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Winner Details

Turkey - Red

2017 Gold: 5 Silver: 5 Bronze: 7 Commended: 13
2016 Gold: 3 Silver: 15 Bronze: 11 Commended: 19

Next time a winemaker complains that the world is against them because it rained during harvest, they might want to spare a thought for their counterparts in Turkey, where the government (as well as nature) is doing its best to make life extraordinarily hard for the country’s wineries.

This is almost certainly the reason why entries (and medals) were significantly down here this year, and it’s entirely understandable.
But it wasn’t all bad news. The number of Golds equalled the record set a couple of years ago and feedback here was generally a lot more positive than it was for the country’s whites, particularly for the medium-bodied Pinot-wannabe Kalecik Karasi wines.

A propos of which, well done indeed to Diren, whose well-priced version picked up a second Gold in three years as well as a By The Glass award. Pound for pound, it’s one of the most impressive wines of this year’s competition.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I can’t believe that these [Kalecik Karasis] were all the same grape. There was such a huge range of styles, from super-light to much richer. But the best examples had that fresh acidity and bright red fruit.’ Laura Rhys MS, team leader

‘The problem with these wouldn’t be the style or the price, it would be that they are unfamiliar.’ Andrea Cotichella, Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa

‘I preferred the lighter style [of Kalecik Karasis] – they were a bit like Zweigelt or Pinot Noir, so they could work well with fish. The sauce would be the most important thing – either oily or creamy would work well.’ Masahito Suzuki, Sosharu

‘Almost never would someone just buy one off the list. But when sommeliers get enthusiastic about them, there’s lots of great wines. At the bottom end there’s some seriously good value wines, and the expensive wines.’ Annette Scarfe MW, team leader

‘I was really impressed with the whole range [of Okuzgozu wines]. They’re dealing with extreme conditions and it shows in a couple of the wines, but apart from a bit of over-extraction there was some very good value wines, and the last two were exceptional.’ Charles Van Wyk, FJB Hotels

Award winners

Found 30 wines

Turkey: Red

Kastro Tireli, Syrah/Mourvèdre 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

This Gold winner certainly wasn’t lacking in big, bold character, although it proved to have some finesse, too. Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS enjoyed its ‘perfumed, black pepper, herbal and slightly medicinal’ nose, finding the palate ‘quite lean and spicy, really herby with good power and a long finish’. ‘Brambly and powerful with lots of weight, and very dry, rustic tannins,’ agreed team leader Jade Koch. This made it a good option for lamb with pistachio, according to The Sign of the Don’s Carlos Ferreira.

£12.95 Sonvino

Diren, Collection, Kalecik Karası 2015, Tokat, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner By the glass

Worthy of Gold for its fantastic value for money alone, this picked up a By The Glass Trophy, too, impressing judges with ‘crunchy red fruit and good tannins, balanced acidity and great personality’, according to Vinoteca’s Charlie Young. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW loved its ‘fantastic value and vibrant red fruit’, while J Corey Evans of St Swithins Wine Shippers liked the ‘cherry nose, and a little woodiness on the palate’.

£5.29 Taste Turkey

Mey Içki, Kayra, Vintage, Öküzgözü 2013, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

‘Big, creamy depth, crunchy tannins, dark fruit, pepper and huge concentration,’ said an enthused Olivier Gasselin of Hakkasan Group on encountering this obvious candidate for Gold. Team leader Annette Scarfe MW added: ‘An ambitious wine, with lashings of new vanilla French oak on the nose, very sleek and polished, and packed with fruit.’ ‘A lovely nose, with plum, leather and cherry, as well as some sweet spices, with the oak well integrated on the palate. A match for steak with herbs de Provence,’ concluded Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut.

£21.85 Mey Icki Sanayi ve Tic. A.S /Kayra Wines

Kavaklidere, Vin-Art, Kalecik Karası/Syrah 2015, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Our panel found this to be a rich, bold style, and undoubtedly worthy of Gold. ‘Well balanced, with rounded tannins,’ began Sexy Fish’s Julien Sahut, describing ‘juicy cherry, plums and pepper’. ‘A lovely example, with vibrant, crunchy redcurrant and cranberry fruit – delicious and inviting you to have another sip,’ added team leader Annette Scarfe MW, who thought this would be an excellent match with grilled lamb.

£8.62 Connolly's Wine Merchants Ltd

Urla, Tempus 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

A Gold to go with Urla’s two Silvers in this category, this impressed our judges with its abundant fruit and ripe tannins. ‘Clean with dark fruit on the nose, very intense,’ began Rustem Mingaleev of Bovey Castle, continuing: ‘Dark fruit character of plums, cherries and blackberry on the palate with high tannin and full body, definitely needs red meat.’ ‘Great texture and weight, good chewy concentration,’ added team leader Jade Koch. A great match with venison stew, thought fellow team leader Tom Forrest.

£23.00 Armit Wines

Mey Içki, Imperial, Öküzgözü 2013, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels was very taken with its ‘intense concentration’, highlighting ‘ripe blueberry and blackcurrant complemented by cedar spice and clove with leather notes’, and concluding: ‘This is powerful, complex and beautifully balanced by the use of new French oak.’

£28.87 Mey Icki Sanayi ve Tic. A.S /Kayra Wines

Sevilen, Plato, Kalecik Karası, Güney-Denizli 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

Andrea Cotichella of Wernher Restaurant at Luton Hoo Hotel Golf & Spa enjoyed its ‘intense, complex and spicy nose, followed by a rounded palate with an edge of bitterness’, and team leader Laura Rhys MS noted ‘bright, ripe red fruits, spice and weight’.

£11.50 Try Wines

Urla, Nero d'Avola/Urla Karası 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

An intriguing combination on the nose of ‘floral, meaty and gamey aromas, freshness and elegance’, said Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS, who found the wine ‘full bodied, concentrated and well made, with a lifted fruit character and very long finish’.

£23.00 Armit Wines

Urla, Boğazkere 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘Lovely ripe berry fruit with plums and soft tannins, concentrated and complex,’ said impressed team leader Annette Scarfe MW, while Buddha Bar’s Piotr Artur Tomaszewski noted ‘marzipan and cinnamon on the nose’.

£16.63 Armit Wines

Urla, Nexus 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘Juicy and fresh character on the nose,’ began Le Cordon Bleu London’s Matthieu Longuère MS, who highlighted its ‘quite savoury style on the palate with spicy notes and blackberry fruit, lovely freshness and elegance, too’.

£16.63 Armit Wines

Büyülübağ, Shah 2012, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Clean and intense on the nose with dark fruit aromas,’ began Rustem Mingaleev of Bovey Castle, continuing: ‘High tannins but good fruit and body on the palate, which shows plenty of plum, blackcurrant and blackberry fruit. Well balanced, and ideal for red meats.’

£11.00 Turkish Fine Wines

Büyülübağ, Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Luciana Girotto-Beckett of Macellaio RC found the nose ‘funky and almondy but balanced’, enjoying the ‘berry fruit and leathery richness on the palate’, while team leader Jade Koch highlighted its ‘tart, jammy fruit with a slightly orange character, fruity and bright’.

£9.36 Turkish Fine Wines

Diren, Les Muses, Cabernet Sauvignon 2012, Tokat, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Bright character on the nose, showing juicy red and blue fruits,’ began team leader Laura Rhys MS, who enjoyed its ‘herbaceous palate with pencil shaving notes, good structure and a creamy finish’.

£9.38 Taste Turkey

Doluca, Kav, Kirmizi 2014, Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Attractive red fruit notes with hints of char and smoke, tannins are grippy but well integrated, and it’s very good value,’ said Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels, with team leader Annette Scarfe MW adding simply: ‘Lovely aromatic expression – delicious.’

£7.41 Tees

Suvla, Reserve, Karasakız 2014, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

This was ‘definitely a food wine’ for team leader Laura Rhys MS, who liked its ‘bright red fruits, and crisp, elegant palate with dark, mineral character’, while Sosharu’s Masahito Suzuki highlighted its ‘raspberry and redcurrant fruit’ notes.

£13.77 Suvla Wines

Suvla, Sir 2013, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Red fruit and mint notes on an elegant, floral nose, with juicy, fresh character and smooth tannins on a dry palate,’ said team leader Lionel Periner, while Cristian Sanchez of Hotel du Vin Cambridge noted ‘overripe cherries, plum and blackberry’.

£12.25 Suvla Wines

Kavaklidere, Prestige, Boğazkere 2013, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Velvety and juicy, fine depth with crunchy texture and intensity,’ began Hakkasan Group’s Olivier Gasselin, with Charles Van Wyk of FJB Hotels noting ‘ripe blueberry notes with hints of vanilla and sweet cedar spice, good concentration’.

£13.92 Tees

Kastro Tireli, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot/Cabernet Franc/Petit Verdot 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£12.95 Sonvino

Doluca, DLC, Kalecik Karasi 2015, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£7.09 Tees

Doluca, DLC, Boğazkere 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£8.98 Doluca

Doluca, Tuğra, Öküzgözü 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£7.99 Tees

Doluca, Tuğra, Boğazkere 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£7.99 Taste Turkey

Mey Içki, Kayra, Versus, Alpagut, Öküzgözü 2014, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Mey Içki, Kayra, Versus, Syrah/Viognier 2014, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklidere, Pendore, Syrah 2012, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklidere, Côtes d'Avanos, Tempranillo 2014, Cappadocia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Malbec 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Blend 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Nif Bağları, Aegean Red 2014, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.50 Nif Bağları

Urla, Vourla 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.08 Armit Wines

 

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