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Winner Details

Turkey - Red

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 15 Bronze: 11 Commended: 19
2015 Gold: 5 Silver: 5 Bronze: 8 Commended: 11

It’s one of the oddities of the Sommelier Wine Awards that such a niched country as Turkey has established itself as one of the strongest parts of the competition. Moreover, it’s done so in a short space of time. From its first appearance in 2013, the wines have gone from strength to strength, winning dozens of medals and admirers along the way.

And this isn’t just a handful of good producers winning Golds every year – every year sees different names and different wines rising to the top, and while the number of red Golds is slightly down on 2015, the overall number of awarded wines (48) is twice as many as last year. This is a colossally successful category.

So, what’s good about it? Well, it’s different, there’s plenty of fruit (enough to counter occasional over-exuberance with extraction and oak) and the pricing is highly competitive. There were a lot of good entries sub-£12, and several that would probably have picked up Gold in the House Wine section, had they been entered there.

Yes, tasters all agreed that the way to sell these is probably By The Glass, to encourage trial. But the potential is enormous.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I really didn’t know what to expect but they showed really, really well. A lot were over-extracted, and there was some overuse of oak, but the focus of the fruit really made up for that.’ Andrés Ituarte, Avenue Restaurant

‘At the entry level they give great value for money and generous rusticity. Where else would you find all this character for such a price?’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘It would be interesting for me to put one on By The Glass – a way to introduce Turkish wines to people, and build it from there.’ Victor Amaro, Hotel du Vin Tunbridge Wells

‘Though the good ones were good, they weren’t necessarily cheap.’ Ian Howard, The White Hart Inn at Lydgate

‘There’s something for everyone – different styles, different textures. There’s big potential, and I think there’s a market for it.’ Andrea Briccarello, team leader

‘It was the most exciting tasting of the awards. We didn’t expect so much variety.’ Dominique Raclin, consultant sommelier

‘The wines were exciting, showing complexity. They had an Old World style and they were not overworked – they showed freshness, which we didn’t expect.’ Olivier Marie, team leader





Award winners

Found 48 wines

Turkey: Red

Büyülübağ, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Thrace , Turkey

Gold medal winner

Depth at a good price gave Büyülübağ Gold. 'Fleshy and appealing, with smoke and tarry red fruits, bright acids and chewy tannins,' said team leader Natasha Hughes MW, while Nausicaa Rotoloni of Roka Mayfair found a 'nice blend of fruit and earthy characters, showing ripe black fruit on the palate with hints of liquorice spice and leather, balanced by good acidity'.

£9.92 Turkish Fine Wines

Doluca, Kizilcaterzi, Merlot, 2013, Thrace , Turkey

Gold medal winner

Complexity allied with beautiful fruit and oak gave Doluca its red Gold. 'Very expressive palate showing sour spices and gamey notes,' began Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental, while Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants noted 'red cabbage, a touch of reduction but in a good way, as it's very elegant on the palate, with cherry and plum fruit and some leafy notes'.

£25.85 Please contact winery for further information

Sevilen, Plato, Kalecik Karasi, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Gold medal winner

Sevilen return to the Gold podium with this floral, juicy number. 'There's pretty red fruit and good balance,' said Hakkasan London's Rebecca Coates, suggesting it should be served chilled. 'Delicate plum, sweet spices with fresh aromas, dry on the palate with more plum and spice, green leaf tobacco notes,' said Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club.

£15.67 Try Wines

Doluca, Tuğra, Boğazkere, 2013, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Combination of red and dark fruit with ripe cherry notes dominant,' began FJB Collection's Charles Van Wyk, adding: 'The wine is driven by the attractive primary fruit and is also structured, with fine, well-integrated tannins.'

£8.36 Tees , Taste Turkey

Pamukkale, Sava, Premium Red, 2014, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental found 'bright fruit, clean and soft on a bold palate, a little dilution but sour, gamey character', while Andre Luis Martins of The Cavalry and Guards Club noted its 'plum, sweet spice, delicate florals and green notes in the tannin'.

£4.55 Taste Turkey , Anatolian Foods

Mey Içki, Kayra, Kalecik Karasi, 2014, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Vibrant red cherry and raspberry aromas, followed by a zingy palate with high, racy acidity, but it's juicy and fun,' said Charles Van Wyk of FJB Collection, with Nausicaa Rotoloni of Roka Mayfair adding: 'Easy-drinking, very perfumed on the palate.'

£5.95 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Arcadia, A, Cabernet Franc, 2012, Thrace , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Savoury on the nose, with dark plum, clove spice and an earthy, rustic feel, though dry and fairly tannic on the palate,' said John Giffrin of China Tang at The Dorchester. 'Unusual nose with blackcurrant fruit, lightish on the palate with sweet, floral touches,' added Vinoteca's Charlie Young.

£8.91 Taste Turkey

Doluca, Alçitepe, Kirte, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2012, Thrace , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Wonderful balanced aromas, combining fruit, spice and floral notes on the palate with a good attack, not too powerful, with wood and fruit on the finish,' said consultant sommelier Dominique Raclin.

£25.85 Please contact winery for further information

Urla, Tempus, 2014, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'A dark and savoury nose leads on to a full, tannic palate with good acidity and some elegance. A well-judged, full-bodied red,' said Vinoteca's Charlie Young, while Alexandru Pastrav of Fenchurch Sky Garden highlighted its 'sweet, jammy, oak and cinnamon, balanced' character.

£20.05 Armit

Pamukkale, Anfora, Trio Red, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Meaty, smoky aromas, full of bright juice in the mouth,' began team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW, continuing: 'Smoky under notes, if a little green on the palate, but great with food. Rustic fun, and value for money.'

£5.48 Taste Turkey , Anatolian Foods

Sevilen, 900, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

Team leader Jade Koch's first impressions were 'inky, dark and brooding', and Alexandru Pastrav of Fenchurch Sky Garden also found 'intense concentration, with mulberry and cassis fruit on the nose', going on: 'Black pepper, liquorice and blackcurrant on the palate followed by a long finish. Good with game or a beef roast.'

£14.50 Please contact winery for further information

Suvla, Sur, 2012, Gallipoli Peninsula , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Good, complex aromas of black fruits, both on the nose and palate, with a long finish. Great value,' said Nausicaa Rotoloni of Roka Mayfair, while team leader Andrea Briccarello noted: 'Pomegranate and ripe plums, good use of oak, with leather and spice on the finish.'

£12.15 Please contact winery for further information

B-Bak Gıda Tarım, Vinkara, Reserve, Boğazkere, 2011, Kalecik, Ankara , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Very elegant, well-balanced and good-value wine with cherry and chocolate characters,' said Piotr Tomaszewski of JKS Restaurants, with team leader Olivier Marie adding: 'Rich, sweet, ripe fruit with a touch of oxidation, bright complexity and savoury tannins with tea leaf and tonka bean notes. Firm and rustic, needs decanting.'

£12.12 Taste Turkey

Suvla, Reserve, Karasakiz, 2013, Gallipoli Peninsula , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Elegant and juicy, almost Pinot-like in its structure,' began team leader Andrea Briccarello, with 67 Pall Mall's Enikő Heidenwolf agreeing: 'Truly unique wine. Nice pale orange-brick colour, a bit stinky but in a good way, fruity and elegant, as a good alternative to Pinot Noir.'

£14.50 Please contact winery for further information

B-Bak Gıda Tarım, Vinkara, Reserve, Kalecik Karasi, 2012, Kalecik, Ankara , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Pert mulberry fruit with vanilla on the nose, juicy, bloody and thick on the palate with spicy and bitter notes,' said team leader Jade Koch. 'Smoky and dark, moreish and spicy,' added consultant Luciana Girotto-Beckett.

£10.12 Taste Turkey

Suvla, Reserve, Syrah, 2011, Gallipoli Peninsula , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Leafy cassis with medicinal notes on the nose, a bit meaty and spiced, with ripe fruit, liquorice and plum on the palate. Massive acidity, big tannins,' said Ignacio Campos of Hawksmoor Seven Dials. 'Juice on steroids, with an orange peel tang, full-flavoured and ripe,' agreed team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£14.50 Please contact winery for further information

Kavaklidere, Prestige, Kalecik Karasi, 2011, Central Anatolia/Ankara , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Full-bodied, rich and ripe, with delicious red fruit and Christmas spices, vanilla and cedar wood notes. Balanced and long,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant. 'Good with spicy food,' recommended consultant sommelier Dominique Raclin.

£15.67 Please contact winery for further information

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Blend, 2012, Aegean , Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Bright, juicy, cherry fruit style, fresh with nice balance,' said team leader Laura Rhys MS, with Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don adding: 'Green and spicy with bready notes, leather and oak, black fruit on the palate and plenty of tannin.'

£11.57 Please contact winery for further information

Pamukkale, Sava, Classic Red, 2015, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Sweet spices, easy-drinking-style red,' began Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen, with Carlos Ferreira of The Sign of the Don highlighting its 'light body, good balance and decent finish'.

£4.35 Taste Turkey , Anatolian Foods

Pamukkale, Anfora, Oküzgözü, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Good fruit concentration, ripe with lots of spice on the palate, a little hot but medium tannins,' said Andrés Ituarte of Avenue Restaurant. 'Smooth, ripe and sweet red fruit, cheerful and value for money,' added team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£7.12 Taste Turkey , Anatolian Foods

Büyülübağ, Shah, 2010, Thrace , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Warm, juicy and spicy, full bodied and velvety, reminds me of an Australian Shiraz/Cabernet,' said Enikő Heidenwolf of 67 Pall Mall, with team leader Andrea Briccarello highlighting its 'savoury, dark cherry and blackberry fruit with spicy undertones'.

£10.96 Turkish Fine Wines

Mey Içki, Kayra, Imperial, Oküzgözü, 2012, Eastern Anatolia , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Very driven, with bright fruit and hefty tannin,' began Timothy Connor of Bread Street Kitchen, with team leader Laura Rhys MS agreeing: 'Dark fruit, spice aromas, rich and bold with big tannic structure.'

£16.65 Tees

Mey Içki, Kayra, Vintage, Oküzgözü, 2012, Eastern Anatolia , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Fresh red fruit aromas, forward vanilla on a well-polished palate,' said Chris Wood of Chelsea Vintners. 'Bold and juicy with dark fruits, full tannins but plenty of fruit to cope with it,' added team leader Laura Rhys MS.

£13.35 Tees

Kastro Tireli, Alkaia, 2013, Akhisar, Aegean , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Warm and dark nose with tones of fruit covered with chocolate from the oak influence, full on the palate with juicy, ripe tannins,' said Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental. 'Really textured palate, ripe with lots of new oak,' confirmed team leader Olivier Marie.

£10.40 Please contact winery for further information

Kastro Tireli, Karkaia, 2013, Akhisar, Aegean , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW found it 'supple and brambly, a vibrant style with darts of citrus acidity and well-balanced grain of tannin', while Avenue Restaurant's Andrés Ituarte noted: 'Seductive red fruits, very concentrated wood tannins with big tobacco, earth and vanilla tones. Great value.'

£10.40 Please contact winery for further information

Pamukkale, Nodus, Shiraz, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Rich, plum-fruited nose, full on the palate with cherry and plum fruit, tannins and good acidity,' began Vinoteca's Charlie Young, concluding: 'Impressive wine, almost Piedmont in style'. 'Restrained fruit on the nose, but hearty on the palate with a black soul. Tannic, but fresh and flashy,' added consultant Luciana Girotto-Beckett.

£12.05 Taste Turkey , Anatolian Foods

Suvla, Sir, 2012, Gallipoli Peninsula , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Tobacco and cedar oak, a bit vegetal with ripe plum and sour cherry on the nose,' began Ignacio Campos of Hawksmoor Seven Dials, adding: 'Medium bodied and integrated, with black liquorice notes, vanilla and sweet spices, and a long finish.'

£12.15 Please contact winery for further information

Mey Içki, Kayra, Versus, Oküzgözü, 2013, Eastern Anatolia , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Developed, showing animal, gamey notes with a touch of brett and spiciness,' said team leader Olivier Marie, with Vittorio Gentile of Theo Randall at the InterContinental finding notes of 'olive tapenade and mushroom on a fresh, juicy palate'.

£11.64 Please contact winery for further information

Kavaklidere, Prestige, Oküzgözü, 2011, Eastern Anatolia , Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Andrea Briccarello highlighted its 'notes of rose petals, red plums and spices on the nose, with candied fruit sweetness on the palate complemented by light, soft tannins', while 67 Pall Mall's Enikő Heidenwolf found it 'big, fruity, long, clean and soft'.

£15.67 Please contact winery for further information

Pamukkale, Nodus, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

Pamukkale, Nodus, Cabernet Franc/Merlot, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

Pamukkale, Senfoni, Red, 2014, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

Büyülübağ, Vedat Milor, Oküzgözü/Bogazkere , 2012, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

Mey Içki, Kayra, Versus, Syrah/Viognier, 2013, Thrace , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£13.75 Tees

Doluca, Tuğra, Öküzgözü, 2013, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.36 Tees

Doluca, Signium, 2012, Thrace/Aegean/Eastern Anatolia , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.25 Tees

Suvla, Bogazkere/Oküzgözü, 2014, Güney, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.65 Please contact winery for further information

Urla, Nero d’Avola/Urla Karasi, 2014, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£20.99 Armit

Sevilen, R Red, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£10.10 Please contact winery for further information

Sevilen, 900, Petit Verdot, 2013, Güney-Denizli, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.50 Please contact winery for further information

Suvla, Reserve, Merlot, 2013, Gallipoli Peninsula , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.50 Please contact winery for further information

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Cabernet Sauvignon, 2013, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Tees

Kastro Tireli, Peri, 2013, Akhisar, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£7.35 Please contact winery for further information

Kavaklidere, Vin-Art, Kalecik Karasi/Syrah, 2014, Central Anatolia/Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.95 Tees

Kavaklidere, Pendore, Syrah, 2012, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£13.59 Tees

Urla, Nexus, 2014, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.05 Armit

Urla, Vourla, 2015, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£11.50 Armit

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot, 2013, Aegean , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Tees