Established in 2004, Chateau Nuzun is one of Turkey’s boutique wineries. Only an hour drive away (depending on the insanity level of traffic!) it is possibly the closest one to Istanbul. I’ve had a few of their wines over the years but the Chateau Nuzun 2009 blend was by far my favorite.
Chateau Nuzun is an organic vineyard located in Tekirdağ. The vineyards (in Çeşmeli) enjoy a terroir made up of gravel and sand stone soils over layers of compacted clay and breezes from the Marmara Sea (5 km away). Half of the estate is planted with Cabernet Sauvignon; one third with Merlot, and the remaining plots are Syrah and Pinot Noir. The Chateau Nuzun 2009 is a blend of the varietals planted there.
Chateau Nuzun 2009 Tasting Notes:
Like its other wines the Chateau Nuzun 2009 blend is organic. The wine spent about 13 months in French oak and then another year in the bottle before being released. So no wonder this vintage will set you back about 100 TL give or take. It’s also unfiltered so I recommend decanting over a candle. I didn’t get a lot of sediment at all but better safe than sorry! Because if you’ve ever accidentally swallowed a mouthful of sediment you know that is not pleasant.
In the glass this super blend is a dark, opaque ruby. The nose was super involved. We got black pepper, jam, blackberry, black currant leaf, violets, cinnamon, and vanilla. You can tell that I broke out the Aromaster kit with this one! The palate was all velvety tannins, well-balanced, with a nice, somewhat jammy finish. The flavors followed from the nose especially the fruit, vanilla, and baking spices.
This was a really nice wine, absolutely worth the price tag.
A few months ago I held a big Chamlija tasting for a group of friends on E&M’s terrace. After our visit to Chamlija we made a huge order of wines and I basically ordered one of everything. One that I was particularly looking forward to trying was the Chamlija Köpek Gülderen.
Why was I so excited to try this particular Pinot Noir? There’s a Turkish phrase: “köpek öldüren” which means ‘dog killer’. This expression describes the worst of the worst wines. As in, it’s so bad it could kill a dog. Chamlija has cleverly capitalized on this very common phrase with a very clever play on words.
Their wine, ‘Köpek Gülderen’ is Turkish for ‘dog amuser’ . However when you say the phrase, because of the glottal stop of the ‘k’ “köpek gülderen” and “köpek öldüren” sound nearly the same. Especially to my amateur ear!
Tasting notes 2014 Chamlija Köpek Gülderen:
The 2014 Chamlija Köpek Gülderen won’t kill any dogs but you might want to be careful with it anyway; at 14% abv it’s not messing around. The nose was full of black fruits, baking spice, jammy plums, and, frankly. alcohol. It was quite a lot lighter on the palate though than any of us expected. We still got a lot of the fruits and sweeter spices but also a little dried fig.
Not my favorite wine ever but I admire the marketing strategy!
My first encounter with the Chamlija Felix Culpa happened in the same way I discovered many of Chamlija’s wines…there was one bottle, just the one, sitting on the shelf at La Cave. Anytime that happens with a wine maker I really like I get the bottle and I was so glad I did that with the Felix Cupla.
Which was another thing that attracted me to this one. Felix Culpa / Mutlu Hata (happy mistake)…why that name? The grape is a Pinot Noir but this isn’t Chaamlija’s Pinot Noir wine. Chamlija has two Felix Culpa wines-one this Pinot Noir and the other a Chardonnay and while I did not learn this until later; they’re thusly named because these were a bit of an experiment and were left unfiltered. So it was a “happy mistake” that they turned out so beautiful!
Well at least the Chamlija Felix Culpa Pinot Noir is beautiful. I’m not sure I’d willingly drink a Chardonnay made even by Chamlija.
The first time bottle of this I had my friends and I practically came to blows over who was going to get to finish it. We had this is part of the very first tasting I lead here in Istanbul and it was far and away the favorite of the evening. Unfortunately I had bought what was possibly the only bottle in the city.
However as I was lucky enough over the summer to discover, Chamlija ships! So I promptly ordered a few more of these! Two went to an all Chamlija tasting I did this fall and one was for me.
At 75TL from the La Cave-which is actually the buy direct price from Chamlija as well (or 60TL if you’ve ordered a case for delivery) you get a really special Pinot Noir. The nose is very fruity with lots of raspberry, blueberry, and clove. On the palate medium tannins and a medium long finish add milk chocolate and earthy flavors; potting soil and maybe a little mushroom?
I always want to like Pinot Noir as I think it has an interesting flavor profile; unfortunately I never really do. To me Pinot Noir sounds like a good idea but ends up being too thin. The Chamlija Felix Culpa on the other hand is indeed a happy mistake. I can only assume that the lack of filtration has added a depth that (I think) Pinot Noir lacks.
Whether you order this from Chamlija or manage to hunt it down in the city it’s well worth the effort!
I am so far behind on these posts! Wine Wednesday needs to come around more often. Or, knowing that isn’t actually possible, I need to be better about writing up full posts when I drink new wines instead of scribbling often enigmatic notes. However even if I’ve forgotten everything else about the 2011 Chateau Nuzun Pinot Noir, I do at least remember my first impression of it.
There’s a verb in Turkish, uflamak which means “to say oof”. So first, just sit back and enjoy that Turkish has a verb that means that. Sure we say “oof” in English but (to my knowledge) we don’t have a specific verb for it. And on a day when Turkish bureaucracy simultaneously awes me and will be the cause of the aneurism I’m likely going to have; I need a moment to enjoy the uflamak. I bring this up because at my very first sip of the 2011 Chateau Nuzun Pinot Noir I was ufluyorum-ing all over the place.
The Chateau Nuzun Pinot Noir was a beautiful burgundy color with cherry, raspberry, raspberry, vanilla, and clove on the nose. I love raspberry and clove together and raspberry + clove + wine = me happy. I believe Pinot Noirs generally tend to be on the light-medium bodied and but this bad boy was dense. On the palate it was all beautiful red fruits, spice (of the clove, not pepper variety), and tobacco with medium tannins and a loooong finish. Wow.
Unfortunately like most things I really enjoy I can’t afford to indulge in this one often. Even with the current advantageous exchange rate, 140TL (from La Cave in Cihangir) is still a pretty steep per bottle price. And I’m saving up for another bottle of Suvla’s Reserve Petit Verdot-Karasakiz. I’ve had one of them but I want to try the grand reserve. Until I win the lottery then, Chateau Nuzun Pinot Noir!