27 May 2015

Turkish Wine of the Week - Diren Öküzgözü & Gali Blend

Today was to have been the last of my 4AM Twitter sessions with VinoRai and Protocol Wine Studio. I bought both of the wines on which the discussion was focused and was all set to drink two glasses of red wine at 4 in the morning. Unfortunately dealing with Turkish bureaucracy this week has given me a few headaches, including one last night. When I woke up in pain at 2:30 AM I knew I wasn't going to be able to participate in the session. Happily at least I can read what everyone Tweeted and, since my headache finally went away, drink a couple glasses tonight.

My desk right now

Let's start with the Anatolia-based Diren. I've had Diren wines before, the Kalecık Karası I believe, and I wasn't a fan. The nice thing about Diren wines is that they're everywhere. I picked up this one at La Cave in Cihangir for 25TL. 

The Diren 2012 Öküzgözü is an opaque purple-red; very 'berry' in color. In the nose I get dark red fruits and spice, maybe some chocolate? On the palate...eh. I find it to be a little on the thin side. There are no tannins to speak of but a fair amount of acid and despite having only 12% alcohol I think it tastes a little hot. I could see this going very well with grilled meats, particularly lamb but on it's lonesome it's not to my taste. Which, to be fair to Diren, I generally prefer Öküzgözü as a blend. One really interesting thing I learned though is that Öküzgözü grapes produce wines often compared to Beaujolais (which I don't like so it makes sense that I wouldn't like the Turkish version!) and can be served chilled! I'm totally putting this in the fridge for a bit.

Moving onto the Gali Blend (70TL at Solera). I heart Gali wines. They're a bit more dear to the pocketbook than other Turkish wines but are worth it. The Gali 2010 is a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc. A denser color than the Diren, the Gali is a dense red with little to no opacity.

Gali, which is located in Gallipoli like my bffs at Suvla, produces Bordeaux-style wines and in fact employes a French wine maker. The nose of the blend is swoon-worthy, dark and rich. On the palate-holy tartness, Batman! I almost lost the tannins because of the tart. I'm not sure if that's the fruit or a high level of acid but I would let this one air a wee little while. However a longer. slower sip, letting the wine run over my tongue, produces a fair (read medium) amount of tannins and a nice finish; very rich and full of dark fruits. This would love a steak. So would I come actually. Sadly for me I have no steak on hand at the moment but this big wine did pretty well with what I did have for dinner: Parmesan and bread with oil and balsamic.

Oh Diren, I really wanted to like you but after drinking the Gali you're almost offensive. However I will put you in the fridge and we'll see what happens. Until then I shall continue to play Vivien Leigh to Gali's Clark Gable and swoon over here.

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