Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gali 2011 Evreshe, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

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Gali wines are named after the stunningly beautiful Gallipoli peninsula. The Gali estate vineyard was  founded by Hakan and Nilgun Kavur.

Turkish Wine Offers Bordeaux Blend

Wines from Turkey are making a splash in the US market. Part of the appeal is their exotic native varieties. The Gali winery takes a different approach, using grapes familiar the world around.

We recently sampled the 2011 Gali Evreshe, a Bordeaux style blend. It is a Merlot driven blend with the remainder being Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.

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Big and Bold Flavor Profile

20151027_192304After our first experience with Turkish wines, I decided we needed to fully decant the Gali before sampling. So, for more than an hour we let the wine open up in our special decanter. Confident that the wine was now ready, we began sipping away.

Wham! I felt like a crash test dummy as my car crumpled into a brick wall. This wine is so firm and dense that three hours or more would seem like a good decanting time.

The Roar of the Lion

The Gali winery is not far from Lysimachia, an ancient city built by Lysimachus, successor to Alexander the Great. King Lysimachus wanted to honor his brave friend Alexander the Great (who hunted lions with bare hands), so he minted coins with Alexander’s face on one side. This was the first coin in history with a human face impressed on it, Gali commemorates that by printing the lion coin symbol on their bottle labels.

More than 90 minutes after the wine started decanting, we were still experiencing the roar of the lion – but soon the wine opened up. It offers intense flavors of black fruit. The tannins are very firm, brought about by 12 months of aging in French and Hungarian oak. The wine ripples with power and is best suited for those who like robust wines.

For about $25 this bold blend from Turkey offers a unique experience. Although Turkey’s winemaking history dates back to 9,000 BC, it is just emerging on the national stage. This is a delicious way to get ahead of the curve.

Full disclosure: We received this wine as a marketing sample.

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