Last weekend we had the opportunity to visit one of Malta’s boutique wineries, Markus Divinus. A lovely little set-up on the outskirts of Dingli hosting a wine tasting paired with an enticing tapas menu prepared by Chef Karl Mallia.
Mark Borg is the man. He welcomes everybody entering his little paradise. It has been a ten year learning process. But today there is no doubt that Mark is not only the man, but now is the master. A true master of making good quality wines.
One of the wines we tried at the wine tasting was ‘Adon’. An elegant Maltese red wine predominantly made with the Maltese indigenous Ġellewża grape (46%). Another five varieties are included in the blend with Syrah (28%), Merlot (18%) and minor proportions of Cabernet Sauvignon (6%), Sangiovese (1%), and Girgentina skins (1%).
Adon, meaning Lord, is the second name of the winemaker’s son, Markus. A dedication to not only the present, but also the future of this promising winery.
Grapes are sourced from 45 years old bush Ġellewża vines from Għemieri (limits of Rabat) and new Ġellewża vines from Siġġiewi. The clay soils of Għemieri give outstanding minerality and the clay and sandy soils of Siġġiewi give good acidity and structure.
All six grapes are vinified in separate stainless steel vats at an average of 25 degrees to extract the colour and tannins for an average of 15 days; with an extended skin maceration for Syrah and Cabernet grapes for 25 days, blended meticulously before being matured both in American and French oak barriques, both new and old.
The French oak will help with vanilla sweet spices and the American oak with coconut sweet spices. This wine has been subjected to malolactic fermentation to give a rounded and creamy texture to this old world meets new world style of winemaking.
A dry, medium bodied, complex red wine, showing a youthful ruby colour of red fruit with aromas of strawberry, sour cherry and plum, oak maturation of smoke, toast, sweet spices of vanilla and coconut, and a stony mineral finish. This wine has signs of leather, making it complex to change to a meaty style with age. The medium levels of acidity are in combination with the levels of tannin giving a long aftertaste buttery finish on the palate.
Look out for their wine tasting events
Markus Divinus organise wine tasting experiences at their boutique winery. They are lovely soirées where the winery showcases the fruits of their labour, but also for guests to discover the potential and majesty of good quality Maltese wines.
Check out their Facebook page to find out more.