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Winner Details

 

Turkey


2015: Gold 7 Silver 8 Bronze 11 Commended 13
2014: Gold 1 Silver 4 Bronze 3 Commended 9


Anyone coming to the Sommelier Wine Awards for the first time might do a double take at this performance from Turkey. But in fact, since the country burst on to this competition’s landscape a couple of years ago it’s rapidly cemented a place for itself as a force to be reckoned with.

Even so, this year’s performance represents astonishing progress: from eight medals last year to 26 in 2015 – seven of them Gold – putting the country ahead of the likes of Germany and Austria.

Sure, there’s a bit of everything here, from lighter and more modern to heavier and more rustic, from international grapes to unpronounceable Turkish varieties. But should this country be on your radar? Unequivocally yes.


Star Performer

Congratulations to both Diren and Pamukkale for their impressive performances, picking up two Golds and a Trophy a piece  


From the Tasting Teams


‘Because people don’t know these wines it is important to have a real point of difference with anything that you list. The quality must be there, but the experience has to stand out. It needs to be doing something that nothing else will do.’ Deborah-Lynn Morris, consultant sommelier

‘These will be hand-sells, but as alternative styles, for guests that are willing to try something new, there are some amazing wines that people will really enjoy if they try them. Definitely by the glass!’ Gareth Ferreira, Launceston Place

‘I was very surprised – I was expecting big, rustic reds – but they were quite well made, structured, definitely for food. Overall, I am very impressed.’ William Sheard, Donostia Restaurants

‘These are definitely food wines. You really need a piece of meat; you need protein. It would be interesting to taste them when they’re five or six years old.’ Diego Muntoni, Oxo Tower Restaurant

‘Native grapes in tandem with an international variety can bring people into the idea of Turkish wine. However, if you can hand-sell, then it’s worth looking at Turkish indigenous varieties as the quality has improved immeasurably.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘The best of these I would look at putting on by the glass. People still need introducing to the idea of Turkey, but it really offers something different and interesting.’ Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet, Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Sp

Award winners

Found 39 wines

Turkey

Sevilen, 900 Fumé Blanc 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Flowers, spices and freshness took Sevilen to the top. 'White floral nose with waxy, vanilla spice, sweet pea, tropical pineapple and melon fruit,' said Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place. 'Team leader Martin Lam said it had 'juicy, oaky and clean fruit flavours with vanilla' on the palate, while Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa noted: 'Herbaceous, pear drop, seductive, balanced palate, with thyme and good acidity.' Match with Mediterranean seafood or mackerel tartare.

£16.00 Try Wines

Gidatay, Prodom, Syrah/Cabernet Franc/Petit Vedot 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Great balance, well-judged tannins and good complexity gave Gidatay Gold for this interesting blend. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW said: ‘Juicy black fruit, very attractive, spicy and well made.’ ‘Tar, tobacco, slightly sour fruit but good structure,’ added William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants. Match with Italian garlic dishes, venison, or game.

£17.25 Taste Turkey

Diren, Collection, Narince 2012, Northern Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Turkey's zesty native white varietal gives Diren the country's first Gold with this fresh, elegant wine. 'Ripe, juicy and clean,' said team leader Simon Woods, adding: 'Has a crisp, delicate aroma but is full bodied.' 'Grassy colour, fruity and very easy on the palate,' said consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris, while Gareth Ferriera of Launceston Place said: 'Flowers and pineapple on the nose, with good acids on the palate.'

£5.05 Taste Turkey

Diren, Collection, Kalecik Karasi 2013, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Exceptional value for money plus much versatility in terms of both structure and flavours made this the Critics' Choice with the lowest price tag. Team leader Martin Lam highlighted its 'caramel/toffee nose' and 'plump, juicy character and dry tannins', while fellow team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW noted the floral aromatics and the rich, full-textured, ripe palate. Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn said: 'Savoury, chunky and fruity.' Match with calves' liver or lamb kebab.

£5.05 Taste Turkey

Collection Kalecik Karası 2013, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner By the glass

More fantastic value from Pamukkale gave this not just Gold but a By The Glass trophy. 'This has a lovely soft tannin structure, and is packed with red berry fruit,' said a happy Annette Scarfe MW, team leader. While noting that the nose was a little 'restrained', Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa highlighted this wine's 'long finish, good fruit and spice'. Match with confit of duck.

£5.00 Anatolian Foods

Pamukkale, Sava, Premium Red 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Incredible value for money and great drinkability gave Pamukkale it's first Gold. William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants said: ‘Bright red fruit with darker notes of tar, liquorice, coffee and tobacco,’ also noting its ‘good balance of acidity and tannin’, while consultant sommelier Courtney Stebbings said: 'Pretty floral nose with black, juicy fruit. Great pub wine.' Classic with roast pork belly, advised team leader Annette Scarfe MW.

£5.00 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Alçitepe, Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, Thrace, Turkey

Gold medal winner

With complexity and sophistication more than a match for the price, this scored Gold for Doluca, becoming the most expensive Turkish Gold to date. 'A huge challenge to sell, but worth the effort. Much like a good claret,' said Hakkasan Group's Christine Parkinson. ‘Firm tannins but a lot of ripe, fleshy dark fruit. Spice scented, with good depth and length,’ said team leader Natasha Hughes MW. 'Smoky floral aromatics, with spice and peaches. This is precise and long, with great purity,' said Andrea Fasan of La Petite Maison.

£24.13 Doluca

Nif, Syrah 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

While consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris found 'soft tannins, balance, colour and minerality with well-balanced wood and finish', team leader Simon Woods found this wine to be 'ripe, gentle with plenty of perfume'.

£15.12 Nif Bağları

Nif, Chardonnay/Solaris 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Ripe and juicy with peach and lemon aromas,' said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group. 'Dry, well-fruited and grassy,' agreed consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris, with team leader Laura Rhys MS noting: 'Wet stone, touch of floral notes; complex with lovely acidity.'

£14.53 Nif Bağları

Büyülübağ, Reserve, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Egeo, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘Soft and balanced with grippy, pleasant tannins,’ said Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar, continuing: ‘Very well made, with Bordeaux in mind. Goes well with steak.’ William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants added: ‘Complex, structured and youthful.’

£12.72 Turkish Fine Wines

Pamukkale, Nodus, Narince 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Caramelised oak, soft on the palate with distinctive fruit elements,' commented consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris. 'Ripe, juicy and slightly oxidised,' said team leader Simon Woods, adding: 'Good style, all about the minerality.' Match with roast chicken in a Mediterrean herb crust, or sashimi.

£16.00 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Karma, Cabernet Sauvignon/Öküzgözü 2008, Thrace/Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Ripe, plump, good honest grippy fruit, long and earthy,' said team leader Simon Woods. 'Traditional style, with an oaky nose,' added Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Golf & Spa, while Matthieu Longuere MS of Le Cordon Bleu said: 'Mix of modern oak ageing and dried fruit, with firm tannins and refreshing acidity.'

£9.27 Doluca

Doluca, Karma, Chardonnay/Narince 2013, Aegean/Central Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Fresh, clean and developed, with decent fruit notes,' said James Hocking of The Vineyard Group, while Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place noted pineapple and melon, with floral aromatics. 'Fleshy and big on the palate. Interesting and innovative,' added consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris.

£9.27 Doluca

Doluca, Alçitepe, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2011, Thrace, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘Very elegant,’ noted Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar, while team leader Annette Scarfe MW continued: ‘Well made with lots of fruit. Well integrated and balanced.’ 'I understand the price tag – this is very sophisticated. Great,' said consultant sommelier Courtney Stebbings.

£24.13 Doluca

Kayra, Kalecik Karasi 2013, Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

Team leader Annette Scarfe MW found this ‘well made, clean and fresh’, with 'rich, sweet, ripe, jammy confected fruit’. William Sheard of Donostia Restaurants concurred, saying: ‘Blackcurrant, candied fruit, approachable and easy.’

£5.95 Tees

Gidatay, Barudi, Sauvignon Blanc/Muscat/Chardonnay 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Roger Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn summed up this intriguing blend with: 'Sharp, clean acidity, with precise, soft, perfumed notes of Turkish delight and violets. Luscious, then clean, refreshing flavours. Quite full on the palate, nicely balanced and an integrated touch of oak.'

£6.55 Taste Turkey

Nif, Merlot 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Nicely made wine,' declared consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris, adding: 'Good colour, legs and mouthfeel. Not overly tannic, with good fruit.' Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa noted its 'long finish and complexity'.

£15.12 Nif Bağları

Arcadia, A Cabernet Franc 2011, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

The judges all liked this wine's spicy style, with consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris adding: 'Well-balanced, complex wine with wood well integrated.' 'Big, chewy, nice honest style,' said team leader Simon Woods.

£14.00 Turkish Fine Wines

Arcadia, A Blend 2012, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Ripe and plump, with juicy fruit character. Good honest wine with grip,' commented satisfied team leader Simon Woods, concluding: 'Really tasty.'

£20.40 Arcadia Wines and Vineyards

Sevilen, Narince 2013, Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh and crisp, with citrus, papaya, green apple and mineral notes on the nose. The palate is textured, with good acidity,' said team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£8.75 Try Wines

Urla, Nexus 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Frédéric Jean-Yves Billet of Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa was impressed with this wine's overall appeal: 'Concentrated nose, good balance, this is spicy and peppery with good oak. Elegant with good level of complexity.' Several recommended that this be decanted.

£15.05 Armit

Büyülübağ, Sultaniye 2013, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

With team leader Simon Woods highlighting a 'perfumed, almost Retsina-like' quality in this wine, consultant sommelier Deborah-Lynn Morris compared it more to a Chenin, concluding: 'Soft and easy to drink, with well-balanced acidity.'

£7.92 Turkish Fine Wines

Doluca, Tuğra, Öküzgözü 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Modern winemaking: clean and fresh with vibrant fruit and well-integrated oak,’ said team leader Annette Scarfe MW, with Sandro Lyhs of Oxo Tower Bar adding: ‘Restrained, delicate and pleasant, with good tannins.’

£8.57 Doluca

Doluca, Tuğra, Boğazkere 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Gareth Ferreira of Launceston Place felt this could have good ageing potential, saying: ‘Black fruit profile with herbal, eucalyptus and sweet spice notes, firm structure.’ ‘Smoky sour cherry, herbal and tarry,’ added team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£8.57 Doluca

Pamukkale, Sava Red 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Violet in colour, with red cherry and plums, and leafy peppery notes. Juicy and succulent, well balanced and uncomplicated,’ said Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant. ‘Crunchy, bright and well made, a good house wine,’ agreed team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£5.00 Anatolian Foods

Kayra, Versus, Syrah/Viognier 2012, Şarköy, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Smoky and tarry with spice; a little baked but cut by brisk acidity with firm tannins and charry oak,’ noted team leader Natasha Hughes MW. ‘Full, ripe plum and dark cherry,’ added Diego Muntoni of Oxo Tower Restaurant.

£13.75 Tees

Sevilen, Plato, Kalecik Karasi 2012, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£11.00 Try Wines

Sevilen, Centum, Cabernet Franc 2012, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Urla, Tempus 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£20.05 Armit

Nif, Sangiovese 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.12 Nif Bağları

Nif, Bornova, Muscat 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.53 Nif Bağları

Pamukkale, Nodus, Shiraz 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.00 Anatolian Foods

Pamukkale, Anfora, Reserve Shiraz 2011, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£12.00 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Sarafin, Chardonnay 2013, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.98 Tees

Doluca, Karma, Cabernet Sauvignon/Öküzgözü 2012, Thrace/Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.27 Doluca

Doluca, Signium 2012, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£19.57 Doluca

Sevilen, Plato, Syrah/Öküzgözü 2012, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Pamukkale, Anfora, Öküzgözü 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kayra, Öküzgözü 2012, Elazığ, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Tees

 

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