Sevilen, Turkey

Sevilen was founded in Izmir 1942, when Isa Güner bought four hectares and started to plant vineyards.  By 1958, they had expanded to 50 hectares and today the estate is in the hands of the third generation of the Güner family: Sabri, Rasim, Murat, Enis and Cem, who are assisted by two consultants from Bordeaux, Florent Dumeau and Xavier Choné.  They now have 160 hectares of vineyards split between the area around Izmir, on the Aegean sea, with a warm Mediterranean climate, and vineyards on the central Anatolian plateau, which has a cooler continental climate.  Murat Güner, who took me through the Sevilen wines, explained that the conditions in Izmir, where the vineyards are at an altitude of 150 metres, are closer to say Bari or Athens, while on the Anatolian plateau, the vineyards are at a height of 900 metres, and the climate is closer to the Rhône Valley, though with less rainfall.



2005 Majestik Sauvignon Blanc-Sultaniye, Anatolia, Sevilen
This is a blend of 50% sauvignon blanc and 60% sultaniye.  It has a fresh, very subtle sauvignon blanc nose.  I can’t detect any influence of the sultaniye grape, adding anything to the sauvignon.  This is nothing more than a simple, watery sauvignon blanc.  OK.  79/100

2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
A thin nose.  Tolerable, very straightforward palate.  OK.  77/100

2005 Majestik Grenache-Kalecik Karasi, Anatolia, Sevilen
This rosé is a blend of 30% grenache and 70% of the indigenous variety kalecik karasi. It has a very good nose with sweet red fruits.  Good palate with a nice character.  Fresh, round and open.  Good, clean and full.  Very Good+.  88/100

2005 R, Sevilen
This is a rosé made from 40% syrah and 60% cabernet sauvignon.  It has a dull, slightly floral nose.  It’s much slighter and simpler than the Majestik rosé.  It’s pleasant, but a bit dull.  80/100

2005 Majestik Syrah-Kalecik Karasi, Anatolia, Sevilen
A blend of 65% syrah and 35% kalecik karasi, this has lots of ripe black fruit on the nose.  Unfortunately the palate feels a bit out of balance.  There’s some ripe fruit, and some bitter notes – overall it feels very, very young.  It’s something different, but perhaps not worthwhile seeking out.  81/100

2005 Kalecik Karasi, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
This has an interesting nose, with raspberry and cherry fruit, with some kernels adding a certain bitterness.  Ripe and full on the palate, this has a very interesting fruit profile with some sour cherry flavours.  It feels to me a bit like a blend of pinot noir and nebbiolo.  Very Good.  88/100

2005 Bogazkere, Anatolia, Sevilen
There’s sweet raspberry fruit on the nose.  Very attractive, juicy palate with soft tannins on the finish.  It feels a bit like a gamay, but with the weight of syrah.  Very Good Indeed.  89/100

2005 Syrah, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
Very young syrah nose that’s a touch muddy.  Very ripe fruit on the palate.  Nice and clean.  A very pleasant wine.  Very Good.  87/100

2005 Merlot, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
The nose is very fruity, with very ripe blackberry fruit.  It’s ripe and very soft on the palate.  This is a nice ripe merlot with significant tannins on the finish.  Very Good.  87/100

2005 Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
55% cabernet sauvignon and 45% merlot.  A bit jammy on the nose, with some indistinct black fruit.  Nice, rich palate with some hefty tannins very evident.  This is not bad at all, but possibly lacks character and a sense of place.  Good.  84/100

2004 Misket Turkuaz Demi-Sek, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen
100% muscat.  This has a fairly pleasant nose, which is a touch confected and a touch sugary.  Rather thin palate, but it’s reasonably fresh and more delicate than I was expecting.  Good/Very Good.  85/100


I tasted a small number of Sevilen's wines again in May 2007: unfortunately time was pressing, so I couldn't taste the full range.

2006 Sevilen R Roze, 13%
40% syrah; 60% cabernet sauvignon.  A nice fresh, gently strawberry nose.  Clean, fresh palate.  Quite light and lacking in fruit until some strawberry fruit appears on the finish and after.  Very Good. 86/100

2005 Premium Chardonnay Barrel Fermented, Sevilen, 13.5%
Quite a restrained buttery chardonnay nose.  Rich, full, buttery palate.  Very clean and long.  Very Good Indeed.  90/100

2005 Centum Syrah, Sevilen, 13.5%
Deep black fruits on the nose.  Smooth, rich palate with some relatively fine tannins coming through on the finish.  Very Good.  87/100

2005 Kalecik Karasi, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen, 13.5%
An interesting nose with perfumed blackberries, blueberries and bilberries.  Lovely palate: round, full and open with very interesting flavours.  Very Good.  87/100

2005 Bogazkere and Okuzgozu, Ege Bolgesi, Sevilen, 13%
A deep plummy nose.  Much lighter on the palate than the nose would suggest.  Quite elegant, but it finishes with a real chocolate feel and more tannins.  Very Good.  87/100


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Last updated: 17 July 2007