How much do I love Chamlija? A whole lot in case that rhetorical question wasn’t obvious and the Chamlija Papaskarası is no exception.
I’d never heard of the Papaskarası grape before seeing this bottle at La Cave (65 TL). It’s a very old grape varietal, it’s been around for some 1,500 years. The “forgotten king of Thracian grapes” produces a table-style wine similar to Pinot Noir and traces likely roots (haha see what I did there?) to Prokupac grapes which have been grown in Serbia and Macedonia since the 5th century.
The nose on the Chamlija Papaskarası was very promising, cherry, plum, forest berries, I think I got a little dried rose towards the top of the glass. I’m guessing this probably hasn’t spent much or any time in oak as I did not detect a great deal of spice. The longer I swirled the more one scent rose to the top: chocolate covered cherries.
The first sip was unexpectedly tart; somewhat shockingly so. I was not expecting that at all. Happily after the initial sip the rest went down much more smoothly to reveal (sour) cherries, young plums, a ribbon of spice. There were no tannins to speak of but a fairly high amount of acid which is likely why it was so tart. It felt very silky in the mouth and once I got accustomed to all the acid it was really lovely.
Chamlija also makes a reserve Papaskarası. I haven’t yet had the pleasure but I suspect that it’s fantastic.