Winner Details

 Turkey - White

2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 1 Bronze: 4 Commended: 5
2015 Gold: 2 Silver: 3 Bronze: 3 Commended: 2

Apart from Narince (which rhymes with ‘ninja’) this book has no idea how to pronounce the native Turkish grape varieties. Yet it seems clear that this is where the future lies. While there are a lot of good Chardonnay blends (or even straight Chardonnays) coming out of this part of the world, several of our tasters pointed out that they want to see the authentic stuff; that there’s not much point in selling yet another Chardonnay just because it comes from Turkey.

That said, the grape clearly works really well with Narince and it’s undeniably true that nobody else is making this blend, so perhaps we should cut the Turks a little slack and let them get on with it.

Of course, this will be a hand-sell. But our tasters are less astonished to be confronted by a flight of these wines than they used to be.

Mainstream? Not quite. But Turkey is winning people over, and at these prices these wines are massively worth a look.


‘I think the obvious place for these wines is a gastropub list or if you have hearty Mediterranean cuisine. They’re not necessarily the most fine-boned wines, they lend themselves to intense flavours.’ Natasha Hughes MW, team leader

‘I was pleasantly surprised. It’s a warm climate and you’re seeing that in the fruit profile – generous and opulent in fruit, but enough acidity. There was good weight and balance to the wines in general.’ Harry Crowther, M Restaurants

‘There’s no reason that Turkey shouldn’t create wines of serious character and quality. But if they let the international varieties take over, they’ll lose the fight.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘The most expensive were Chardonnays or Chardonnay-style and I think it’s a shame – they could have been made anywhere.’ Matthieu Longuère MS, Le Cordon Bleu

Award winners

Found 13 wines

Turkey: White

Doluca, Karma, Chardonnay/Narince 2014, Aegean/Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

Doluca's second Gold is both aromatic and versatile – and a Critics' Choice Trophy winner. 'The zingy, tangy fruit holds well in the mouth. An attractive wine I'd be happy to drink on its own or with fish or salads,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering. 'Pleasant pear, peach and floral notes, quite juicy and fresh on the palate, with lovely fruit and great elegance. Long and pleasing on the finish, too,' said Matthieu Longuère MS of Le Cordon Bleu.

£8.13 Tees

Kavaklidere, Çankaya 2014, Central Anatolia/Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'Crystal bright and fresh, this is a very attractive off-dry style,' said Richard Brooks of Caroline Catering, illustrating why Kavaklidere won Turkey's first white Gold, and continuing: 'Really appealing and easy drinking – and great value.' 'Aroma notes of lime peel and underripe mango, with good balance and length on the palate,' said Harry Crowther of M Restaurants. Match with salads and seafood.

£4.08 Tees

Kavaklidere, Misket 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner By the glass

Expressive aromatics and more good value gave Kavaklidere its second white Gold and a By The Glass Trophy, too. 'Rose and lychee on the nose and palate, with good acidity. A good wine,' began team leader Martin Lam, with 67 Pall Mall's Enikő Heidenwolf agreeing: 'Love it on the nose, so light and fresh, with lemon fruit on the finish,' and The Sign of the Don's Arnaud Fiol saying: 'This is elegant with exotic and spicy flavours.'

£6.48 Kavaklidere Saraplari

Mey Içki, Kayra, Narince 2014, Tokat, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Aromatic, fresh and citrusy, this is easy to drink at a good price,' said Erik Simonics of The Savoy. 'Stone fruit and pears with a rich mid-palate weight and brisk acidity,' added team leader Natasha Hughes MW.

£5.95 Hallgarten & Novum Wines

Suvla, Reserve, Roussanne/Marsanne 2014, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Perfumed, white blossom nose with good balance and weight on the palate, and rose water aromatic notes on the finish,' said Harry Crowther of M Restaurants.

£14.50 Suvla Wines

Büyülübağ, Vedat Milor, Sultaniye 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Spicy and oaky, toasty with fruity and creamy notes, fresh acidity and good balance,' began Enikő Heidenwolf of 67 Pall Mall, with Matthieu Longuère of Le Cordon Bleu noting 'spicy rose petal, jasmine and citrus notes with savoury texture and unusual flavours'.

£7.67 Turkish Fine Wines

Kastro Tireli, Narince/Viognier 2014, Akhisar, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Nice, smooth style with toffee notes on the nose,' said Michael Moore of Moore Show Cuisine, suggesting a 'good match with cumin prawns or ginger scallops', while team leader Natasha Hughes MW found 'personality, with apricot and orange blossom' notes.

£10.70 Tireli Ciftligi A.S. (Kastro Tireli)

Kavaklidere, Côtes d'Avanos, Narince/Chardonnay 2013, Cappadocia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Lovely and fresh with vibrant acidity, complex, rich malolactic character and structure from good lees work. Pricey but worth it, and super with bigger, richer main dishes.

£12.24 Tees

B-Bak Gıda Tarım, Vinkara, Narince 2014, Erbaa, Tokat, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£7.59 Taste Turkey

Doluca, DLC, Narince 2014, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.53 Tees

Diren , Collection, Narince 2013, Northern Anatolia , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£5.05 Taste Turkey

Kavaklidere, Vin-Art, Narince/Chardonnay 2014, Cappadocia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.95 Tees

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Chardonnay 2014, Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.25 Tees


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