Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Boǧazkere Reserve 2011

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Boǧazkere Reserve 2011

This is the final of seven reviews of wines from the Turkish winery Vinkara. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

I'm not sure how to pronounce Boǧazkere but it means "burning throat" in Turkish. The varietal originated in southeastern Anatolia and legend has it that it's incredibly ancient. This very well could be one of those wines that Tarhun was guzzling while he beat the snot out of asshole serpents! Cool!

Boǧazkere is often blended with Öküzgözü to soften it up because it can be pretty big and rough, but this particular one is 100% Boǧazkere. Apparently you need to be in the right mood to enjoy a pure Boǧazkere... and, lucky for me, tonight I can't wait to have my throat burnt.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Yaşasin 2013 Brut

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Yaşasin 2013

This is the sixth of seven reviews of wines from Vinkara in Turkey. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

FIRST. TRADITIONAL METHOD. SPARKLING WINE. FROM TURKEY. EVER. You read that right, bucko! The traditional method, AKA méthode champenoise in Champagne, AKA méthode traditionnelle everywhere else, had never been done before in Turkey until Vinkara did it with Yaşasin.

What's the "traditional method"? You can get all the in-depth details in my A Bubbly Biography - The Story of Sparkling Wine series but for a more brief description: it's the way to make Champagne style sparkling wine, with the second fermentation that creates the bubbles occurring in the individual bottles. You end up with a yeasty, bready sparkling wine as opposed to crispy clean Prosecco which is done in big stainless steel tanks.

Rather than going with the usual grape suspects used for traditional method sparkling wine (Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Blanc) Vinkara was just like "Nah dude, I don't even care. We're gonna make it completely out of our Kalecik Karasi because this is Turkey!" and that's what they did. Kalecik Karasi (Kah-le-djic Kar-ah-ser) is indigenous to Anatolia and it's red, so this bubbly is a blancs de noir (white from red). It also has a vintage, something that you don't see very often with sparkling wine.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Bourbon Barrel Aged Wine

Stop trying to make bourbon barrel aged wine a thing. It's not going to happen.

Bourbon is very popular right now and to make bourbon you need to use new barrels. Soooo there's A LOT of used bourbon barrels out there. What do you do with them? You sell them for aging other products and they can slap "bourbon barrel aged" on their labels. Rum, scotch, beer...those all make sense.  But wine? Bourbon barrel aged wine is GROSS.

Just because you CAN do something doesn't mean you SHOULD do something. 

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Öküzgözü Winehouse 2013

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Öküzgözü Winehouse 2013

This is the fifth of seven reviews of wines from the Turkish winery Vinkara. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

Öküzgözü is pronounced oh-cooz-goe-zue. The name means "ox eye" because the grapes are big and fleshy just like an ox eye. It's an indigenous grape of eastern Anatolia but grown throughout Turkey. Due to its high acidity, it's a varietal that ages well. That's really all I can find on the grape so let's go right into tasting it!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Kalecik Karasi Reserve 2012

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Kalecik Karasi Reserve 2012

This is the fourth of seven reviews of wines from Vinkara in Turkey. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

Kalecik Karasi (Kah-le-djic Kar-ah-ser) has the town of Kalecik, where Vinkara is located, in its name because that is its place of origin, just like the town of Avola is in the name of Nero d'Avola. It was once nearly extinct until it was revived with the rise of fine wine in Turkey and it's now one of, if not the, most famous and in-demand varietals of Turkish wine. It's been mostly compared to Pinot Noir if you want to compare it to something, but it's very much its own thing entirely.

I've already reviewed Vinkara's entry level Kalecik Karasi but this is their Kalecik Karasi Reserve. It was cold macerated pre-fermentation, fermented with controlled temperature in stainless steel, then aged for fourteen months in French oak and six months in the bottle.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Narince Reserve 2012

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Wine Review: Vinkara Narince Reserve 2012

This is the third of seven reviews of wines from the Turkish winery Vinkara. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

Narince is an indigenous grape to Turkey, originating up by the Black Sea. It's pronounced nah-rin-djah and means "delicately" in Turkish. DNA shows that, even though it's a white grape, Narince is the love child between two Anatolian red grapes, Kalecik Karasi and Dimrit. I've got two different tiers of Vinkara's Narince and Kalecik Karasi being reviewed this month.

I've already reviewed Vinkara's entry level Narince but this is their Narince Reserve. It's gently pressed and fermented in stainless steel, aged in neutral French oak on the lees for fourteen months, and aged a further six months in the bottle before release.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Kalecik Karasi 2013

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Kalecik Karasi 2013

This is the second of seven reviews of wines from Vinkara in Turkey. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

Vinkara is located in Kalecik, central Anatolia. You will never ever ever guess why Kalecik Karasi has Kalecik in its name! EVER! Okay, ready??? It's native to the area. BOOM! Mind blown, right? I don't know why I did that, sometimes I feel like being all smartassy for no reason.

Kalecik Karasi (Kah-le-djic Kar-ah-ser) was once nearly extinct until it was revived with the rise of fine wine in Turkey and it's now one of, if not the, most famous and in-demand varietals of Turkish wine. It's been mostly compared to Pinot Noir if you want to compare it to something, but it's very much its own thing entirely.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Narince 2013

MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!

Vinkara Kalecik Karasi 2013

This is the first of seven reviews of wines from the Turkish winery Vinkara. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

Narince is an indigenous grape to Turkey, originating up by the Black Sea. It's pronounced nah-rin-djah and means "delicately" in Turkish. DNA shows that, even though it's a white grape, Narince is the love child between two Anatolian red grapes, Kalecik Karasi and Dimrit. I've got two different tiers of Vinkara's Narince and Kalecik Karasi being reviewed this month.

This is Vinkara's entry level Narince and later in the month I'll be reviewing their Narince Reserve. This one here was stainless steel fermented and spent three months resting on the lees.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Chileans!

Aliens guy meets Chilean wine

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine

The Middle East was the origin of civilization, science and viticulture. The people here were once the leaders in human advancement and technology.

A Brief History of Wine in Turkey
IMAGE SOURCE: winesofturkey.org
But as monotheism took control of the Middle East and Europe, many of these achievements stood still or regressed in the name of religion. Although one thing that improved through Christianity was wine, alcohol was prohibited in Islam. Places that had been making wine longer than anywhere else didn't have the chance to become the famous wine regions they deserved to be.

Once controlled by the wine-guzzling Romans and Byzantines before the alcohol abstinent Ottomans, Turkey held on to its relationship with the vine through table grapes and raisins. It's a transcontinental country with its Thrace portion in Europe and Anatolia in Asia. Even though Turkey is often called the most liberal Muslim state, it's hasn't officially been a Muslim state in a very long time and it's really not liberal at all in comparison to the west. But Turkish wine is making a comeback on the actual market for you to buy, and it's making some noise.

It's safe to say that Turkey is the origin of wine itself, and not because the Genesis story has Noah planting a vineyard near Mount Ararat. We're talking about evidence going as far back as eight thousand years ago. In a more modern sense of winemaking and viticulture, there's plenty of archaeological finds from the Hittites four thousand years later, four thousand years ago today, on the Anatolia portion of Turkey. Wine cups and art that features wine made by the Hittites can be seen in the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, in the capital city of Ankara.

The Hittites also had a god of wine that puts all the other gods of wine to shame.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

That's a paddlin'

Fragrance at a tasting... that's a paddlin'

Leave your perfume and cologne at home, people! Fragrance is #1 on the no-no list at tastings, whether you're there to pour or to taste!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Wine Pick: Cantina del Taburno 2011 Sannio Aglianico "Fidelis"

This WINE PICK of the month was written for the Luke's of Cape Cod website.
MAY IS WINES OF TURKEY MONTH THANKS TO VINKARA WINERY!


Cantina del Taburno 2011 Sannio Aglianico "Fidelis"

Aglianico is one of the oldest, ancient wine grapes that we know of. It was brought over to the Campania region of Italy from Turkey by the Phocaeans 2,500 years ago, and there in Campania it made its permanent home. Campania is high in altitude and covered with volcanic soil, Aglianico's most favorite things.

One of the DOC's for Aglianico in Campania is Sannio Aglianico. Sannio is about 30 miles or so northeast of Naples, on the borders of Benevento (which has the Aglianco del Taburno DOC) and Avellino (home of the grape's most famous DOC, Taurasi).

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