Monday, 21 May 2018

Icmeler Sea Star and Turkish Wine

We love Sentido Sea Star hotel in Icmeler, Turkey and it seems they love us too as we were again greeted like family not guests. It was lovely to see some familiar faces amongst the staff, especially Melis, Sercan, Sal and Mehmet.

Our previous three visits have been in October but as we missed going last year we decided to book early and see what Turkey is like in May - as beautiful as ever is the answer. You can read about our 2016 and previous holidays by following this link

This year we decided to try more of the Turkish wine but before my reviews here's a few highlights from our amazing stay at Sea Star.
My sofa for the week - I couldn't ask for a better view 
Turkish coffee with Turkish Delight - I loved this set so much we walked
a mile to a kitchen shop - there is now a set at Maison Hearnden
We took a taxis boat to Marmaris - bit of an adventure as it was a choppy day
Hubby enjoying our taxis ride
Turkish Night - delicious food including this superb kebab,
a huge joint of lamb, and of course baklava for dessert
Looking down from our balcony on a la carte night -
the reserved tables are top side of the pool 
Every mealtime is special when you dine here 
All Inclusive at its best - 24 hour and a
minibar in the room 
Pirate Party Ship cruising by 
A huge thank you to all the staff at Sea Star - we had an amazing holiday and will be returning soon.

So ..... Turkish wine ..........


As returning guests there was a bottle of Kulup and dishes of nuts/fruit in our room when we arrived - it's a lovely welcome. We have had this wine before and on previous years have found it more enjoyable when chilled.

Kulup Kirmizi Sek Sarap is a dry red wine made from Merlot and Alicante Bouchet grapes. At 12% it is light for a red and was a young wine being a 2016 vintage.

In the glass it was a light red with tawny edges, it looked very inviting in the Turkish sun.

Aroma wise we both picked up a sawdust smell, rough sawn wood in a saw mill was the image I had. There was a little fruit but nothing specific and a hint of organic/earthiness but not as strong as Cabernet Franc's aroma.

Lovely light tannins with plenty of plums in its flavour. A medium bodied wine with a lengthy finish holding a little spice. Our welcome wine was very much enjoyed - thank you.

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Our first supermarket Turkish wine was Buzbag Klasik 2016 - at today's exchange rate just over £5. A wine blend of Okuzgozu and Bogazkere grapes; the first giving the wine its acidity and the second its tannins.

Okuzogzu is pronounced 'Oh-cooz-goe-zue', its fruit resembles a dark round bulls eye, hence the name. It's high in acidity yet low in alcohol with a delicate softness.

Bogazkere means 'throat burner' - not an appealing name for a wine. This grape has high dense tannin, similar to Tannat, however the tannins do balance out with age giving it a complex dense flavour.

Combining these two grapes produced a superb dry red wine which we really liked. A deep red colour with a strong red currant aroma that had a background of spice.

Buzbag's flavour was full of dark fruits and I was expecting full tannins, surprisingly they were light and more to the front of my mouth. It was quite acidic causing our mouths to water but in a very moreish way. It was a little thin in depth which is understandable at only 12.5%.

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Thursday night at the hotel is Wine Tasting night - as you'll see from my previous Turkish post it isn't like a wine tasting we have over here, it's a single bottle of rose wine with aperitif glasses for serving.

Dolce Vita produced by Yazgan is a rose wine made from Syrah and Kalecik Karasi. Kalecik is a small village north of Ankara; Kalecik Karasi means 'black from small castle'.

This wine had a beautiful salmon colour with glistening highlights, it's aroma had a little minerality; we both thought of white pebbles. It had peachy highlights in both aroma and flavour, quite dry for a rose with a sharp finish.

As an aperitif this was a delicious wine, I'm not sure I would pair it with food although maybe cheese at the end of a meal.

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Our final two Turkish wines were Tellibag Carignan & Okuzgozu and Tellibag Sultaniye & Narince; both around £4.00, both around 12% and both with detailed pencil drawings of vines on their labels.

Carignan is one of our favourite grapes; I'm particularly like French Carignan whereas Hubby likes Carinena from Spain.

There was plenty of known wine grapes on the supermarket shelves; merlot, cabernet sauvignon to name two but we wanted to try different varieties. We chose this red as it was a grape we knew and Okuzgozu we had tried in the Buzbag.

A very different colour to the previous wines, deep crimson in the glass with scarlet edges, very inviting. I was quite surprised however with its nose, my initial thoughts were of an ashtray but not unpleasant. There was also dark chocolate and spice, both characteristics of Carignan.

A sour note hit our palates on initial tasting but this mellowed into dark damsons, cherries with that spice hoovering in the background. Very light tannins with a short finish, we both enjoyed this wine, Hubby more than me maybe.

Tellibag white wine was a blend of two more new grapes to us; Sultaniye and Narince. Pronounced 'sool-tah-nee-yah' Sultaniye in eaten all over Turkey as a fruit but often also used in wine making. It's a very easy eating/drinking grape making it very versatile.

Narince is a grape from central Turkey; its name means 'delicately'. It's grown at a higher altitude in a harsher climate, the terroir originally a river bed thousands of years ago. Narince is also an eating grape.

A beautiful pale pear colour with a floral and quince nose. On the palate there was a freshness of lemon, pear and apple with a subtle minerality. Quite a dry wine but not acidic, it had a slightly syrupy finish giving it  elements of Viognier/Chardonnay.

We had an amazing holiday in Turkey enjoying our hotel and discovering new wines - tesekkur ederim Sea Star

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