Have you ever tasted wines that travelled in luggage from one country to another? This is the story of eight wines travelling from Turkey and Chile to Canada.
After a short holiday in Turkey, returning to Canada, I brought three wines to give a hint of Turkish wines to my contacts in Canada. Likewise, coming back from Chile, my partner Francisco brought three bottles from Itata Valley. When we arrived, we decided to organize a double nationality tasting to discover these wines. We also received two extra bottles from Itata Valley from the renowned wine consultant Peter Gamble. That’s how we made a very interesting line-up and invited fourteen of our contacts to taste with us.
Here is the list of the wine line-up:
1. Viña Mirador del Valle, Alma Verde 2015: Sparkling white wine from Moscatel de Alejandria grapes
2. Vinkara, Yaşasın 2015: Sparkling rosé wine from Kalecik Karası grapes
3. Pipeño Chile, Moscatel Florida 2016: White wine from Moscatel de Alejandria grapes
4. Kavaklıdere, Prestige 2016: White wine from Narince grapes
5. Vinos de Patio, Nüyün 2017: Red wine from Cinsault grapes
6. Pedro Parra, Imaginador 2017: Red wine from Cinsault grapes
7. Pedro Parra, Pencopolitano 2017: Red Wine from Cinsault & País grapes
8. Doluca, Kav 2015: Red wine Boğazkere & Öküzgözü grapes
Viña Mirador del Valle, Alma Verde 2015:
Lucia Torres is a local grape grower in Itata Valley. She makes her own wines in a small winery surrounded by old vines. She mostly grows Moscatel de Alejandria grapes – an aromatic white variety used for producing young wines or distilled spirits. However, instead, she makes an amazing traditional method sparkling wine with them.
Wine tasting: Light and bright yellow color with green rim, very excited small to medium sized bubbles. Intense fruit aromas of green apples and nectarine, elegant floral aromas of subtle lavender and jasmine. Light and fresh with medium acidity, fruit-forward.
Vinkara, Yaşasın 2015
Vinkara is a winery located in Kalecik, a small town seventy kilometers away from the capital Ankara. It’s the town of the local red grape variety called Kalecik Karasi, meaning black of the small castle – Kalecik. They use this variety mostly for making medium-bodied red wines or rosé wines. Now, Vinkara took the next step to discover this local variety in a different style of wine. Thanks to this courageous step the first traditional method sparkling wine in Turkey was born: Yaşasın!
Wine tasting: Onion skin to pink color and fine bubbles. Red fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry, accompanied by toasted bread, brioche and almond aromas. Silky texture, balanced acidity, long aftertaste and finishes with a touch of salinity.
Pipeño Chile, Moscatel Florida 2016
Pipeño is a typical wine from the Chilean countryside with its unique rustic style. The fermentation is made in rauli vats, a native Chilean tree which gives very particular flavors to wine. After the spontaneous fermentation, they let it sit in the tanks, sometimes half empty, which provokes some oxidation of the color and aromas, plus the ‘filtration’ just by gravity. The result is a wine that carries you to the surroundings of a small Chilean town.
Wine tasting: Don’t be surprised to see that the wine is turbid – it’s the style of it. Turbid with yellow color. Striking aromas of matchstick, salt, sulfur and oxidation – but everything was in harmony creating a unique complexity. The aromas fit perfectly with the style of the wine. On the palate, it had a good acidity and full body, thanks to the tannins coming from the rauli vats. Very interesting wine.
Kavaklıdere, Prestige Narince 2016
Kavaklidere Wines is the oldest and largest wine producer of Turkey. They have three different wineries located in the key wine-growing areas of Turkey. This allows them to work with local varieties where they grow the best. As in this case, this wine is made with Narince grapes coming from Côtes d’Avanos Vineyards in Cappadocia, where they thrive.
Wine tasting: A bright yellow color with golden hues. Intense and complex with aromas of citrus fruits, white flowers, vanilla and honey. Round body, medium acidity, long and buttery finish.
Vinos de Patio, Nüyün 2017
Luis Lagos is the third generation of a vigneron family who has been dedicated to keeping the ancestral vines of Guarilihue alive. He made this wine and called it Nüyün. It comes from the native Mapudungun language, meaning ‘tremble of earth’, referring to the characteristics of soils in Guarilihue; clayey and cracked, as you can also see from the label.
Wine tasting: Bright and light cherry color. Aromas of red fruits, sour cherries, raspberries and strawberry yogurt. The freshness of the aromas continue on the palate, with lingering acidity and soft tannins.
Pedro Parra, Imaginador 2017
As the previous wine, Imaginador also comes from Guarilihue region of Itata Valley, however from vineyards with different types of soil – all in the upper part of the hills, over granitic soils. Tasting these two wines from the same region, same grape variety side by side and comparing how the soil type and winemaking can change the style of the wines was interesting. Imaginador, which means dreamer, is made by Pedro Parra, a renowned Chilean winemaker and terroir consultant who works all around the world.
Wine tasting: Bright garnet red color. Impressive complexity of aromas and flavors, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, also some spiciness and earthy notes at the finish. Good acidity and balance with silky tannins.
Pedro Parra, Pencopolitano 2017
Another wine made by Pedro Parra, this one is a blend of Cinsault & País grapes, bringing together the rusticity of País, with the fruity freshness of Cinsault grapes. The name of this wine, Pencopolitano means “citizen of Concepción”, which is the capital of Bío Bío Region of Chile.
Wine tasting: Bright garnet color. Intense aromas of red fruits, cranberries, red plums, some herbal aromas, lavender. Freshness of Cinsault grapes and the body of País grapes create an enjoyable palate.
Doluca, Kav Boğazkere – Öküzgözü 2015
Doluca Wines is a winery with a long history of wine growing for three generations in Anatolia. Currently they work both with local and international varieties. The most emblematic red local blend of Turkey is Boğazkere & Öküzgözü grapes, as in this wine. Tannic Boğazkere grapes from Southeastern Anatolia come together with Öküzgözü grapes from Eastern Anatolia to create a harmonious blend.
Wine tasting: A deep ruby color. Dominated by black fruits, blackberries, mulberries, and some spices, elegant with some leather aromas. Stands out on the palate with its full body and present tannins, has a great potential to age in the bottle.
The aftertaste of these unique wines traveling from different parts of the world was very enjoyable, it left behind lots of interesting flavors, curious comments and memories with enthusiastic people around the table. We finished the tasting as proud hosts who showed their roots and gave a taste of their countries in Canada.
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