(2021) This prmium Gewürztraminer cuvée comes from vineyards at 350- to 550-metres altitude, grown on calcareous soils. The vines are up to 40 years old, and the wine is aged in stainless steel on the lees. With 15% alcohol declared on the label it is a powerful, concentrated and intense expression of Gewürztraminer, pouring a light gold colour with soaring aromas of lychee, old fragrant roses and Turkish delight. In the mouth the texure is slippery and rich, and the sheer weight and concentration of fruit along with a little residual sugar could be overbearing, but thankfully the acid base of the wine is equally powerful. That all adds up to a big, dominant style of white wine that I think might work best with food - spicy Sechuan or Thai cuisine perhaps.
(2021) Another absolutely lovely wine from Cantina Tramin, this an oak cask-fermented blend of 65% Chardonnay with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Blanc and Gewürztraminer, coming from stony limestone and clay soils, it's name meaning 'stone' in local dialect. It is sweetly perfumed, refined and accented by floral and creamy top and bottom notes, a lovely taut but ripe fruit juiciness. In the mouth the oak fermentation rounds the wine beautifully, but those bright and quite vivacious fruit characters and the salts and citrus acid structure of these wines is very nicely balanced, making this so easy to drink, but with precision too.
(2019) Grenache Blanc, Chenin, Roussanne, Chardonnay from bush vines. Chardonnay in new barrels. Quite a deep colour, with marmalade and toast, lots of limey depth. On the palate masses of texture and fruit sweetness, a lovely Burgundian-style wine.
(2019) Fresh, lightly ashy nose, a little wood component does round it out, but it is quite wild and gamy in character, tobacco and spice, and on the palate good acidity and a rustic bite of tannin, quite long.
(2019) Viognier was planted here in 90s, and a percentage was fermented and aged in new, but neutral (low toast) French oak barrels. A little reduced at first, then good apricot and pear Viognier aromatics come through. Juicy and fresh, a blast of orange acidity streaks through the finish. A good expression of Viognier this.
(2019) Hedgehog is the name of this single vineyard, planted 25 year ago. The wine spends 12 months in French oak, 50% new. Lovely cherry and floral fresh character, made in rotating horizontal tanks for gentle extraction. Lightly smoky and nutty and earthy, lovely juicy acidity and freshness with spice and medium body. Almost sneaked a score of 92.
(2018) The full five years this blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay spends on the lees in bottle offsets and gives richness to the very low dosage of 3g/l, and along with 40% reserve wines results in a wine that is chalk dry, but not aggressive. There's a lovely lick of seashell salinity on the nose, joining fresh lemony fruit but with a developed breadiness beneath. In the mouth it is very keen and crips, the lively mousse carrying more salts and citrus, a dry apple core acidity and just little vestiges of nuttiness and biscuit in quite a complex character, finishing dry but not austere.
(2018) From Turkey, a popular red blend of two local varieties, Öküzgözü and Boğazkere, partly aged in oak and made with the help of a Californian consultant winemaker. Aromatically it is attractively red-fruited and spicy, reducrrants and a suggestion of pomegranate seed crunchiness. In the mouth it is dry, quite rustic, with strong tannins and a liquorice twist of sour, bittersweet acidity squeezing the red fruits into a dry finish, something akin to a northern Italian red perhaps. Watch the video for more information.
(2018) Aged only in stainless steel tanks, in contact with the lees, there's a bold, assertive creamy pear fruitiness on the nose here, with a little exotic undertow. In the mouth that succulent, ripe orchard fruit has weight and texture, a little guava or mango gives both sweetness and a welcome sour edge, the rounded, custardy, generous acidity adding to the succulence.
(2018) The 2015 vintage of this delightful rosé made my 'Wine of the Week', and this 2017 follows in the same vein of pale, lacework-light character from one of Turkey's best grape varieties. Delicate passion fruit and underripe white strawberries, a lovely finish that also balances between sweet and downy peach and raspberry, and its decisive core of acidity to give excellent freshness and tang. Delightful.