Tag Archives: Yazgan

Sommeliers’ Selection Turkey 2017

February 25 and 26 Istanbul hosted the 2017 Sommeliers’ Selection Turkey at the St. Regis hotel. Organized by Gustobar, the event brought together 179 wines from 34 Turkish wineries and about eight international wineries.

Sommeliers' Selection

It was, as one might expect, rather a mad house.

Sommeliers' Selection

That’s not down to the organizers of course. Big tasting affairs like the Sommeliers’ Selection are always a little bit of a mad house as one jostles for position at the tables to get a sample. And what samples! Wines from across Turkey, Italy, France, and Chile were available. I was impressed with the selection of Turkish wines although I was sorry to not see wine from producers like Arda, Melen, Umurbey, Kutman, or Gülor. I was surprised to not see anything from Paşaeli, Corvus, Turasan, or Prodom but somehow not surprised to not see anything from Chateau Kalpak.

Sommeliers' Selection

To my delight (and frankly a little surprise) there were several wineries there I didn’t know at all. One, the Izmir-based Öküzgözü Winery really impressed with its Öküzgözü Foça Karası. Definitely young, this was a bright purple-red wine with strong acid, and the flavors of red berries, cloves, and herbs. I don’t usually like wines made from Öküzgözü grapes but this one I would really love to find again.

Sommeliers' Selection

A HUGE surprise was Saranta’s Chateau Murou line. I tried, and liked, several of these but what shocked me the most was the fact that I like their Merlot. I know, right?! Surprisingly herbal with big red fruits this was, as my friend said, Merlot with a little evil in it. Definitely something I would drink.

Sommeliers' Selection

Of all the wines I tried I was the most pleased with the selection of white wines. I don’t often have good luck finding white wine that I like so I’m looking forward to picking up some of these, such as Nif’s Aegean blend of Narince, Viognier, and Solaris.

The 2015 Narince by Vinoluş, featured at the Sommeliers’ Selection master class, was amazing. Highly mineral with orange blossom, honeysuckle, stone fruits, and maybe some banana, this was a killer wine. Sadly Vinoluş made only 600 bottles of this so I’m thinking that I don’t have a fantastic chance of getting one for my very own.

Sommeliers' Selection

One of my favorites of the day was the Bona Dea line from Ergenekon-another new winery to me. I liked the red on offer as well but the cloudy, unflitered Sauvignon Blanc was light with crisp acidity and full of peaches was the star for me.

In addition to the general tasting I signed up for the master class with sommeliers Ronan Sayburn MS and Isa Bal MS. A complete departure from the tastings I’ve been attending, this was in English in deference to Sayburn who is British.

Sommeliers' Selection

With the two sommeliers participants tasted through a series of 13 wines selected by them [the sommeliers] during a blind tasting. All but one of the selected wines were Turkish. Of these for me the most remarkable were Likya’s Acıkara and Edrine’s Papazkarası. The most surprising? Mon Reve Marselan by Domaine Lucien Arkas. I have openly hated on Mon Reve wines before but this minty, slightly meaty, smokey red wine full of tart blackberries has me thinking again. Yet another wine that I need to find.

Sommeliers' Selection

I was surprised to discover how many people there I already knew from vineyard visits, other tasting events, or social media. It was very nice to see and meet so many people. I will definitely make good on the promises I made to visit wineries, especially Edrine and Vino Dessera as well as to stop in at the Kastro Tireli storefront near Bebek.

Not wanting to ruin a great event by getting drunk I did a fairly decent job of taking only small sips of wine and pouring out the remainder of the glass. As much as it hurts my feelings to spit and/or pour out wine there’s no way I could have tasted even the fraction of wines on offer I did and lived to tell about it had I drunk everything. By the time I got to the master class late in the afternoon though all bets were off and I no longer left wine in the glass. It probably would have been fine if we’d stopped there but there was still a little time after the class before everyone was herded out and most of the wines were left unattended!

Even though today I feel like I won’t even be able to look at wine for at least a week this was a fantastic event. I am so glad I had the opportunity to go and would definitely come back from Italy for the 2018 event!!

Yazgan Boğazkere

The 2013 Yazgan Boğazkere

Recently, my favorite wine blog, Winefolly, posted 99 Reasons to Drink. As much as I revere Winefolly, I think she missed a few so I thought I’d add my 2 cents!

100. You got fun new wine glasses.
101. You got a new book about wine.

102. You actually read the new book about wine.
103. You have cheese.
104. You found a new winery.
105. Because it goes well with classic black & white films.
106. Because it improves the view.

107. Because you need space on your wine wrack.
108. Because red is your favorite color.
109. Because white is your favorite color.
110. And lest we forget…because it’s scrummy!

Now for the Yazgan Boğazkere.

Unfortunately this is one of those wines that I drank ages ago but it got back burnered for a post because I was doing all whites over the summer. My notes were pretty sparse and I don’t remember it very well…but I do remember that I did not like it well enough to buy another bottle and do a tasting refresher.

Dark fruits, cherries, and spice lend the nose of the Yazgan Boğazkere characteristics as dark as its garnet color. On that palate it did have the nice tannins I expect from a Boğazkere which is always nice. One of the reasons I love Boğazkeres is the medium high tannins they usually have so the odd time I get a bottle that doesn’t have those is very disappointing.

A little sour (yeasty maybe) at first but it softened as it opened and the tannins smoothed out, becoming round and velvety.  Flavor-wise though my overwhelming impression was cherries: dark cherries, sour cherries, just lots and lots of cherries. Not, however, in a fruit-wine way.

While not a huge winner with me and unlikely to reappear on my wine rack (I just went to Ikea again to get another one) again, the 2013 Yazgan Boğazkere was still a decent wine. I don’t remember how much I paid for it but I think you’re better off going to the Suvla shop for their Boğazkere (under 30TL).

Mahra

The 2013 Yazgan Mahra

I found a cork in one of my purses the other day and remembered that I got the cork at Solera some time back when E&M and I were there. We had a wine that night I liked a lot and kept the cork to remind myself.

Unfortunately the cork was marked with only the maker’s name and not the exact wine so when I finally remembered to go back to buy a bottle I bought the only Yazgan on hand at the time-the 2013 Mahra Kalecik Karasi-Syrah blend.

In the glass the Mahra is a nice clear red/garnet color. On the nose…red berries, cherries, maybe a little vanilla and clove. Is it possible for a wine to be both cliff edge AND have a medium finish? The bulk of the flavor drops off quickly but the tannins stick around a bit on the tongue and roof of the mouth letting the flavor linger.

The flavor is largely cherry/boysenberry, leaning a little to the tart side evened out by some nice spice. It’s a decent blend of these two grapes with the Syrah providing a bit of backbone to the Kalecik Karasi. I do like standalone Kalecik Karasi wines, they’re generally a safe bet here, but blending gives them firmer legs.

Any wine is considerably enhanced by this view

In the end the Yazgan 2013 Mahra was…fine. There was nothing really distinguishing or memorable about it either good or bad really. I can’t say I would buy it again but I will be looking for more of Yazgan’s wines to see if I can find what so impressed me that night.