Cuvinte despre vinuri incercate, degustari si evenimente, calatorii si retete
For absolutely no reason whatsoever, I remembered today the day trip from November 2012 around Izmir, in Turkey, part of of the #EWBC. Ok, maybe there was some reason after all, a cup o flavored tea, that reminded me of the red Turkish tea, ubiquitous in all restaurants, shops, and basically anywhere local people congregate.
I remembered the warm, heart-filling glass of hot tea, served on a chilly day after a long walk by the seaside, in the small village of Urla, nearby Izmir. Along a plate of gozleme (Turkish pancakes filled with meat or cheese) and thick ayran (salted fresh yogurt), I couldn’t wish for anything else, not even wine.
Also because I already had a wine tasting earlier that morning, at the small Urlice winery. Located in a picturesque area, dotted with small vegetable farms and glasshouses, very close nearby to an archaeological site: the remains of an ancient olive press, fully restored and operational, along with olive oil tastings.
The winery is a family-owned business, owned and operated by a hospitable middle aged couple who returned to Turkey to become entrepreneurs after spending many years in the US. They settled in Urla in 2004 and bought a small property with a house and a vineyard, and their first wines were released in 2008.
On the 4 hectares of vine plantation, the best represented are red grapes -Cabernet, Merlot, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, as well as Chardonnay and Muscat (Mizket in Turkish, actually being a local variation of Muscat aux petit grains).
There is a family and intimate feeling, including the technical aspects .The production facilities are located inside the cottage-size farmhouse. Literally, behind the kitchen, where the pantry is normally located, they have the fermentation tanks for red wines, while in the basement there are the vats for white wines and for maturation. Behind the basement there is a small extension dug in the chalky soil that serves as an ageing cellar, narrow and crammed, enough to hold about eight barrels and a few thousand bottles.
As all their red wines are aged for 12 month or more in oak, space-saving is essential, so the barrels are reused as much as four times, and bottling is done only when needed. No more that ten people cat enter at the same time in the production area.
Flexibility is important when deciding the blends, as the local climate can be tricky. For example, the 2008 blend is Shiraz with Cabernet Sauvignon, while the 2009 has reversed proportions and a different ageing period, resulting in a wine with different character. Generally, their reds are well structured, with rounded tannins, and an interesting salty note. The rose is also a different blend every year, changing from a pale Provence style wine to a powerful Clairet.
And I just love the thick tartric deposits left on the bottom of the glass.