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!