If I had to name one favorite Turkish wine, Urla Nero d'Avola-Urla Karasi of Urla Şarapçılık (Winery) would be my premier choix. It was a memorable wine that strike me unexpectedly the first time I drank it.
The brain and soul of such splendid Turkish Grand Vin is Can Ortabaş. The palm tree mogul turned passionate winegrower-scientist-owner who started Urla Winery from scratch discovered the vineyard in 2006 and recuperated one of Turkey’s long lost grapes Urla Karasi – along with Usakhelouri and Uva Della Cascina - on the karaburun Peninsula after six years of intensive research on its origin and history.
I had the pleasure of meeting with Can in Hong Kong the other day. He explained to me that he specifically used Sicilian grape Nero d’Avola to blend with Urla Karasi because their names have something in common: Nero d’Avola means Black of Avola (town of Sicily) and Urla Karasi is known as Noir d'Urla / Black of Urla. He also told me no other wineries in Turkey and the world uses Urla Karasi. It’s only exclusive at Urla Winery and registered under Can’s name in the Wine Grapes book (by Jancis Robinson, Julia Harding and Jose Vouillamoz).
I can't say I like Italian varieties but strangely the Nero d'Avola grown in Urla tastes far better than the Sicilian version, which is grown on humid and volcanic soil and normally makes table wine.
The result of the magic mix of these two blacks was stunning! The solid, coherent 2015 vintage of Urla Nero d'Avola - Urla Karasi is medium+ bodied. It invites you in with ripe, sweet spice, mild oak and concentrated with a harmonious density of well-extracted tannins and hefty fruit, with a fresh, fabulously flourishing finish. It's beguilingly silky, elegant and delicious!
Vintage 2014: A Platinum winner at the 2016 Decanter World Wine Awards, this is a super red that is well worth the premium price. It is comprised mainly of the Sicilian Nero d’Avola with 10% of the Urla Karasi. Powerful, dense, pure and herbal. The sweet red fruit combines so well with the grippy tannins. (Alc 15%) Tasted by: Tina Gellie
Urla Winery (© Chaîne des Rôtisseurs)
Situated on the fertile peninsula in western Turkey Urla Winery is a viticultural paradise and biodynamically farmed vineyard blessed with warm Mediterranean climate and complex terroir that provides distinctive and concentrated flavors to the grapes. It has the perfect conjunction of limestone, clay soil, geology and climate for growing Nero d'Avola and other international grapes.
Other ON THE RADAR wineries in Izmir: Nif Bağları and Lucien Arkas, which will also be presented and paired with Greek food at the dinner. The good news is that we will be serving this beautiful wine at our upcoming Mediterranean wine dinner at Santorini on April 3, 2019. For more wine details please visit EVERCOHOL EVENT page or BOOK YOUR TICKETS here.