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Winner Details

Turkey

2019 GOLD: 4      SILVER: 6      BRONZE: 8      COMMENDED: 21
2018 GOLD: 5      SILVER: 9      BRONZE: 6      COMMENDED: 20

One of the peculiarities of the Sommelier Wine Awards is the way in which Turkey overdelivers. It picked up more medals than Austria this year, and that is in no way atypical. The reason is obvious, too: interesting indigenous grape varieties combined with reasonably good pricing.

It doesn’t hurt that (rather like Italian varieties) our tasters deem the local grapes especially food friendly. It’s not for nothing that the Doluca Tugra Bogazkere picked up a Food Match award; the country has often done well in this area.

The only area that was less positive was the reds made from international grape varieties. We found some really good wines here, but as a group they were less consistently liked overall, and it was no surprise that they were the only style not to see any wines make it on to the Gold List.

Big shout-out to Diren for its Kalecik Karasi, by the way. This is this wine’s third consecutive Gold in SWA. As a Pinot Noir substitute for a sniff over £5 it should be on every wine list in the country.

FROM THE TASTING TEAMS

‘I’d be really glad if someone recommended the whites to me in a restaurant. And I’d be prepared to pay to trade up for them. There was value at the top and bottom end of price.’ Sarah Jane Evans MW, team leader

‘I’m a big fan of Turkish wines, they can be the unsung heroes of a wine list.’ Rebecca Coates, consultant

‘Impressive. Really good to stock. A new country that would widen your wine list.’ Chiara Sieni, Bottles Group

‘The Kalecik Karesis are incredible value for money. They were close to Pinot Noir, so would work with light game, venison, or partridge. They’re very autumnal – a bit of a sommelier goldmine.’ Harry Ballmann, Wiltons

‘You can produce a sea of international lookalikes but they will be instantly forgettable unless they’re cheaper than those of the original origin.’ Martin Lam, team leader

‘Some were really pleasant, drinkable and food friendly. Others a bit unbalanced, tannic and sharp.’ Michal Kozyra, Elystan Street

‘Compared to a few years ago we are starting to have a more defined style of Cabernet blends, not far away from the South Africans in terms of price point, aromas and flavours.’ Mattia Mazzi, The River Cafe

Award winners

Found 39 wines

Turkey

Sevilen, Premium, Chardonnay 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

This ‘intense, punchy wine’, according to Prestonfield House’s Dave Cushley, had ‘toasted notes on the nose, with rich, buttery melon fruit and persistent acidity on the palate’, while team leader Laura Rhys MS found it ‘full bodied, with rich, ripe fruit and rounded oak’. Chiara Sieni of Bottles Group, meanwhile, thought that ‘cherry, chestnut honey, ripe pineapple and a nutty texture, as well as long acidity, make this wine excellent’.

£12.50 Try Wines

Diren, Collection, Kalecik Karası 2016, Tokat, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

This ‘perfect summer wine’, according to Janusz Sasiadek of Bottles & Battles, took Gold for its ‘intense spice, with cherries and blueberries, and some great acidity’. Ieva Markaityte of Portuguese Concepts enjoyed ‘a slight medicinal character, as well as some chalky tannins, and good length’, while Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali described it as ‘easy-drinking and juicy, with herbal garrigue notes’, and team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW concluded: ‘Light, juicy and plummy, and at a great price.’

£5.49 Taste Turkey

Doluca, Tugra, Boğazkere 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants appreciated this Gold Lister’s ‘juicy black fruits, ripe tannins, balanced alcohol and integrated oak’, adding further praise for its ‘good value for money’. ETM Group’s Guillaume Mahaut found it to have ‘a perfumed, pretty nose, with some rose notes, leading to some plum on the palate’, while team leader Tom Forrest described it as ‘Beaujolais in style, with red cherry, some spice, and a rounded, soft palate’.

£8.10 TEES Ltd.

Kavaklıdere, Ancyra, Narince 2018, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

As this earned its place on the Gold list, Ennio Pucciarelli of Kahani London praised its ‘beautiful bouquet of floral and stone fruits, and hints of honey on the palate, with lovely acidity’, adding that it was ‘quite rich with a long finish’. Team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW thought it ‘individual, with charming aromatics, and a rich and oily palate’, while consultant Rebecca Coates added that it was ‘super-juicy, and great on its own!’

£6.50 Tees

Sevilen, Plato, Syrah/Öküzgözü 2016, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall found this to have ‘a soft nose towards dark cherry notes, with a long palate of more cherries and a touch of mature berries, too, all leading to a long finish’.

£13.00 Try Wines

Kavaklıdere, Côtes d'Avanos, Chardonnay/Narince 2017, Cappadocia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘The wine has soft melon notes. It’s delicate and fresh, with good texture and acidity. The ideal summery bottle,’ thought Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House, while team leader Jan Konetzki identified a ‘lemon and toast character, beautiful fragrance and great length’.

£18.13 Kavaklidere Saraplari

Kavaklıdere, Prestige, Kalecik Karası 2016, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘A perfumed nose, with gentle raspberry and some sweet spice notes,’ began Andre Luis Martins of Cavalry & Guards Club, further describing ‘an elegant body, with polished tannins and a fresh finish’. ‘A good option for charcuterie and cheese,’ added Savoy Grill’s Matteo Cali.

£13.30 Tees

Kavaklıdere, Prestige, Öküzgözü 2012, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘Light smoked oak aromas, with ripe fruits and some creaminess too,’ said team leader Tom Forrest, while Sue Jones of The Harrow at Little Bedwyn identified notes of ‘goji berries and cranberries, as well as plums, leading to a pleasant finish’.

£14.40 Tees

Doluca, Signium, Chardonnay/Viognier/Narince 2017, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘This wine is delightfully aromatic,’ commented team leader Jan Konetzki. ‘The nose is of tropical fruit, with some kiwi and bay leaf aromas. There’s plenty of ripe fruit on the palate and great length.’

£15.50 Tees

Doluca, Signium, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Petit Verdot 2016, Thrace, Turkey

Silver medal winner

‘A floral, spicy nose with cooked red fruit, too, leading to a smooth, well-structured palate with ripe, dark fruit and a smoky finish,’ said team leader Lionel Periner, while The River Cafe’s Mattia Mazzi described a wine with ‘balance, good fruit concentration and firm tannins’.

£15.50 Doluca

Kocabağ, Leo's 2016, Cappadocia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘A big and bold wine,’ began Savvas Symeonidis of Gymkhana Restaurant, who described ‘intense black fruit and berries, along with some forest floor, ink and a hint of mushroom, all with some smooth tannins’. Sunaina Sethi of JKS Restaurants found it to be ‘balanced, with elegant fruit, and oak that’s prevalent but integrated’.

£19.00 Kocabağ Bağcılık ve Şarapçılık

Sevilen, 900, Fumé Blanc 2017, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Team leader Jan Konetzki thought this wine was ‘layered, delicately aromatic, with a pleasant pyrazine character’. He further described it as ‘delectable’, with ‘good structure and length’.

£17.83 Try Wines

Sevilen, Centum, Syrah 2014, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘A smoky nose, with a hint of lavender, leading to big, savoury oak on the palate, with some red cherries, too, and a hint of tobacco,’ said Daniel Jonberger of Rockliffe Hall.

£17.95 Try Wines

Kavaklıdere, Egeo, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘A bright, red fruit-led nose, leading to sweet but well-defined fruit on the palate, along with some meaty tannins,’ thought Mattia Mazzi of The River Cafe.

£12.38 Kavaklidere Saraplari

Sevilen, Nativus, Narince 2017, Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

Dave Cushley of Prestonfield House judged this wine to be ‘delicately perfumed, with a mellow palate and a refreshing finish’, and described ‘nice notes of melon, caramel and orange’.

£8.89 Matthew Clark

Lucien Arkas Bağlari, Consensus, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Leafy aromas, along with blackberry and blackcurrant notes, and well-integrated tannins,’ said Elena Serban of Hakkasan, while Tatiana Mann of The Vine Eno Gastropub described ‘ripe forest fruits, good tannin structure, and pine needles on the finish’.

£14.50 Lucien Arkas Baglari

Suvla, Reserve, Roussanne/Marsanne 2016, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘The wine shows subtle aromas of garrigue and fennel. It has a plump, fleshy palate, mineral stony and lemon curd notes,’ said team leader Sarah Jane Evans MW.

£15.68 Suvla Wines

Doluca, Karma, Cabernet Sauvignon/Oküzgözü 2016, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

‘Aromatic and vibrant aromas of cassis and blackberry, leading to a soft, elegant and juicy palate, with tannins well balanced by fruit. A chewy, meaty wine,’ said team leader Laurent Richet MS.

£8.00 Doluca

Sevilen, Parcel 1, Syrah 2015, Izmir, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Try Wines

Mey Içkı, Kayra, Versus, Öküzgözü 2016, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklıdere, Côtes d'Avanos, Tempranillo 2015, Cappadocia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Sevilen, 900, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£17.50 Try Wines

Kavaklıdere, Egeo, Cabernet Sauvignon-merlot 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklıdere, Egeo, Syrah 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.50 Tees

Kavaklıdere, Côtes d'Avanos, Narince 2017, Cappadocia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Doluca, DLC, Shiraz 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.80 TEES Ltd.

Doluca, DLC, Grenache 2017, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.80 TEES Ltd.

Doluca, DLC, Moskado 2017, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£6.80 TEES Ltd.

Diren, Collection, Oküzgözü 2016, Tokat, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£5.49 Taste Turkey

Lucien Arkas Bağlari, Meandros, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz/Marselan/Merlot 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Lucien Arkas Bağlari, Antre, Sauvignon Blanc 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Mey Içkı, Kayra, Narince 2017, Black Sea Coast, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Mey Içkı, Imperial, Merlot/Cabernet Franc 2014, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Suvla, Reserve, Syrah 2014, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.68 Suvla Wines

Suvla, Reserve, Karasakiz 2016, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£14.38 Suvla Wines

Doluca, Kav, Narince 2017, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£10.98 Bibendum

Doluca, Sarafin Shiraz 2016, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£10.50 TEES Ltd.

Doluca, Karma, Merlot/Boğazkere 2016, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.60 TEES Ltd.

Doluca, Kizilcaterzi, Merlot 2014, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£23.63 Doluca

 

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