Category Archives: Mourvedre/Monastral

Psagot Peak Blend 2014

My first night in Jerusalem I was too tired to do more than stumble to the Mahane Yehuda to grab provisions. Luckily the mahane had several wine stores! So with a list of wine recommendations in hand I made friends at a wine shop and picked up a bottle of Psagot Peak.

Mahane Yehude

While Psagot Peak was not on my friend’s list of recommendations I was enticed by the label and the gold medallion stuck on the bottle. I’m a total magpie so my eyes went straight to the Psagot bottles and really never left.

Psagot Winery is located very near Jerusalem. Yaakov Berg founded the winery in 2003 and since then it has grown rapidly from 3,000 bottles in its first vintage to over 200,000 now. All the wines they make are kosher and many are award winners.

Mahane Yehude

From there I found the Basher Fromagerie. Also known as the greatest place on earth. They were closing up so I just grabbed a couple cheeses and headed back to my AirBnB. However two days later I was back. I must have spent three or four hours in there during which time I bought about four very nice bottles of wine and about four kilos of cheese. Everyone was so lovely. They put a glass of wine in my hand and I tasted and bought cheese like I’d never had any before. Then they made me the best sandwich I’ve ever had, set me up in their little balcony, and brought me more wine. At the end I just handed over my credit card and told them I didn’t want to know what the damage was.

Sadly a few weeks later I saw it on my credit card statement. Eesh. Totally worth it though.

All that to say that my first night in Jerusalem I spent relaxing with beautiful wine and cheese. Really a pretty great first night!

Psagot Peak

Psagot Peak 2014 Tasting Notes:

The Psagot Peak is a fairly high alcohol wine at 14% abv a blend of 42% Syrah, 16% Mourvedre, and 42% Petite Sirah. Drinking this back in my AirBnB definitely made me rethink future packing strategy, I always travel with a corkscrew but now I think I’ll start also packing an aerator. Without proper breathing the first sip of the Psagot Peak was a little bitter and harsh. After it had a chance to open up though: lovely.

The nose was very fruity; lots of black fruits like berries and currants. On the palate the tannins were velvety and long. The flavors were again of fruit but with some spice, and smoked meat/game.

Add to the wine some of the double cream brie I bought at STORE and it was a good first night in Jerusalem!

Barbare Reserve Premier IX XI XII

The Barbare Reserve Premier is the second wine I’ve had by this organic wine maker and the first non vintage blend I’ve not only had, but remember even seeing here in Turkey. It’s a fancy wine with an equally fancy price tag; it will set you back 130 TL give or take depending on where you get it.

With a whopping 15% AVP, the Barbare Reserve Premier is not fooling around. It’s a big wine and it wants you to know that right away. The wine is blend of 2009, 2011, and 2012 vintage Grenache, Syrah, Mouvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot which is aged for 36 months in French oak. Thirty-six months-that’s three years! That’s crazy.

This particular Barbare Reserve Premier is also a limited production; I had bottle 1616 or 3600 so if you want it; find it now.

Barbare Reserve Premier

Barbare Reserve Premier IX XI XII Tasting Notes:

In the glass, the wine is a deep, dark, opaque garnet with fabulous legs and equally deep and dark nose. Aromas of both black and dried fruits followed by sweet, baking spices and chocolate seduce you before you even take a sip of this full bodied wine.

On the palate…wow. Tannins; beautiful, velvety tannins you could practically make a meal out of that lead to a long, long finish. Flavors of clove, chocolate, vanilla, black cherries, plums, and dried fruits make the Barbare Reserve Premier a rather remarkable bottle.

Final thoughts on the Barbare Reserve Premier: wow. Really, wow. If you are willing to make the investment you won’t be sorry. In fact I think I need another bottle…

Selendi Moralı 2015

As part of a wine tasting with Şarap Atölyesi I had the opportunity to taste the Selendi Moralı 2015 which came on the market only this summer (2016).

Selendi, one of Turkey’s Aegean wineries, is based in Akhisar province of Manisa (near Izmir). It has vineyards in various locations and often names its wines for the village where the vineyards are. The grapes for the Moralı were grown in the villages of Sarnıç and Moralı.

After six months in French oak barrels, this Grenache, Mourvèdre, Merlot, and Cinsault blend is a very European-influenced wine; but the earth (toprak) and sun (güneş) are all Turkey.

Selendi Moralı

Imagine from Selendi Wines

Selendi Moralı 2015 Tasting Notes:

This was a medium-bodied wine with 13.7% abv and a purply-red color that reflected how young it is and thick, slow legs.

The nose-wow where do I start. Gorgeous, absolutely gorgeous. There was lots of green (bell) pepper, smoke, petrol, vanilla, and red and black berries. After a nose like that I was a little disappointed with the palate. Relatively high acid with light tannins and a medium finish it was somehow both complex and thin.

This is still a pretty young wine. I think it needs a couple more years in the bottle for the body to catch up to the promise the nose made. If that happens then this will be one heck of a wine.

2009 Barbare Elegance

Everything you need to know about the 2009 Barbare Elegance is right in the name: elegant. Barbare is a top-shelf, organic wine producer here in Turkey; I’ve only had two of their wines so far but they were both amazing.

Of the two, the Barbare Elegance is my favorite. A blend of Syrah, Grenache, and Mourvédre, this gorgeous red wine will set you back a pretty penny; about 89 TL at Macro Center, 140 TL at Solera, and somewhere in between at La Cave.

Barbare Elegance

I brought this over to M’s a while back and we both swooned over it. The nose, reflective of the Barbare Elegance ‘s color is very dark. I got a lot of leather, tobacco and coffee from this. We had almost no fruit in the nose but what I did get was dark and black fruits.

The palate of the Barbare Elegance was stunning: gorgeous, velvety tannins, mouth-watering acid, and a long, smooth finish.  Like the nose, the palate was driven more by oak than by the fruit with dominating flavors of leather, vanilla, sweet spices, burnt sugar, and clove.

At 14.5% APV, this is a big wine in more than just flavor. The 2009 Barbare Elegance is one of those bottles you splurge on for either a special occasion, or to make a special occasion. It might be a little rich for some pocketbooks but you will not regret getting it.