Tag Archives: Corvus

Corvus winery

Bozcaada: Corvus 2012 Vinium

My adventure at Suvla was only a small part of my recent trip. I was invited with my friend T to visit some friends of hers (happily now also of mine) at their beautiful home, Lavender Breeze Farm on the island of Bozcaada where we visited the Corvus and Talay winemakers.

We were invited to stay in The Priest’s House, a beautiful house they’ve rebuilt on their property which they rent out on AirBnB (check out the link!). Look at these rooms! T and I were prepared to stay forever.

Priest's House

Priest's House

Priest's House

I found it a unique house in that the living room/kitchen and both bedrooms were independent from each other. Both bedrooms have their own en suite bathroom and independent entrances out onto the porch.

Priest's House

Priest's House

And did I mention that the porch overlooks some of their vineyards?

With our hosts at Lavender Breeze Farm I had the opportunity to learn about traditional vine growing on Bozcaada. Grapes have been growing on Bozcaada since just about forever. Also known by its Greek name, Tenedos, Bozcaada is in the northeastern part of the Aegean near the entrance to the Dardanelles. Not only does it have a long history, it’s firmly rooted in mythology and classical Greek literature, making an appearance in both Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid.

Bozcaada vineyard

Bozcaada vineyard

Grapes have been growing here for about that long and while none of the vines can lay claim to that much history, if Bozcaada wine makers were to talk about ‘old vine’ wines (which sadly isn’t a trend in Turkish wine making) they would certainly have bragging rights with vines aged 40, 50, even 100+ years old.

Bozcaada vineyard

Bozcaada vineyard

Bozcaada vineyard

Many vines are trellised trained now but some vineyards, like Lavender Breeze Farm and Talay still use the traditional island goblet style in which vines are not attached to trellises but two to three cordons (i.e. branches) are trained to grow out and up from the trunk in such a way as to resemble a goblet.

Corvus winery

Corvus winery

A day spent among the vines wouldn’t be complete without a tasting! While I didn’t have the chance to visit the Corvus vineyard we did stop in at the winery’s restaurant for a tasting. Corvus, which is Latin for ‘crow’, was named for the many crows that make the island their home. They’re more numerous than the people I think. Due to the owner’s clever marketing, Corvus is a very popular wine brand here in Turkey; its never been my favorite but I enjoyed the opportunity to try several of their wines I wouldn’t normally have bought.

Bozcaada beach

Bozcaada beach

And of course we couldn’t go to Bozcaada and not enjoy the beach! We took a break from hiking through vineyards and wine tasting to relax on one of Bozcaada’s beaches. Even though it was about 38C during our entire visit it luckily never felt that hot, not even on the beach, because there are such strong winds on the island. So while I did not take a swim I was able to stay cool and relaxed under the shade with my book.

Corvus wine

As it happens, one of the wines I tasted at Corvus Wine & Bite on Bozcaada I have had on my wine rack since forever. So when I got home from my island getaway I opened it right up.

Vinium is made from Karalahana which is a native Turkish grape and if you can find any information about it online please let me know because I for sure couldn’t. In the glass it’s an opaque cherry red indicating a medium bodied wine. The nose was very fruit forward with red fruits, particularly cherry, and I think some oaky elements. On the palate there were noticeable tannins, unfortunately they didn’t stick around to be appreciated. It has a short, dry finish with lots of juicy, tart cherry flavors.

Not bad, not my favorite.

More on my short Bozcaada adventure and the wines I discovered there coming soon!

Aegea

Corvus Aegea Kuntra 2011

I have not had a great deal of Corvus wines. I think I had a cheaper one ages ago, didn’t like it, and wrote off the entire winery. Which was really pretty stupid. I recently found a few bottles of Corvus that I had not seen before and decided to give them a try, including the 2011 Aegea  Kuntra.

I hadn’t heard of the Kuntra grape before but a little Googling later discovered that it is in fact the Greek name for the Karasakiz grape. Seeing as how Corvus’s home base is the island Bozcaada, which history knows better by its Greek name Tenedos; it makes sense that Corvus would use the grape’s Greek rather than Turkish name.

Gotta respect a nicely decorated cork.

Despite my trepidation going in, I think I liked the Aegea with its dark, dark garnet color and wafty scents of red fruits and spice. The Aegea doesn’t burn exactly, but it’s definitely somewhere on the jammy/hot side of the fence.

Niiiice tannins: well integrated, velvety, stick to tongue and we know that I pretty much enjoy anything with some good tannins. Medium+, well integrated acid help give the Aegea a long finish and while the red fruits from the nose followed through in the palate I think I also detected some apple?

For 43-ish TL at Carrefour this was a decent find. If I keep sipping my way through Corvus wines as enjoyably as I did the 2011 Aegea I will be in danger of becoming a Corvus fan!

Corvus Tenia 2012 Çavuş

It’s so hot and humid in Istanbul these days it seems that even the Internet can’t be fussed to work. Knock on wood but it seems to have recovered at least a little today, although I have to compose all my emails in advance so I can hit ‘send’ during one of its working moments.

But to the point: I’ve had a couple wine now from Corvus and I’m not sure that I’m a fan. Could be I’m just picking the wrong grapes. The Corvus Tenia is a varietal wine made out of the Çavuş grape.

Çavuş is a greenish-gold grape native to the Turkish island of Bozcaada. The wine making culture on Bozcaada, or to give it its Greek name, Tenedos, stretches back thousands of years. Çavuş grapes generally make table style wines that are aromatic but without a remarkable presence.

Even Sherlock is skeptical

The Corvus Tenia had a nice color which is probably the last good thing I’ll say. The nose was very aromatic with florals and citrus. I tasted mostly the florals with a little lemon. While the nose was really quite lovely but it didn’t translate to the palate very well.

I’m not saying that the Corvus Tenia was terrible, just that it wasn’t to my taste. But if this ever made its way back into my wine cupboard here I’d probably save it for use as a cooking wine.