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Karnas Vineyards from Bodrum – The Turkish St Tropez 

Karnas Vineyards from Bodrum – The Turkish St Tropez 

Syrah, Petite Sirah or Shiraz…three different names for the same wine! Even the kind…masculine or feminine…Le Syrah or La Syrah can be different! Well what a consecration, this is the minimum that we can say about one huge grape loved by everyone around the world. After years of research they finally announce that Syrah was not coming from Syria or China, not even Turkey (sorry guys), but simply where this grape produced its best, the Rhône valley in France… “Kokoriko!” It gives a wine with tanin, black pepper spices, purple colour and can be kept for years for bonification. We find it in Australia, in California, in South Africa, in Washington state, in Chile, many other places in the world and for some years in our country, Turkey. Especially from the Karnas Vineyard where Syrah is giving its best….the 2014 I have tasted is dark purple, like eating a big bunch of red, sweet, dark fruits; very juicy like cherries and blackberries, wild herbs, full body with a very long finish. I drank it at 14 degrees but still I advise to serve it around 15/16 degrees especially during hot summer. I know it is going to be hard but keep a few bottles on the side for your old days…...
2005 Domaine Grosset Cairanne

2005 Domaine Grosset Cairanne

The village of Cairanne is on the southern Côtes du Rhône wine route and its quality wines are designated Côtes du Rhône Villages AOC. Cairanne is one of the best Côtes-du-Rhône villages in France producing wines with strong, full body and elegance. Domaine Grosset belongs to Alain Grosset, Laurent Brotte’s father-in-law. The Grosset family has always been very active in the life of the village, especially in the development of its AOC. Domaine Grosset, just below the old town, covers 10ha and has Grenache vines of up to 100 years in age. The vineyard consists of two different types of soil: red earth on sandstone and terraces of white clay and sandy molasses. The warm, dry Mediterranean climate is perfect for the 10ha of land they vinify. Of course with the 2005 vintage we have one of the best vintages in recent years. This wine is usually drunk with meat cooked in any way; stew, on the grill or macerated as you prefer but also with duck cooked in oven green olives… We tasted it with spaghetti and truffle and it was just fine. Light brown and shinny colour first, huge nose of cherry jam and leather which are the flavours we call “tertiary aromas” made by the years of internal reduction and maderization (the process that involves the heating and oxidization of a wine) which are natural processes. There is still acidity left over and after 20min smooth and round feelings. I love old wines and everybody enjoyed it....
Thrace Wine Road, a new way to discover the hidden treasures of this region.

Thrace Wine Road, a new way to discover the hidden treasures of this region.

The hills and forests of the Thrace region are within a few hours of Istanbul but are a world away from the city. Surrounded by 3 different seas – Marmara, Aegean and Black Sea – a multitude of different microclimates produces an interesting range of different wines. Last Sunday I had the pleasure of escorting a mixed group of local and international wine lovers to three vineyards where we met the producers and discovered the secrets of the wine-making process. After a pleasant drive through the countryside, our first stop was the family business of Vino Dessera located in Kırklareli/ Lüleburgaz. On our arrival, we were greeted by the owner/wine-maker (and worker!) Doğan Dönmez and enjoyed a huge Turkish breakfast (is there any other size 🙂 ) that was waiting for us in the garden. With breakfast finished, Doğan took us for a walk across the vineyard and explained how they originally started out growing walnuts and almonds before deciding to plant vines and, given the ‘terroir’ and Anatolian tradition, decided to make wine. Both sandy and gravelly soils are present in this area, like in some places in France, facilitating many different vine and grape varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Barbera, Shiraz or Öküzgözü and Boğazkere. In total, there are 15 different grapes growing on the vineyard. After our tour we returned to the cellar to begin our degustation of five different wines: Narince – clear and transparent, shining, the first nose is of white pear and tilleul aromas, while in the mouth the same aromas comes back. Very well balanced, fine and elegant white. To...
Moschofilero Boutari 2014

Moschofilero Boutari 2014

Let me tell you about one of the most surprising, and original, wines I ever drank! 2014 Moschofilero Boutari is a Greek wine made with the Autochtone grape Moschofilero. Ever heard of it? Don’t worry, me neither! Moschofilero is a white or pink grape, aromatic and dry, with enticing citrus, floral and melon aromas. The grapes are grown on clay soil at the Mantinia Vineyard’s in the region of Peloponnese, the vines are between 10 and 35 years old. At an altitude of 650-850 metres it is sunny during the day but very cool at night which helps to keep a high acidity. Harvesting is done by hand at the end of September and beginning of October and only the best fruits are selected. The result is a crisp, fresh and well balanced wine that will compliment any kind of fish or shell fish meal during the summer. Moschofilero is a nice alternative to Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc, a good simple refreshing aromatic white wine....
The Turkish wine market continues to develop

The Turkish wine market continues to develop

A few months ago I wrote this article about the size of the Turkish wine market. Now here is a little more information! Domestic Wine consumption in Turkey is concentrated in the big cities. Imported wines are largely restricted to high level hotels, restaurants and gourmet shops. Local wines represent more than 95% of the total wine consumption in Turkey today. In 2014 the total consumption was 63.4ML. Wine imports have been increasing for the last 5 years from 1ML to 2.7ML. This is balanced by almost exactly the same volume of Turkish wine being exported (2.8ML) although export numbers have been falling in recent years. 29% of the imported wine in Turkey comes from Italy, followed by 627000L from France (23%). Although France is the largest supplier in terms of value. 67% of the imported French wine is are made from fresh grapes and 18% is sparkling wine. Turkish wine makers are finding their market as boutique and niche market brands and they can expect continued growth in the coming years as they become more mature. If you would like to visit some Turkish wine makers you can join one of my Vineyard tours...