Suvla Winery Merlot 2012
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
An eastern Mediterranean country forming a bridge between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Turkey has the fifth largest vineyard area in the world but only 3% is made into wine. Most grapes are eaten fresh, dried or made into the popular anise-flavored spirit, Raki, also responsible for only another 3% of production.
Increase in quality over the last 20 years and focus on indigenous varieties has been limited by Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government.
Turkey’s white variety, Narince, thrives in the cool central Black Sea province of Tokat at 1,300 feet elevation. At the Aegean Sea, the local Sultana, Turkey’s most widely planted grape, is used for drying but recently is producing some highly aromatic wines. Bornova Misketi, related to Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, is also abundant. Red varieties, Foça Karası and Urla Karası are indigenous and many international varieties are used in production here as well.
With generous fruit and supple tannins, Merlot is made in a range of styles from everyday-drinking to world-renowned and age-worthy. Merlot is the dominant variety in the wines from Bordeaux’s Right Bank regions of St. Emilion and Pomerol, where it is often blended with Cabernet Franc to spectacular result. Merlot also frequently shines on its own, particularly in California’s Napa Valley. Somm Secret—As much as Miles derided the variety in the 2004 film, Sideways, his prized 1961 Château Cheval Blanc is actually a blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.