Last Sunday I had an opportunity to visit “Chateau Nuzun” a boutique wine producer close to Istanbul – Turkey located nearby Marmara Ereglisi on the northern coast of Marmara Sea. I must confess that I finally found a producer close to Istanbul whom I get an appointment in advance in a Professional way and thanks to Mr Necdet Uzun, owner of the chateau, we had a chance to visit the production facility with his cellar and a long wine tasting session together with very nice discussions about the world of wine.
Mr. Necdet, who lived for years in America is actually an Electronic Engineer. Wine is an absolute passion for him and this passion brought him from America to Turkey for the sake of entering into the wine business around this region of Marmara Ereglisi – near the village of Cesmeli.
Like to everyone else, he had enough struggles and difficulties when he started his works in Turkey, however, the most interesting point is that he had never taken any supervision of an “oenologue” up to now.
With a total area of 70 acres of vineyard, mostly Cabernet Sauvignon vines are planted, where Merlot and Pinot Noir are the other two main vines out there. He planted Pinot Noir vines on the north slopes of his vineyard. “This part of the vineyard has a special microclimate” he says, “different than the other part; there is plenty of wind, so we thought that it might be appropriate for Pinot Noir”.
Since he has not too much interest on white wines, he has not planted any white vine on his vineyard, so that, all the vineyard consists of red vines. He planted also some small quantity of Zinfandel which he brought from California.
Inevitably, Chateau Nuzun has a “boutique” type of production together with such a small capacity. We have checked all over the barrels one by one together with Mr Necdet. He says that his first barrels were “light toasted” type French oak. All his 2008 Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon wines were made from these barrels. After then, he purchased “medium toasted” type French oak barrels from “Tonnellierie Bordeaulaise”.
Hail had hit Chateau Nuzun vineyards in 2009 Summer. He had to pick all the remaining grapes from his vines one by one in a certain care. He made a blend of wine from these grapes and he bottled them in 2010. Although the wine has not been distributed in the market yet, it has become a famous wine among the Turkish wine enthusiasts. I really wonder what will happen after when he distributes this wine into the market…
Chateau Nuzun’s wide wine tasting hall which is designed and decorated in a classical style is a certain contrast to the Chateau’s overall modern style building. The tasting hall is enough large to taste wines with pleasant discussions as we did so anyway…
Mr Necdet opened us first of all a Syrah 2008. This wine has got upper-medium intensity on the nose which has certain fruity characters with intense aroma of blackberries. On the other hand, it does not gives the effect of peppery notes on the nose which would be a lack.
The wine was produced with an extended maceration of 24 days which is followed by 10 months of maturation period in the light toasted French oak barrels. However, aromas from the oak are certainly hidden on this wine which is an interesting to me.
Syrah 2008 is a medium bodied with upper-medium level of acidity. Tannins are respectively soft; the wine is fresh with a short-medium finish.
The other wine from 2008 which we tasted was Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine has deep ruby color with intense aromas on the nose. Cacao, a little chocolate and tobacco is followed by red fruits and berries, plum and fine citrus aromas.
This wine has certain potential and shows a well done integration in the oak barrel (10 months of oak barrel maturation).
The palate is very fresh with fruity aromas which you can feel mostly plums after a while, also, dried tomato is getting into the view !
According to me, with such velvety style, this is a good wine which the French calls “féminin” for a wine. The tannins are soft, acidity is medium and well balanced and the finish is quite long. Nice wine!..
I have to thank to Mr Necdet that he did not withhold his 2009 vintage red wine from us. This wine was produced from 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 22% Merlot, %10 Syrah and 3% Pinot Nor.
With a deep dark red color, this wine has serious intensity of aromas on the nose. Certain spice notes are very impressive followed by blackberries, oaky and smoky tones and liquorice.
It has fresh and generous acidity and tannins on the palate. A medium to full bodied wine which has long finish on the palate. A certain potential for the future… Mr Necdet plans to distribute this wine in autumn. To my mind, this wine would make a good impact in our limited Turkish wine market.
It is an absolute pleasure to have such discussion with Mr Necdet, because he really loves what he does… He opens a bottle of 2010 Zinfandel which he produced as a sample during the last months. As I mentioned above he has some Zinfandel vineyards which he planted from the vines he brought from California. Since the wine has been a sample production, it does not give too much pleasure to us, however, there might be a potential of creating some “blush” from this…
While we were discussing about some other wine enthusiast friends (Mr Mustafa Camlica is one of them) he suggests me to open a bottle of white wine which Mr Mustafa Camlica produced from his own vineyard located in heart of Thrace region of Turkey.
I still remember his powerful Viognier which we tasted during the “Aged Turkish Red Wines Tasting Workshop” in Izmir, last month. Accordingly I immediately accept his proposal and we started to taste this fascinating wine.
On the bottle only 2009 was written and there was no signification for the origin of the grape; however, when I first sniffed the wine, I got the same impression which I had in Izmir tasting, that this might be probably a Viognier. After a while Mr Necdet claimed that this could be a Chardonnay and it went so on…
This wine has very deep intense flower and fruit aromas, plenty of complexity in it with apricot, apple, orange blossom and citrus aromas at the back. The palate is very fresh, live acidity and medium body with a long finish. An absolute stunning wine to me!
Since we could not reach to a decision that the wine was either Viognier or Chardonnay, I had still doubts about it and I decided to ask this directly to the producer, Mr Mustafa himself. He replied me that “the viognier which he produced has got the same intensity of aromas that as a finish it would be as powerful and long as a 90 points Condrieu”… which I certainly agree so…
After purchasing a few bottles of Chateau Nuzun vines, we thanked to Mr Necdet for his great hospitality and for the wines and nice discussions which we had and we started to drive back to Istanbul.
As long as I got the information from Mr Necdet, Chateau Nuzun wines are available in some of the wine stores in Istanbul such as Mania Gurme, Rouge Wine Bar and Sensus Wine Boutique. Also his some of his wines are sold at some high class restaurants of Istanbul such as Ulus 29 and Mimolett.