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Yikes! How did the time get away from me. My fearless tasters and I have tasted a multitude of wines over the past few month and I need to get you caught up. WINEormous wine tasting Going back to December, we met at Jake and Maureen’s home. I was particularly looking forward to this evening because there were three wines from Turkey in the lineup.

We began with the 2013 Turusan Emir. Ken commented on the light pear and mild citrus on the nose and found it reminiscent of a Pinot Grigio. Pat liked the light nose and clean finish. Chris got apples and citrus on the nose and liked the lively acidity and lingering finish. Brian thought it was a fantastic value at $14 and called it beautifully dry. It averaged close to three and a half out of four stars.

Next up was the 2010 Gran Reserva Carmenère from Carmen Winery in Chile. Tony said “What a steal at 16 bucks! Case please!!!” I loved its deep color and amazing nose combined with nice mouthfeel and a long finish. Brian said it was marvelous, “an adult wine. I’ve got to say I’ve paid twice, thrice for less.” Chris commented on the hints of coffee, vanilla and tobacco and its long, pleasant finish. This wine hit a home run with the group scoring well over four stars.

We tasted our second Turkish wine, the 2011 Diren Karmena Red Blend. Pat said the flavor was great, the color was beautiful and he enjoyed the finish. Chris liked the nose of exotic spices, cranberry and mulberry, wet earth and stony minerality. Brian called it “interesting and unusual. “Frankly never had anything like it.” Expect to pay around $13. It scored just under four stars.

The last wine we tasted from Turkey was the 2012 Diren Ökügözü, an indigenous varietal. Light in color almost liker a Pinot Noir, I found Old World characteristics and strawberry and cherry notes. Brian thought it was incredibly impressive at the $15 price. Chris gave it four stars and enjoyed the floral nose of raspberry and wet earth and said the “fruit exploded from the glass.” It scored an average of right around four stars.

We tasted the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon from Vina Robles in Paso Robles. Tony said “Oh my! That’s a good one. My fav of the night” and gave it a perfect five-star score. Brian called it an excellent Cab with dark fruit, earth and spice. Pat loved both the mouth feel and its finish. It scored well over four stars and it retails for $24.

We ended the tasting with a Cabernet Franc from Temecula, the 2011 TCR Cellars “Grand Prix.” Chris gave it three stars and commented on the ruby color with a hint of garnet. He got pine, orange peel and spice on the nose. Brian said “really not bad at all. Smooth and not too obvious.” Tony called it very nice. It averaged just about four stars and it sells for $36. Cheers! Until we meet again.

Tom Plant launched WINEormous in 2009 and is a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association. Based in Temecula, California, he offers intimate winery tours for no more than seven people. Tour details and pricing are available at www.temecula-tours.com. Call now to book your Temecula Winery Tour at (951) 907-9701! Ask about special discounts.

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