Nıf is one of the Turkish wineries I have only recently become interested in. This is due in large part to its 2012 Nıf Sangiovese.
Based in Ege, Izmir, it’s one of Turkey’s Aegean region wineries. What makes Nıf especially interesting is that more than any other winery here I know, it focuses heavily on Italian grapes. In a country which favors French grapes the Italian grapes we see here are few and far between.
Nıf’s wines are not inexpensive. They run a gambit from about 70 TL (the Nıf Sangiovese was 69 TL at the Savoy Tobacco shop in Cihangir) to 140 and above. They are worth it.
Nıf Sangiovese 2012 Tasting Notes:
I really liked this Sangiovese. It was pretty in the glass with a brilliant, clear ruby color and thick, fast legs. The nose was very rich, due I suspect to the eight months it spent in both French and American oak and the bottle time it had. Scents of raspberry and blackberry, vanilla, cinnamon, and a nutty aroma drew me in.
The palate was full of slightly tart fruits, tobacco, and meat with an earthy, medium finish. Tannins were full and round opening up into an elegant and balanced wine.
The Rèmole Toscana 2014 by Frescobaldi is one of my new favorite wines. And at only 61.50 TL at Macro Center it’s not all that expensive. For a wine imported to Turkey.
The Frescobaldi family has been firmly rooted in Tuscany for hundreds of years. While they started as bankers they are now dedicated wine makers. With no less than six estates across Tuscany they take full advantage of the diverse terroir the region has to offer.
The Rèmole Estate is in Sieci, east of Florence. The wines made on the Rèmole Estate are fruit-forward, generally everyday wines. However what may be an everyday Super Tuscan in Italy is something of a revelation in Turkey!
Rèmole Toscana 2014 Tasting Notes:
A blend of Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon, the Rèmole Toscana is fairly low in alcohol (12% abv) for how big of a wine it is. In the glass it is dense, ruby red. I was glad I had some oversized glasses because this needed the space. The nose was gorgeous: red fruits, raspberries, and cinnamon. Like fruitcake (but the good kind). The palate was well-balanced with beautiful round tannins, mouthwatering acid, and flavors of cooked red fruits.
Is this the most fantastic Super Tuscan on the market? Certainly not. Do I deeply want to go to the estate in Sieci and drink the Rèmole Toscana straight from the stainless steel tank? You bet I do.
A couple weeks ago I was at a lovely restaurant up the street from mine, Dai Pera. We go to Dai Pera fairly often because in addition to their menu (the mezzes are amazing) they have an excellent wine list. We were one very nice bottle in and I was sampling the second bottle when my friends’ mocking was just too much. I tried desperately not to laugh and to keep my lips together but eventually their musings over the overt flavors of conga line dances with underlying bumblebee became too much for me and I couldn’t hold in my laughter anymore. Sadly, along with the laughter out also came the mouthful of wine and I sprayed red wine across the table and the friend directly across from me.
What a shameful waste of a Gali. It would have been less of a waste and embarrassment had that happened with this week’s wine: the 2012 Antioche Rezerv. It wasn’t horrible…really. However this Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Sangiovese blend from Hatay was barely ‘meh’.
The nose was nice enough: forest berries, dried fruits, pepper, and a little green bell. On the palate though the low tannins and low acid made for flabby wine. Combined with the cooked fruit flavors on the palate the Antioche Rezerv was jammy and slightly syrupy tasting.
I’ve heard good things about the Hatay province. On Turkey’s Mediterranean coast in the south it is famous for its beaches and food. However if this wine is a typical example of the viticulture I’ll take a pass.