonnay, a 2011 "Astarte" Vermentino, a 2010 "Fenici" Vermentino Viognier blend and the reds including a 2008 "Melquart" Cabernet and Merlot blend, a 2008 "Bel" Syrah, and a 2008 "Fenici" Syrah and Merlot Blend.
The Vermentino is a light dry white wine. When it is paired with the Viognier it offers a delightful well balanced afternoon wine that paired well with some of the creamier cheeses. The Isis Chardonnay was excellent with a smooth balanced taste and hint of citrus with a slightly dry finish. We bought several bottles of this wine that was available in go cardboard boxes of two or three bottles for the remainder of the cruise, as Chardonnay is hard to find in the Mediterranean.
The reds were equally outstanding with smooth tastes and excellent finish. The Melquart Cabernet and Merlot blend was a real winner with an excellent balance that tempered the cabernet with enough merlot to make an excellent red wine suitable for any beef, pork or stronger cheese pairing. The Bel Syrah and the Fenici Syrah and Merlot blend were excellent wines with a smooth taste and hint of blackberry worthy of any table. We also bought a bottle of each of the reds since they were all outstanding.
It is rare to have all excellent wines at one winery, and ever rarer to find Chardonnay in the Mediterranean. The Meridiana Winery is a winner in all of their wines that are perfectly complimented by the beautiful vineyards with a scenic view of the old town of Malta at the top of the hill.
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