(Editor’s Note: We’ve recently been lucky enough to make the acquaintance of Serdar Kombe, one of Turkey’s leading oenophiles. These are exciting times for Turkish wine and Serdar has generously agreed to review wines for us. For today’s “wine chat,” Serdar chose to talk about the 2007 Pamukkale Anfora Shiraz.)
1. We’ve always associated Shiraz with Australian reds, but here we have a Turkish version of the wine. Is Turkey a good home for Shiraz?
In my opinion our Shiraz wines can be described as being somewhere near Australian and other new-world Shiraz. They are definitely not close to French ones. Shiraz vines are grown mainly in the western part of Turkey and our Shiraz wines are a reflection of that terrior. They are not as rich those from Australia, where wine-making skills and vinificaton are more advanced. If you consider how wine-growing culture is developing in Turkey, then the country can be considered a good home for Shiraz, although maybe it isn’t the best place for the wine (yet).
2. If that’s the case, what caught your attention about this particular Shiraz?
Its performance is as good as Shiraz wines that cost twice as much. Value for money!! Aromas, flavors, a taste that lingers on the palate – everything is there. I can drink this wine with food or by itself, morning, afternoon, weekday, weekend – anytime, really. It’s like the wild card of wines.
3. We’ve recently noticed on the shelves more wines by Pamukkale. What can you tell us about this winery?
It is a quite old winery (in Turkish terms, at least), which was established in the 1960s. Until the 1990s they used to mostly make unremarkable bulk wines. After buying land in the Aegean’s Denizli-Güney region, they have changed their strategy, which was influenced by the wider developments taking place in Turkish wine culture. Now all their wines are drinkable and of good value.
4. What kind of food would you pair this wine with?
This is a wine that goes well with Turkish food. I would suggest tomato-based dishes such kuru fasulye, nohut, fish buğlama and tomato-based mezes. It would also go well with seafood pastas in tomato sauce. I would not recommend eating spicy dishes with this lovely, smooth Shiraz. The same goes for citrusy dishes, which would break the harmony of wine and food.
5. Tasting notes?
It is clear and it has a ruby color. Nose: hint of green spices, clove, pepper, currant and forest berries. Very fine and round toasty aromas, with chocolate and cacao aromas coming from very deep. Palate: Dried fruits of plum, raisin, cherry. Ripe red fruits that explode in your mouth, along with a taste of fresh herbs. Lovely, smooth finish which is not quite long.