Very pleasant, sensual nose of plums and prunes. Palate has a fair bit of extract, with some tannins left, and the whole is supported by very present, refreshing acidity. Lots of character and a fun wine. 13.5% alc. but tastes very fresh indeed. Developing a roasted coffee bean or espresso character with time in the glass. Although designed to be drunk young, this has aged well, courtesy of the slightly wild acidity.
Wine from Turkey? Not something you drink everyday. Yet Turkey is among the largest producers of grapes in the world. Of course more than 90% is table grapes, or used for raisins, but it will come a surprise to the average unsuspecting Westerner that Turkey had an old wine culture and a fast developing wine industry. There are several big commercial wineries including Kavaklidere, Pamukkale, Sevilen and Doluca, as well as several dozen smaller private estates that have blossomed in the last decade or so.
Wines from Turkey are hard to get outside the country (none are available here in Poland) but whenever I have the occasion to taste them, I’m impressed. Both by the professionalism of the wine people and the unique, intriguing flavours. Turkey actually has some great terroirs – the country is mostly mountainous with many vineyards at 1000m asl or more – and another great asset is a host of indigenous grape varieties that are the result of several centuries of natural genetic selection. Kalecik Karası is one of them (my Turkish sources liken this to Gamay, although I think it’s more structured and peppery), while Öküzgözü and Boğazkere are two major grape varieties that alone or in a blend, can yield very exciting results indeed.
As most readers will know, Turkey is a huge country with a blooming economy and although the home market (and tourists) will remain the wineries’ main target, there are some consolidated efforts to increase exports. A number of UK wine writers have been invited to Turkey (see here and here), a presentation tasting organised and the word has slowly started to spread. With a happy mixture of local character, effect of scale, and entrepreneurship, Turkey could well be the most exciting Mediterranean wine newcomer (with Croatia) of the next decade. I’m keen to discover more.
Source of wine: tasting sample received from the producer upon a visit at their stand at Prowein fair.