Recent trips to Rind have netted me a few bottles of New Zealand wine; including this 2013 Seresin Sauvignon Blanc. One of the world’s foremost wine experts, Oz Clarke, once said about New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that it is: “Arguably the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world.” Far be it for me to argue with the great Oz Clarke! Anyway in the this case I wouldn’t because I don’t disagree.
I have a tricky time with Sauvignon Blanc because my personal tastes lean towards the riper style that’s more stone fruit and less green in flavor. It’s not always easy to find those or to tell what style you’re going to get when buying from a producer you don’t already know. However there is nothing to not like in New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with its zesty and lively acid and bright (typical) flavors of gooseberry, passion fruit, and citrus. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc might just be one of my favorite white wines period. The Seresin Sauvignon Blanc I picked up did not disappoint.
Seresin Estate is located in the famous Marlborough wine growing area on New Zealand’s South Island. They follow both organic and biodynamic viti and viniculture practices. For example when vinifying their wines the winemakers at Seresin Estate use only the natural wild yeasts already contained in grapes.
Seresin Sauvignon Blanc 2013 Tasting Notes:
Serensin’s Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (13% abv) is a blend of majority Sauvignon Blanc with a small kicker of Semillon. While the wines were largely aged in stainless steel; 15% received French oak ageing. Clear, pale gold in the glass the nose was aromatic and lovely with hints of grapefruit, gooseberry, and acacia flowers. On the palate the acid was firm and zingy carrying lots of bright citrus flavors.
M and I paired this with spicy, Cajun salmon and it was beautiful. Less beautiful was the wine with strawberry spinach salad. The citrus and acid of the wine did not at all get on with the sweetness of the berries. As long as we remembered to drink after bites of the spicy fish instead of the salad it was all good. I loved this wine and would happily drop 99TL for it again.
A while back E and I trekked out to the Kanyon mall to visit Macro Center-a place I have avoided for two and a half years because I heard it was addictive. Macro Center, you see, is the import grocery store. In the end I was actually pretty disappointed by it. My local Carrefour carries a lot of the same things; although I was thrilled beyond measure to find large tubs of red curry paste! No more having to get people to bring/send me the itty bitty pots of Thai Kitchen paste. I was of course hoping that the import store would have a decent selection of foreign wines (and I heard that you could get them cheaper there than at La Cave)…
I bought local wines. Who goes to the fancy import store and comes home with local products? Apparently I do. The imported wine selection was slim and, like at many of the alcohol stores in Istanbul, it was a selection of the bottom of the barrel wines at top shelf prices. No thank you. So I purchased a couple Turkish wines I’d never seen before, one of which was the Sevilen W 2012.
Frankly I was drawn to this because of the label. I’m not too proud to admit that I often choose wine based on how attractive I find the label so, kudos to the ad people. This particular label reminded me of “Wicked” which has long been both one of my favorite books and musicals.
The Sevilen W is a blend of Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc, a blend we tried (in reverse) recently with Suvla. The W is a very pale straw yellow with a delicate floral, citrus, apple nose. On the palate it’s clean, dry, and with a long finish with a lot of citrus and apple. Really lovely. We really liked this one.
The wine went beautifully with our dinner that night of grilled vegetables, Turkish carrot salad (recipe below!), and…the Heaven…pork sausage. Which we bought at the Macro Center. I love you, Devil’s Meat.
I would definitely by the Sevilen W again. We all really enjoyed it and even as much as I love wine even I have to say that it can be difficult to find a wine that you like both with and without food and that is an easy drinking experience. I may even dare to blaspheme and say that I liked this better than the Suvla iteration…
Turkish Carrot Salad:
- 4-5 large carrots, peeled and grated
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3-4 big cloves of garlic, crushed
- 500 grams thick yogurt (suzme if you’re in Turkey, otherwise Greek yogurt should work)
- Heat the oil over medium flames and cook the grated carrots with salt and pepper until they’re about half done, you want them still crunchy. Frankly I don’t know why you want to half cook them but the chef on our blue cruise (who taught me the recipe) said to do it. When they’re (half) done set them aside to cool.
- Crush the garlic cloves and combine them with the yogurt.
- When the carrots are cool, combine them with the yogurt and let your taste buds explode!
Suvla has out a new series this year: Bigalı (running 19TL/bottle). I believe we’ve already covered the red so, in keeping with drinking more whites during the summer, it is time to discuss the Suvla Bigalı White.
The Suvla Bigalı White is like a super blend combining Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, and Chardonnay, Roussanne Marsanne. I’m not even sure where to begin with all of them especially as I am completely unfamiliar with the latter two.
So with everything I don’t know in mind…here we go.
The 2014 Suvla Bigalı White is straw gold in color. The nose is very floral (unsurprising really with any of these grapes). On the palate it’s floral, pear, fruity, and a bit buttery perhaps. It was a little on the bright (higher acid) side for my personal taste but wasn’t at all astringent. It just really wanted to let us all know that it had its fair share of acid.
For me…not a huge win. And it really hurts me when I have to say that about a Suvla. To be fair, I am notoriously hard to please when it comes to dry whites. Even though it didn’t win any medals with me I would still recommend it for being a solid white with a crazy reasonable price for Turkey.
I love the Suvla Sauvignon Blanc. Love. So when I was recommended the Suvla Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend I was only too happy to try it. I don’t know much about Semillons and learning with Suvla is usually a safe bet, especially at 43TL a bottle.
Suvla’s blend is very, very pale, almost colorless; but what it lacks in color it makes up for in the nose. Floral, peach, and grapefruit. On the palate I got a lot of butter but also peach, citrus, and a little mango I think.
Crisp, minerally, and with a long, clean finish make me think that this medium bodied white would pair nicely with medium spicy Asian foods, white fish, chicken, and rich cheeses.
I really wanted to love this Suvla Sauvignon Blanc Semillon. White wines are not my thing so when I find one I really love I’m super happy. This was not one of those. I’m not saying it’s bad, not by any means…but for me it hit closer to the ‘meh’ edge of the scale. I’ll stick with Suvla’s straight up 2014 Sauvignon Blanc.