25 March 2015

Turkish Wine of the Week - Villa Doluca Klasik

As I've had uneven luck with them in the past I don't tend to buy a lot of wines from Duluca. Nor did I buy this one. It's interesting having partners in wine tasting shenanigans as E&M often buy wines that I wouldn't. Sometimes for very good reasons but they're still new to the Turkish wine scene so we forgive them.

I was intrigued by the Villa Duluca Klasik when I saw that, accompanying the Öküzgüz-Shiraz blend was Alicante. Alicante, being a region in (central I think) Spain known for producing Monastrell wines, is not a name I see here often and I eagerly opened the bottle to see how it would affect the wine's flavor.

Unfortunately I had a hard time with this one. For one thing, E&M were cooking a curry heavy with lime juice which, while delicious, inhibited my ability to smell much of anything other than lime and curry. Maybe that was for the best. At least E&M weren't volunteering nose descriptors that would go better with a Lisa Frank illustration than with wine.

The Monastrell effect did not come through the feel of the wine. The Villa Doluca Klasik is very low on the tannin scale, nor does it have much of any finish which leads me to believe that the largest percentage of grape (that and it being listed first-like top billing in a film) was the Öküzgüzü.

Despite being a dry wine, there was an odd sweetness and thickness (one that had nothing to do with lovely tannins coating the tongue) which may have come from the Alicante as Monastrell wines are known for their blackberry syrup notes. The whole drinking experience was interesting if not especially tasty. With each sip the wine kind of burst on the tongue then dissipated-much like a raindrop. An alcoholic one. Wouldn't that be fabulous?! Not wine rain though; think of the stains. Vodka. Yes. I would put buckets on my terrace to catch it.

So in the end, while not offensive (and there are some that are so!) it wasn't particularly good either. If I had a phone that allowed apps and I could use Vivino (which E&M do in my stead) this would be in the 1.5 Star range for me.

18 March 2015

Turkish Wine of the Week - Mon Reve 2012 Tempranillo

Despite my previous, failed attempt to enjoy a Turkish-produced, Spanish-style wine I decided I would try again with Mon Reve's 2012 Tempranillo. Despite costing far more than anyone should pay for a young Tempranillo (46TL at Carrefour) it was pretty decent.

In the glass it was a lovely burgundy with purple hints. On the nose-red fruits, cherry, plum,and  tobacco; all of which also presented on the palate. Low tannins, low acid, not really much of a finish at all...if you've enjoyed Tempranillo before then imagine your standard Tempranillo, water it down a little, and viola.

In the end, it tasted pretty similar to your $5 Spanish Tempranillo. And while I like $5 Spanish Tempranillos just fine, I don't like paying more than that for them! So to the Mon Reve Tempranillo I say 'sure' to the flavor but a big 'no thank you' to paying that price again.

11 March 2015

Turkish Wine of the Week - Suvla 2013 Syrah

It's funny how I never notice that I rarely cook meat at home; until Lent comes and then every Friday it's an absolute trial. Much like living in Turkey with limited access to pork. I'd cook up some bacon every once in a while in the States but it was pretty rare for me to make pork dishes; but now that it's difficult to get it's all I can think of. I'm using my meatless Fridays to experiment with new vegetarian dishes-and pairing wines with them, of course!

Looks like a gross mess but it was quite tasty

I wanted to let the Suvla 2013 Syrah breathe a bit (I recommend one-ish hour) so I opened it while the onions for my goat cheese tart were caramelizing in the oven. I think letting it breathe helped. By the time the tarts (goat cheese, caramelized onions, roasted garlic, and sun dried tomatoes) were finished, the Syrah had opened nicely, allowing us to enjoy the dry fruits in the nose.

My friends, E&M, are "wine is wine" kind of people. They can tell the difference between bad, ok, and good wine but don't believe in my "life is too short to drink bad wine" life policy and are happy drinking whatever. So while I'm sniffing and swirling, holding my glass up to the light, and trying to identify flavors I'm also being gently teased. E. thought that the Syrah's nose was "butterflies and Carebears" whereas M.'s opinion was a simple but decisive "definitely wine."

Once they were done with their rather off the mark descriptions I was able to really settle into the wine. The Suvla 2013 Syrah has a rather high acid content and both dissapates quickly on the tongue while also hanging around for a long finish. I'm not really sure how it achieved that but it was an interesting effect. Low tannins and the flavors of fig and spice rounded out the palate. E and I found the flavor to be a little on the sour side for our taste but M really enjoyed it.

While this would not be my first choice for a wine to enjoy on its own; it paired beautifully with both the sharpness of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the caramelized onions. Both flavors helped to mellow the acids a little and highlight the fruits in the wine. I am not great at pairing food with the right wine so I appreciated this Syrah's pairing flexibility so I would definitely buy it again to go with dinner.

As ever, Suvla can be counted on for another winner!

04 March 2015

Turkish Wine of the Week - Chateau Nuzun 2008

Usually I write these posts later in the afternoon but my regularly scheduled activities are frustrated by the need to wait around for DHL to turn up with a package. Usually they arrive shortly after calling to see if I'm home but it's been an hour already. At least the package I'm waiting for is really cute shoes.

I heard about Chateau Nuzun recently and while La Cave in Cihangir carries four of this nearby winery's wines, they range in price from 90 to 140 TL. And I haven't been a good enough girl to merit that of late. So I was happy to discover that my new favorite place, Comedus, carried several different Chataeu Nuzun wines at a much lower price. Including the 2008 Chateau Nuzun Cabernet Sauvignon - Syrah blend for a reasonable 48TL.

Sherlock's bummed she's not invited to dinner

In a word-beautiful. This one definitely needs a little breathing room so be prepared and open it at least 30 minutes before you want to drink. Both the nose and the palate were what you would expect of a blending of these two wines*; deep, spicy with top notes of black pepper supported by clove, smokey with tobacco, and just a touch jammy with black berries and other foresty fruits. Medium acid and tannins and a long finish topped off quite an elegant wine.

We had a bit of an odd meal with the Chateau Nuzun...a selection of meats and cheeses from Comedus, truffled almonds Lauren sent me, and chicken soup because we were all sick. While the wine may not have been the best choice for the soup it went beautifully with the truffled almonds and the dried meats.

This first try from Chateau Nuzun was a winner for me! I look forward to having this again and trying what else they have to offer (at less than 90TL/bottle).

*A blend with a French-style Syrah, I mean versus an Australian-style Shiraz. They are, in fact, exactly the same grape but are called by different names due to geographic and possible translation differences. So what do I mean by it being French versus Australian in style? Simply that France and Australia have very different soils, climates, and growing seasons. A French (or North/South American) Syrah is spicier with perhaps more mineral overtones than its Australian counterpart with tends to be fruitier.