24 November 2014

Turkish Wine of the Week - Suvla 2013 Merlot

And we're back! After a brief break for a trip to London and Scotland (look for those posts soon!) we're diving back into the weekly wine reviews.

For about a month now I've been making preparations to leave Turkey for good. Sherlock and I were going to pack up and move which would have taken Turkish Wine of the Week in a wee bit of  new direction. However while I was in Scotland my friends E&M of the Kenya saga told me that they're moving here! No more drinking alone! Although I maintain that Sherlock counts as drinking company even if she's not partaking.

Since I'm staying put in Istanbul for at least another year though that means a trip to the Suvla winery is on the schedule! And on that note, on to the Merlot. I was both excited and trepidatious going into this one. On the one hand...Merlot. It rhymes with 'no' for a reason. One the other hand...Suvla hasn't really disappointed me so far and the Suvla 2013 Merlot blends have been fantastic.

This is what she does when I'm drinking

The 2013 has a nice dense ruby color. Plum and cranberry on the nose; the bottle label says I should also be getting pepper in the nose but for me at least no so much (Sherlock had no comment). It was a bit tight when I first tried it. This one wants air so be prepared for that. In the mouth the tannins are light unless I held the wine on my tongue for a while. In the front I got a lot of dark fruits and whatever pepper I wasn't smelling I was certainly tasting.

At first there was something about the 2013 Merlot that completely turned me off; something mineraly that completely prepared me for 'Merlot = no' vindication. But I decided that Suvla wasn't going to do me that way. Suvla and I have an understanding that in the realm of Turkish wines and all the pitfalls and dragons that go along with it, Suvla is my knight in shining armor. So I set aside the wine for a little while; okay it was a day before I could face it again but the point it that our mini breakup gave it time to open up. For me this vastly improved the experience.Breathing gave the Merlot a chance to exchange its initial uptight nature for something softer, really brought out the plum in the nose, and brightened up the flavor.

I like to think that I'm an adventurous eater and can generally place pretty high in any 'what's the most unusual food you've ever eaten' competition but I have a few firm and fast food rules:
  1. Nothing from the body cavity. I've been there and I'm not going back. Deep fried chicken uterus on a stick. All I'm saying.
  2. Say no to Merlot.
  3. No (oaked) Chardonnay.
  4. Cilantro-why?!
So does this new found enjoyment of Suvla's 2013 Merlot mean I'm striking Rule 2? Abso-fracking-lutely not. What it means is that were someone to offer me a glass of Suvla Merlot I would happily accept rather than look at them with hurt because I thought we were friends but now they're trying to poison me.  Every rule has it's exception and I found Merlot's! Suvla's armor remains untarnished.

Suvla has several Merlots, the 2013 being at the least expensive end of the scale. I can't say my experience here has really made me want to work up the ladder. However I am due for a visit to the shop in Cihangir and I think this time I'll spring for one of the pricier blends. The Sir has consistently been a favorite but I have yet to try Suvla's Sur (another Merlot blend as it happens). I have things to celebrate and I think a bottle of Sur will fit the bill!

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