Winner Details

Turkey

Turkey burst onto the Sommelier Wine Awards scene around 2013, and has been a reliably good performer ever since. The consistency is particularly impressive, given how hard things are politically for the country’s producers at the moment.

Not unlike Greece, there are plenty of interesting indigenous grape varieties on show here, which our tasters really enjoyed – from perfumed Narinces to winsome Kaleciks and muscular Öküzgözüs. There’s a lot of local stuff to like.

But, unlike Greece, Turkey also has a lot of international grape varieties. And while our tasters generally found the local stuff more interesting, a look at the medals will show you that there’s also some really good winemaking with Cab, Chard, Merlot et al as well.

It would have been nice to see a few more good sub-£10 wines, but Turkey is not an easy place to make wine, so our judges were understanding. And it makes the jaw-droppingly cheap Gold/Critics’ Choice won by the Diren Kalecik even more impressive.

This wine has picked up a Gold Medal five out of the past six years. So if there’s one wine that you ought to look at, it’s probably this one.

From The Tasting Teams

‘There were some really different styles in the whites, with quite a few different regions represented. Overall, the fruit quality was superb – wines with great balance and lovely texture, as well as good value.’ Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns

‘Turkey is up and coming and this red flight showed the quality of the producers. Three years ago, it was less consistent. [The Nodus Cabernet Franc/Merlot] was absolutely superb and could go up against any other wine from around the world.’ Andre Luis Martins, team leader

‘This was the best flight of the first two days. Surprising quality level, versatile styles and a good price range, making it possible to serve in a pub or in a fine-dining restaurant.’ Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair

‘Over half our [red] flight were over £20. That’s the price of a serious wine, and these are not on that level.’ Jade Koch, team leader

‘The Kalecik Karasis overdelivered at both the top and bottom ends.’ Claire Love, Loves Consultancy

‘The entry-level Öküzgözüs were a bit too rustic. But there were some good discoveries in the mid-range, and the top-end was really spot on.’ Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London

‘The Kalecik Karasis were exciting, with good varietal expression. And they weren’t forced. They had this light, lifted element, and a balletic elegance.’ Olivier Marie, team leader

‘I would’ve put these [whites] on the list when I ran a wine bar, because they’re a bit “out there”. I could see a spot for these in gastropubs, and at the top-end too.’ Stephanie Robertson, RA Group

‘I was very pleased with the Öküzgözüs: rustic but very pleasurable, with full-on fruit. They’d suit an awful lot of people.’ Angela Reddin, team leader

‘The best flight we’ve had so far. Very good quality, just expensive. There were a few examples for £9 and £10 that were really good. We need more of that.’ Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group

Award winners

Found 42 wines

Turkey

Pamukkale, Nodus, Cabernet Franc/Merlot 2017, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'With plummy black fruit, cassis and cedar spice, this has a very sleek mouthfeel, peppery but in balance, and with a gorgeous finish.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'This has a tea-like nose with some strawberries and blackcurrants and some demerara sugar. That tea character follows through on the palate.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'A well-made wine that would work well in high-end restaurants.' Raphael Thierry, consultant.

£19.72 Pamukkale Sarapcilik

Pamukkale, Arti, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2017, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'Super cool and elegant, with a fluid palate and a dry finish.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche. 'Good structure and winemaking - an effortless, juicy wine.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'Potpourri, dried black fruit and spice on the nose, leading to dense jammy fruit and some peppery tannins.' Angela Reddin, team leader. 'A whisper of red berries and strawberries, with a gentle palate. An all-day-long red wine.' Riccardo Guzzardo, Hakkasan Mayfair.

£14.50 Pamukkale Sarapcilik

Vinkara, Mahzen, Kalecik Karasi 2016, Ankara, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'A delicate and feminine style, with an elegant nose and floral character. Great by-the-glass material.' Olivier Marie, team leader. 'This has a lightness of touch, with a light bramble nose and good acidity.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy. 'With its light, fresh body and great fruit and spice, this would be great as a chilled red in the summer.' Timothy Connor, Heddon Street Kitchen.

£10.44 Taste Turkey

Kavaklidere, Côtes d'Avanos, Chardonnay 2018, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'A polished wine with rich peach, ripe lemon and ripe mango, minerality and a creamy texture on the rich and opulent palate.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'Strong sea breeze salinity, with a concentrated mid palate and gentle grip.' Oliver Zelenczuk, London Shell Co. 'With apricot notes, good acidity and minerality, this can stand up to meaty fish dishes like Dover sole meunière.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London.

£22.00 Tees

Lucien Arkas Baglari, Mon Rêve, Öküzgözü 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'Rounded and polished, this is a fruity, juicy wine with an earthy finish and a peppery aftertaste.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam. 'Notes of wild flowers and wild berries, followed by a delicate palate that's soft and smooth. A very elegant wine with great acidity and good balance.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London. 'A light, fresh, easy style, with redcurrants and cherries, and some herbal notes.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£11.25 Lucien Arkas Baglari

Kavaklidere, Pendore, Öküzgözü 2016, Aegean, Turkey

Gold medal winner

'Elegant and with personality, this has intense red fruit notes, with leather, tobacco and dried flowers too. Different, and very interesting.' Matteo Furlan, The Ritz London. 'A super-enjoyable, juicy red, with blackberries and a bit of baking spice, as well as mocha and chocolate notes, and a velvet texture. Great for a premium steak house.' Tim Handley, Royal Automobile Club.

£22.00 Tees

Diren, Collection, Kalecik Karasi 2018, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Gold medal winner Critics Choice

'A subtle and elegant wine, almost Gamay-like and refreshing, this is youthful, with red berries and red flowers. Great.' Olivier Marie, team leader. 'A bit rustic in style, with juicy cherry, strawberry and raspberry notes, and firm tannins.' Adam Michocki, The Man Behind The Curtain. 'With primary red and blackberry fruit, this is a good house wine option for specialist restaurants, served with antipasti.' Claire Love, Loves Consultancy.

£5.99 Taste Turkey

Doluca, Sarafin, Fume Blanc 2018, Thrace, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'This is smoky on the nose, with notes of tangerine and lime running through, and a crisp finish.' Nelio Pinto, Candlesticks. 'Creamy, with stone fruit notes and a flinty element too, this is refreshing, with some good acidity.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam. 'Lime, grape and grapefruit - a refreshing wine to pair with raw fish and shellfish.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London.

£13.20 Doluca

Doluca, Karma, Shiraz/Bogazkere 2017, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Juicy, with good restraint and concentration, this is an effortless wine with some clean winemaking behind it.' Mattia Mazzi, Cornerstone. 'A well-balanced wine with aromatic thyme and pepper notes on the nose, leading to a juicy palate with friendly tannins.' Oliver Zelenczuk, London Shell Co.

£10.85 Doluca

Pamukkale, Anfora, Shiraz 2018, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'There's complexity and concentration here, with black olives and dried herbs, and good structure and balance.' Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group. 'This has a beautiful fruit profile on the nose, leading to a super-smooth palate and a clean finish.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche.

£9.95 Pamukkale Sarapcilik

Suvla , Sur 2017, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Bright, with life and personality, this has oak and vanilla character, and lots of raspberry and cherry fruit. It would be good with lamb chops.' Jade Koch, team leader. 'This is a broad and finely perfumed wine that's chunky and modern in style.' Olivier Gasselin, OenoTrade.

£14.50 Suvla Wines

Suvla , Reserve, Karasakiz 2017, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'With its bright red fruits, this is super-fresh - a really interesting wine that needs food.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'This is subtle and light, with a delicate nose that's rather elegant, leading to a floral character with rose petals and potpourri complexity.' Olivier Marie, team leader.

£17.12 Suvla Wines

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Syrah 2017, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Opening with fresh ripe cassis and some light herbal and spice aromas, this leads to fresh and rich red and black fruits with some light black tobacco notes too.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'With notes of fresh tapenade, black cherries and fresh herbs, this has good complexity and structure, with a little smokiness on the finish.' Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group.

£17.10 Tees

Lucien Arkas Baglari, Antre, Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Aegean, Turkey

Silver medal winner

'Opening with fresh nectarine aromas and sweet herbs, this has light green notes on a fine and balanced palate.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'With some lime, mango and orange notes and a fresh, mineral, salty character, this would be good with oysters and raw fish.' Arturo Scamardella, The Ritz London.

£10.40 Lucien Arkas Baglari

Doluca, Sarafin, Chardonnay 2018, Thrace, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'An elegant white wine that's extremely well-balanced and structured, with aromas of jasmine flowers, peaches and apricot, and flavours of jammy tropical fruits like mango and pineapple, with a creamy, buttery feel. Very easy to drink, and will pair with most seafood and salads.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras.

£12.50 Anatolian Foods

Pamukkale, Nodus, Shiraz 2017, Güney-denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'The aromatic palate here is really diverse, from fruit to spice, and with integrated oak, a lovely texture and very pleasant finish.' Rémi Cousin, Le Gavroche. 'This has notes of dark cherry, ripe plum and dark chocolate with black pepper, and some smoky, herbal and mineral notes.' Markus Dilger, Dilger Sommelier Selection.

£19.72 Pamukkale Sarapcilik

Lucien Arkas Baglari, Idol, Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'This opens with ripe red cherry and sweet Morocco spices, leading to fresh tobacco leaves with nice chocolate and coffee aromas. A well-balanced wine.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'An elegant wine with sweet spices, ripe plums and a lingering, pleasant finish.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant.

£7.53 Lucien Arkas Baglari

Vinkara, Narince 2019, Ankara, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Intense aromas of green apples and pears lead to exquisite flavours of guava, pineapples and peaches. Amazing structure, and utterly refreshing. Good value for money too, and would go perfectly with seafood. An interesting wine.' Cinthia Lozano, The Winery Honduras.

£7.39 Taste Turkey

Suvla , Reserve, Syrah 2016, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'This has ripe black cherries on the nose, with waxy notes and a meatiness too, leading to powerful power tannins with dark chocolate and coffee on the palate, with an amazing finish.' Andre Luís Martins, team leader. 'With black cassis on the nose, and luscious ripe fruit on the palate, this is a big wine in all respects, but without the heaviness. Very stylish.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£21.03 Suvla Wines

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Malbec 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'A serious, dark and complex wine, with flavours of meat, game, dried sour cherries and dried roses - savoury and deep.' Lucie Hammerschmiedova, Portland Restaurant. 'Luscious, perfumed and insanely fruity, with intense red bramble fruits, framboise, rosehip and a grind of pepper, leading to luscious, fleshy summer berry coulis with a delightful peppery kick.' Angela Reddin, team leader.

£12.82 Kavaklidere Saraplari

Kavaklidere, Côtes d'Avanos, Narince 2018, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'A very interesting and well-balanced wine with sweet spice like nutmeg, coconut and vanilla, and some apricots and stone fruit. One for fine-dining restaurants.' Anja Breit, abWINEconsulting. 'Rich, complex and elegant, with tropical fruit balanced well with freshness, and a lovely long finish.' Daniel Eriksen, Anglian Country Inns.

£22.00 Tees

Kastro Tireli, Narince/Viognier 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'Notes of peach, apricot, citrus skin and pith, with an additional mineral and almost saline note, and a savoury herbal character.' Laura Rhys MS, team leader. 'An intriguing wine with some pastry and marzipan cake, as well as orange blossom and almond notes, and a salty, savoury note.' Guillaume Mahaut, ETM Group.

£13.37 Tireli Ciftligi A.S. (Kastro Tireli)

Kastro Tireli, Junus 2015, Aegean, Turkey

Bronze medal winner

'This is quite complex on the nose, with some stewed and dried berry notes alongside coffee and spice, with a lick of orange peel. On the palate there's good balance, with all the flavours quite well integrated.' Sam Weatherill, Etch. by Steven Edwards. 'Rich, full-bodied and earthy, with some persistent tannins.' Bianca Potenza, 212 Amsterdam.

£17.55 Tireli Ciftligi A.S. (Kastro Tireli)

Doluca, DLC, Öküzgözü 2018, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Doluca, DLC, Grenache 2018, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.28 Doluca

Doluca, Theodora, Öküzgözü/Bogazkere 2017, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.62 Doluca

Doluca, DLC, Moskado 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.28 Doluca

Doluca, Kav, Bogazkere/Öküzgözü 2018, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Doluca , Sarafin, Shiraz 2016, Thrace , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£12.50 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Signium, Chardonnay/Viognier/Narince 2017, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.35 Anatolian Foods

Doluca , Signium, Shiraz/Cabernet Sauvignon/Öküzgözü/Petit Verdot 2017, Thrace , Turkey

Commended medal winner

£15.35 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Alcitepe, Cabernet Sauvignon/Shiraz 2017, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£18.35 Anatolian Foods

Doluca, Alcitepe, Kirte, Cabernet Sauvignon 2016, Thrace, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£23.63 Doluca

Pamukkale, Anfora, Narince 2018, Güney-Denizli, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kayra, Vintage Chardonnay 2013, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Lucien Arkas Baglari, Idol, Ugni Blanc/Chardonnay 2019, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Suvla , Öküzgözü 2018, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£9.28 Suvla Wines

Suvla , Chardonnay 2019, Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£13.20 Suvla Wines

Kavaklidere, Egeo, Merlot 2017, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Lucien Arkas Baglari, Smyrna, Cabernet Sauvignon 2018, Aegean, Turkey

Commended medal winner

Kavaklidere, Selection, Öküzgözü/Bogazkere 2016, Eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£17.00 Tees

Kavaklidere, Selection Narince/Emir 2016, Central Anatolia, Turkey

Commended medal winner

£17.00 Tees

 

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