The new Chamlija Sui Generis is a study in how important it is to let your wines breathe. I started out completely turned off by this one only to do a complete reversal the next day. But before we get to my Saint Paul*-like conversion…the pertinents.
A little more expensive than the average bottle of Chamlija, a bottle of Sui Generis will set you back 105 TL, unless you get it from Solera like I did where you get a 25% discount when you buy a bottle to go. Before 10PM of course when Turkey’s no alcohol sale law kicks in. The Chamlija Sui Generis is a blend of Cabernet Franc 42%, Merlot 32%, and Cabernet Sauvignon 26% that has spent a fair amount of time in French oak.
In the glass it was a dark, inky red color. The nose was huge with more things than I could identify however I think I managed to pick out scents of black fruit and berries, cocoa, something floral or sweet tobacco…there was something giving it a sweet scent. Of course I could just be making up all that. I do like to make up things. Before it properly opened the low tannins and higher acid did not balance well and my take away was that it tasted a lot like a liquor-filled chocolate. And while I like chocolate, a lot, I usually spit out the liquor-filled ones.
I was prepared to say that I liked this on principal alone. Much like my relationship with Suvla’s wines I’m pretty well in love with Chamlija’s wines and defend their honor to any who dare impugn it. That said I almost dumped the remainder a day later because apparently my principles only go so far. Instead of throwing it out I decided to give it one more try. Chamlija has not let me down so far and I couldn’t accept that it had this time, especially when the Sui Generis comes with such a fantastic label.
Gorgeous. The fact that I could do such a 180 on my opinion makes me think I need to be better about letting my wines breathe a bit before diving in. I think I’ll get a decanter or see if someone in a more normal country will send me an aerator. Once it had breathed properly the acid settled down and the black fruits and tobacco created a big, bold flavor with a delightfully long finish.
One of the things I love about Chamlija wines is the bottle descriptions. I’ve mentioned before how much I love the poetry of Suvla’s descriptions but Chamlija goes another way. Their wines introduce themselves which I find fantastically charming. Merhaba, ben Sui Generis (Hello, I am Sui Generis) begins the back of this label.
*I think in fact that I like the Chamlija Sui Generis better than I like Saint Paul. I’ve always found him rather pretentious.