Inspired by Antonio Manoel de Vilhena, a Portuguese nobleman who was the 66th Prince and Grand Master of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem from 1722 to his death in 1736. He was a benevolent and sophisticated man, popular with the Maltese people, and mostly remembered for the founding of Floriana, the construction of Fort Manoel and the Manoel Theatre, and the renovation of the city of Mdina.
This opulent blend of Merlot (60%) with Cabernet Sauvignon (40%) typically conveys cassis, strawberry and other red forest-fruit both on the nose as well as on its palate, with undertones of chocolate and caramel. The complexity and intensity of this wine tends to vary from year to year depending on the extent the weather permits the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to ripen, given that they are the last to mature before the typical September storms in Malta.
The Merlot vines were mostly planted between 2003 and 2007 while the Cabernet Sauvignon were planted in 2003. The yield is restricted to up to 1.6kg per vine.
This wine is best stored and served at a temperature of 18°C and complements poultry, rabbit, and lightly spiced dark meats such as lamb, as well as salmon and tuna.
All experimental vintages of this blend produced at Ta’ Betta since 2006 are still aging well, growing in sophistication and depth.
Circa 9,000 bottles are produced annually depending on yield and weather conditions.
Decanting one hour prior to consumption is recommended.