Melen is one of those wineries tucked away in Hoşköy of which I had some nebulous knowledge, but had never seen any of their wines. Until a trip to Migros in the Cevahir mall. Migros had two or three of Melen’s wine including the Melen Tempranillo 2014. I was gun shy as I’ve been burned by Turkish Tempranillo before; but for 29 TL what could it hurt?
Nothing that’s what. This was a shockingly good wine for the price. The inflated retail price no less.
The Melen winery has been a family venture around since the founding of the [Turkish] Republic. Their website is written rather poetically and absolutely worth a read through. One of the topics it addresses is the Melen logo about which I had been curious. From the website:
“The source of inspiration for the Melen Logo is the maker’s mark that appears on ancient amphorae discovered in excavations of local potteries which, since ancient times, provided the means of exporting the wines of the region. With an abundance of wine and olive oil and clay from the river beds Hoşköy was able to export its produce to many different countries including Egypt and Russia. Today, Melen carries on this age old tradition.”
Melen is absolutely one of the wineries I’d love to visit as soon as I find someone to chauffeur me around Turkey.
Melen Tempranillo 2014 Tasting Notes:
At 14% abv this is not a little wine. Similar I suspect to a Spanish Crianza-style Tempranillo, it was an inky, opaque ruby in the glass. The nose was redolent of raspberries and chocolate. Even though the nose was lovely I braced myself for disappointment in the mouth. A disappointment that did not come!
Wow. Really big tannins that I wasn’t expecting. The tannins smoothed out well with some decanting time and balanced well with mouthwatering acid. The flavors also deepened quite a lot with the decanting time and picked up more black and dried fruit essence.
I am now actively on the look out for more wine by Melen! I have a couple on the racks already and can’t wait to get to them.
Despite my previous, failed attempt to enjoy a Turkish-produced, Spanish-style wine I decided I would try again with the 2012 Mon Reve Tempranillo. Despite costing far more than anyone should pay for a young Tempranillo (46TL at Carrefour) it was pretty decent.
In the glass it was a lovely burgundy with purple hints. On the nose-red fruits, cherry, plum,and tobacco; all of which also presented on the palate. Low tannins, low acid, not really much of a finish at all…if you’ve enjoyed Tempranillo before then imagine your standard Tempranillo, water it down a little, and viola.
In the end, it tasted pretty similar to your $5 Spanish Tempranillo. And while I like $5 Spanish Tempranillos just fine, I don’t like paying more than that for them! So to the Mon Reve Tempranillo I say ‘sure’ to the flavor but a big ‘no thank you’ to paying that price again.
Since my Carrefour has remodeled and renamed itself a Carrefour Gourmet (which as far as I can tell means that it simply has a less well designed interior and higher prices) I have found a few new wine labels. I was thrilled when I saw this Büyülübağ Vedat Milor (30-ish TL if I recall) was one of the new options. When asked which country I think produces the best wine I will always say Spain first (Italy second and Argentina third) so seeing a Turkish wine blend that includes Tempranillo and Grenache made me do a little happy dance right there in the Carrefour Gourmet wine section.
Unfortunately the happy dance ended when I got it home and tasted it. The Vedat Milor was a crushing disappointment from its murky garnet color to its syrupy finish.
While the nose held the promise of berries the palate was a sad imitation The Vedat Milor was a crushing disappointment from its murky garnet color to its syrupy finish. of what Tempranillos and Grenaches should be. I’ve happily owned up to my love of a jammy wine in the past but in this instance I understand why ‘jammy’ is a four letter word to wine experts. I was surprised by the lightness of the tannins the way this wine stuck to my tongue, coating my mouth with its cloying flavor.
Thankfully Carrefour has not completely renovated away its selection of Turkish mezes as the spicy acili ezme and icli kofte made the Vedat Milor far more palatable. However for the first time in a long time I found myself pouring the remainder of the bottle down the sink.