The Chenin was a 2008 tank sample and the first real vintage that has been produced by growers who supply Delicata. They did make a little last year but it wasn't good enough to bottle as a separate varietal. Characteristically Chenin Blanc it has pear, quince, apple and some citric notes. More South African in style than Loire, it lacks a bit of concentration and texture but should make an easy drinking, attractive aperitif when it is bottled around January 2009, especially if it is around the €4 mark when it hits the Maltese shelves.
As Ġellewża is an indigenous variety it is hardly surprising that it wouldn't be ready in early September. The best of the local varieties invariable ripen towards the end of September or early October irrespective of the climate because, of course, the indigenous grapes have adapted to the conditions to give the maximum hang time and a chance to develop maximum flavour.
Ġellewża should have a dot above both the G and the z but my computer can't manage this – or I can't (now in place thanks to GM-23.11.08) . Anyway the 2008 has attractive sweet damson and plum fruit and is very easy to drink. It's a fun wine –just like Beaujolais should be. Unfortunately it is not sure that Delicata will release their Ġellewża as a single variety and it may disappear into a blend, which would be a shame. Today fortunately countries like Italy and Portugal really prize their indigenous varieties. The tidal wave of 'international' varieties is abating with the realisation that a Chardonnay that ripens in late July/early August is of minimal interest. With Ġellewża, Delicata have a story to tell and a story of a variety that I assume is unique to Malta. Served slightly chilled it would be a wonderfully uncomplicated red to enjoy in spring and summer.
Web: Emmanuel Delicata