Tasting notes for 25.05.2015

We had a lovely tasting event on May 25th. I may say that particularly I like such tasting events where the participants reflect their feelings about wine.


We tasted very interesting wines with different varieties from different regions of Turkey. The following wines were tasted in the event:

-Suvla Kınalı Yapıncak 2014

-Chamlija Kırklareli Chardonnay 2011

-Barel Rose 2014

-Pamukkale Trio 2013

-Likya Podalia 2010

-Gali Pure Merlot 2011

Suvla Kınalı Yapıncak is one of my favorite whites in Turkey. I really love the very fresh and high acidic elements with mineral structure in this wine. In 2014 the producer also made a little touch of barrel fermentation for about 3 months. Citrus, apple and mineral notes dominates the palate and the nose. You can feel some “sur lie” effect whereas the wine has gained a deeper structure than 2013. This is a medium bodied wine with medium + finish. If I could find some oysters, this would be the wine to match…


I had many opportunities to taste Chamlija’s Kırklareli Chardonnay 2011 in different periods and I may say the wine has developed amazingly. The nose is very rich with nuts, toast, buttery aromas with hints of peach, apple and some floral notes. On the palate you can immediately feel the vibrant acidity of the wine with a balanced and complex structure. I may say it is more fruity on the palate than the nose which I like too much particularly in chardonnay. This could be the wine I would match with “escargot a la bourguignonne”…


Barel’s Rosé 2014 has just been released and it is a lovely rosé with hints of strawberry and red plum. On the palate it has a fresh structure with sufficient acidity and fruit balance. Really good rosé for this summer and most importantly it has a good price/quality value.


Pamukkale has always been making really good wines at affordable prices and Trio is one of those values. This is a blend of Shiraz, Kalecik Karasi and Cabernet Sauvignon. Very fruity on the nose with hints of blackberries, plum, banana and some spice. On the palate it has light to medium body with fresh structure and firm tannins. This is a typical “everyday” wine which you can enjoy with pizza or light pasta dishes.


During the event, I was wondering about how Likya’s Podalia 2010 is developed over the years. It is an unusual blend of Kalecik Karası and Malbec and the grapes are coming from the vineyards located in Elmalı-Antalya at 1100 m altitude right in front of the winery. On the nose, still fruity (especially black cherry notes) with hints of leather, spice and some earth. Very round and soft on the palate with nice acidity and a good balance. Definitely I would go for rich dishes or pastas such as lamb stew or papardelle lamb ragu…


Gali Pure Merlot 2011 was the last wine we tasted. It is recently released and now the wine can finally be found in the stores. I may say that this is a great Merlot which reflects all the aspects of a fine wine with complex, fruity and concentrated structure. Ripe blackberries dominates the fruit with humble oaky and floral notes. The producer used mainly Hungarian barrels for a period of 12 months. Very vibrant acidity, distinctive but round tannins, full body and a very long finish fullfill our expectations from this lovely wine. Certainly will develop more for the following years.


As a result we all had a great time and it was great to discuss with different people with different tastes. We are now looking forward for the next event…


Posted in Barel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, events, food & wine pairing, Gali, Istanbul, Kalecik Karasi, Likya wines, Merlot, Pamukkale, Rose, Suvla, Syrah/Shiraz, Tasting notes, Tekirdag, Turkish Wines, Yapıncak | Leave a comment

New tasting event – 15.06.2015

Dear followers,

I will be doing a special tasting event on 15th of June at Brunelle Restaurant located inside St Joseph College Alumni Association in Moda – Istanbul.

This time I am planning to bring you a complete set of local Turkish varities from different part of Anatolia. For this event I have planned the following wines to be tasted:

– Nif Bornova Misket (Muscat – white grape variety from Aegean Side of Turkey)
– Turasan Emir (Emir – white grape variety from Cappadocia)
– Kayra Allure Kalecik Karası White (White style wine from a red variety – Kalecik Karası-)
– Suvla Karasakız (Lovely red variety from Gallipoli region)
– Chamlija Papaskarasi (Papaskarasi – a very interesting red variety from Thrace region)
– Kayra Vintage Okuzgozu (Okuzgozu – fantastic red from Elazıg – southeastern part of Turkey)

For further information and reservations please write to mmumcuoglu@yahoo.com



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New date set for special event (25.05.2015)

Dear all,

I have postponed the event to 25th of May.

There will be also a special tasting during the event therefore please feel to contact me if you would like to participate.



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Special event – May 18th

Dear followers,

I will be doing a special event about oenology, viticulture and grapes on Monday, 18th of May at St Joseph College Alumni Association in Moda – Istanbul.

For further information please write to mmumcuoglu@yahoo.com



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Get ready for special wine events…

Dear followers,

Soon, I will be starting for special events in Istanbul related to Turkish wines. Please write me an email in order to get more information for all events (dates & details).

My email is: mmumcuoglu@yahoo.com 



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A Small Guide to Thrace Wine Route… (Part 2 – Şarköy)

trakya bağ rotası fotoŞarköy is located on the Marmara Sea coast line, about 1 hour from Tekirdağ city center. This sub-region was a major wine production place in the past during Ottoman Empire period. Especially the small village of Murefte has always been famous for its wineries since 19th century. Even, we know about the history of selling wines to France particularly from Murefte during phyloxera period end of 19th century.

Today unfortunately there are not too many wineries left from that époque. Many of the vineyards have also been converted to Olive Trees mostly. There are two ways to come to this sub-region of Şarköy. Either you follow the mountain road from passing from Uçmakderesi, or you can follow the main road and then follow the signs for Şarköy on the way to Marmara Sea. The mountain road is generally shorter and has got great scenic view of Marmara Sea and Marmara Island. There is also a paragliding location on the mountain. I recommend you this road either going or coming from Şarköy; however, you should be careful to use this road especially on rainy days since there are rocks falling down on the road when there is too much rain.

trakya bağ rotası harita

On Thrace Wine Route, we have 3 wineries in Şarköy region; Melen, Gulor and Chateau Kalpak.

–          melen vineyardsMelen Vineyards: Being one of the oldest wineries in this region, Melen is located at the small fishing village of Hoskoy. The winery is located at the fishing harbor where wines were directly shipped from the wineries right in front of the harbor about 100 years ago. It is great to hear the history of the region from Cem Cetintas – one of the most passionate person I have ever seen, about wines. A trip to the ruins of the Monastery in the middle of Melen vineyards is a must. You should try their elegant Papazkarasi (a local variety), spicy Shiraz and really fresh and aromatic rose wines.  ( www.melenwinery.com )

–          Tuna Fish Restaurant: Located in Hoskoy village, this tiny restaurant serves fresh seafood from Marmara Sea. You should also ask for fresh shrimps drizzled with local olive oil and a slight touch of lemon juice. With its location looking at the beach and with wooden tables and chairs, this place always reminds me “Peña Flamenco Juan Villar” a local restaurant right at the entrance of “La Playa de la Caleta” in Cadiz – Spain. In fact, although it is quite hard to find local wine at Tuna Restaurant, it is worth to taste some Turkish beer or some “raki”…

–          Gulor Vineyards: If you continue the road from Hoskoy, you will reach to Mureftegc3bclor-sangiovese-bac49flarc4b1 town which was the heart of wine production in Turkey once upon a time. Once you go out of the town following the seashore, before arriving to Şarköy you will reach to Gulor Winery on the right hand. Owned by Turkey’s one of the largest Group of Companies, Sabanci Group, Gulor Winery was founded on 1993 as a boutique concept winery. The first vines were planted within the 90s under consultancy of Pascal Delbeck. They have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah as well as some Italian varities such as Sangiovese and Montepulciano. They also have a lovely and fruity Okuzgozu – Bogazkere blend (local varities from East and Southeastern part of Turkey) under the label of “Sayeste”. Also I really like their Blend T 2011 – a blend of Sangiovese, Montepulciano, Shiraz & Merlot – a wine with a nice complexity with round structure.

–          Akkaya Restaurant: Famous for its grilled chicken, Akkaya has changed its location from Eriklice village to the center of Şarköy. You can also find here really good grilled meat with special spicy Turkish sucuk (a kind of spicy sausage). Mostly they sell raki as usual however the good news is that some Turkish wines can be also found in the restaurant especially the ones from Kayra winery.

–         DSC00701 Chateau Kalpak: There are very few wineries in Turkey who has got special architectural designed buildings which reminds me Rioja region – and yes – Chateau Kalpak is one of those. In addition to the nice winery building, the vineyards looking to the Marmara Sea is just heavenly…Such a spectacular view they have… Mr Bulent Kalpaklioglu – the owner of Chateau Kalpak – would tell you his passion about wines as well as the history of this magical place… they have great Cabernet Franc as well as a really good Bordeaux blend from 2010, a must to taste…


Posted in Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Kalpak, Genel, Gulor, Hoşköy, Melen, Murefte, Papazkarası, Tekirdag, thrace wine route, Turkish Wines, Şarköy | Leave a comment

A Small Guide to Thrace Wine Route… (Part 1 – Tekirdag Region)

trakya bağ rotası fotoIt’s been long time since I have not been writing in this blog…

Well, since the last article that I have written in English, many things have been changed in Turkey especially in our lives about wine.

Last year, a new law was put into force by our government related with the promotion and marketing of alcoholic drinks. The law bans the marketing and promotion of alcoholic beverages at any condition. Even tasting events and writing about wines became a reason for marketing which can be resulted with certain fines. And I shall mention at this point that nobody knows how much fine you may get if someone would accuse you. Since that day all the wineries in Turkey had to stop their marketing activities and especially the small boutique wineries was effected too much due to this issue.

Beginning of this year, a very nice project was started in Thrace region of Turkey. The project was called “Thrace Wine Route” consisting of 12 boutique wineries established in 4 different regions of Thrace; which are Tekirdag, Sarkoy, Kirklareli and Gelibolu (Gallipoli). The project was also supported by Thrace Development Agency and Tourism Directorate of the region.

The web site of the project is recently opened:  www.thracewineroute.com and here is the map for Thrace Wine Route:

trakya bağ rotası harita


There is also a very nice video: http://vimeo.com/91900961 

Here are the wineries for each region:


  • Chateau Nuzun
  • Barel Vineyards
  • Barbare Vineyards
  • Umurbey Vineyards


  • Melen Vineyards
  • Gulor Vineyards
  • Chateau Kalpak


  • Gali Vineyards
  • Suvla Vineyards


  • Chamlija Vineyards
  • Arcadia Vineyards
  • Vino Dessera Vineyards

Each region has got its unique particularity in terms of terroir which makes a fantastic diversity in the vineyards and of course the wines produced.

The nice thing about this wine route is that it is very close to Istanbul. So even for a daily visit many of the wineries can be visited easily. Here are some of the tips about each winery and hotels & restaurants etc.:

Tekirdag Region:

–          Chateau Nuzun (www.chateaunuzun.com )is the closest winery to Istanbul. It takesnuzun about 1 – 1,5 hours from Istanbul city center. They have only red and rose wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel and Okuzgozu grapes. The owners Mr. Necdet & Ms. Nazan Uzun are really lovely people and you will have a chance to have very nice discussions with Mr. Uzun regarding his wines. Their 2009 wine has become a legend due to a hail storm which effected all over the vineyard; and they had to make only one wine from all remaining grapes. It is like a gift from the nature… Also in my opinion, their 2010 Syrah is one of the best Syrah has ever been made in Turkey…


–         20140423_102748 Barel (www.barelvineyards.com ) is a small boutique winery located 10 km before Tekirdag city. They have a lovely vineyard house looking at the vineyards. They produce their wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Franc as well as Chardonnay. You can enjoy their wines and have nice local cheese. You should take an appointment before you go to Barel. The wineyeard owner Mr. Barkin Akin and their consultant Ms. Gulcin Akcay would welcome you at this lovely winery.


–          Tekirdag is famous for its “kofte” (called Tekirdag koftesi) which is a type of grilled tekirdag koftemeatball. Before you enter into Tekirdag you would be able to see many places and signs related to this dish. Best kofte goes with a salad called “piyaz” made by white beans, onion and olive oil. Ozcanlar would be one of the most famous “kofteci” in Tekirdag. There is a nice article at Istanbuleats.com blog about kofte restaurants in Tekirdag: http://istanbuleats.com/2011/01/lost-in-thrace-following-the-tekirdag-koftesi-trail/


–         umurbey sauvignon blanc Umurbey winery(www.umurbeyvineyards.com) has recently opened a nice wine bar in Tekirdag city center. So if you would like to stop over Tekirdag and have some drink, I recommend you to check out this nice bar located on the main road in front of the seashore. You can also buy Umurbey wines from here. I highly recommend their Sauvignon Blanc wines. The vineyards and the winery located nearby Yazir Village about 25 km away from Tekirdag city center. You can see their signboard on the main road. They have Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes.



–    Barbare (www.barbarewines.com )has got a small boutique hotel (6 rooms) with a nice20140511_154723 restaurant looking over the vineyards. If you would like to spend the night over here you can call the winery for the booking. For the time being, this is the only winery which is open for accommodation. If you cannot find a room here, better to go to Ramada Hotel which very close to Barbare. Try to taste their elegant and complex wines named “Elegance” & “Prestige”. Elegance is more likely a Chateauneuf du Pape style with a blend of Syrah, Grenache & Mourvedre (there is also small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon & Merlot) and Prestige is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot with a touch of Syrah & Grenache.

Posted in barbare wines, Barel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chateau Nuzun, Genel, grenache, Merlot, Mourvedre, Pinot Noir, sauvignon blanc, Syrah/Shiraz, Tekirdag, thrace wine route, Turkish Wines, Umurbey, wine routes | 5 Comments

Tasting notes: Cloudy Bay 2009 – Sauvignon Blanc

Cloudy Bay is New Zealand’s one of the most important wine producers. They are famous for their Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough region.

This 2009 vintage Sauvignon Blanc has a pale lemon color. It has a medium level of intensity on the nose with lemon and citrus flavours followed by tropical fruits (pineapple, mango and guava) after a while straw and vegetable notes (especially asparagus and green pepper) are getting intense.

On the palate there is a high level of acidity with a medium body.  Step by step the flavor structure changes on the palate. First we feel lemon and citrus flavors, and then on the mid palate we’ve got very nice tropical fruits especially guava and mango. During the medium length finish all flavors completely turn into a vegetable soup with asparagus, green pepper, green haricot. There is a real complex vegetable structure for this wine. Very interesting, in deed…

Posted in new zealand wines, sauvignon blanc, Tasting notes | Leave a comment

Tasting notes: Barbare Prestige 2009

“Barbare” was one of the successful wines during the tasting sessions of “Master of Wine weekend” held last month in Istanbul.  They have organic vineyards nearby Tekirdag’s Barbaros village.

“Barbare” is one of Turkey’s new wines and finally I got a chance to taste this one at Sensus Wine Boutique located near Galata Tower in Istanbul. We purchased the bottle for 55 TL. This “Barbare Prestige 2009” is an interesting blend of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 27% Merlot, 2% Syrah and 1% Grenache.

It is written on the bottle that the wine is matured in French oak barrels for 18 months. Totally 570 cases were produced for this wine.

Dark ruby color. On the nose significant oaky notes are followed by blackberries, plum, violet. Some hints of Black pepper is behind. It is strong and vibrant on the palate. The tannins are softer than I was expecting actually. However the body is quite medium level. Actually I was expecting a full bodied wine but as a result this is what we have. It can certainly be enjoyed at this moment.

Actually on the palate fruity notes are much more significant. Blackpepper, carob, blueberry and blackberry aromas are very nice. During the quite long finish there is some bitterness coming from the alcohol (14,4%).

Posted in barbare wines, Cabernet Sauvignon, grenache, Merlot, Syrah/Shiraz, Tasting notes, Turkish Wines | Leave a comment

Tasting notes: Kayra Vintage Sangiovese 2007

It’s one of the interesting wines of Kayra’s Vintage series. Produced by the Sangiovese grapes coming from Manisa – Turgutlu’s Halilbeyli village. This 2007 vintage has some highlights of brown in color, an opaque red. On the nose it is quite intensive than I was expecting. Nice and smooth complexity. Mint, vanilla and toasty notes coming from the oak are followed by red berries, dried tomato, blueberry, some violet and earthy – spicy hints.

On the palate not has got the acidity which we may expect from a typical sangiovese. However, there is an interesting smoothness and light body on the palate. Certainly there is more fruit especially in the mid-palate. Oaky notes are much more behind than the nose. There is some sweet structure during the medium length finish.

It is a very light bodied wine, for the people who do not like tannins.  Totally 2300 bottles were produced. Mine was no. 917. It is 47 TL in Rouge Wine Bar.

Posted in Kayra wines, san giovese, Tasting notes | Leave a comment