Posts Tagged ‘Turkey’

Deep and mature Kalecik Karasi from Turkey

This 2014 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik is a fine follow-on to the 2013 vintage which I reviewed here.  In fact, I like it even better for it is deep and mineral without the prickle.  I imagine that if you like a maturing, dark Cotes du Rhone then you will enjoy this wine very much.  I find it drinking well right now but will last a few more years.  It is a steal at $15.  Thanks to John for pointing this out at MacArthur Beverages.

2014 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik, Ankara – $15
Imported by Fine Terroir Selections. This wine is 100% Kalecik Karasi that was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks. Alcohol 14%.  Deep aromas on the nose followed by deep fruit in the mouth with fresh acidity and some tang to keep it lively.  This is a well-balanced wine with a mineral cut in the middle followed by good, robust fruit.  Dark and different, it even takes on some licorice.  *** Now – 2023.

From Kuntra to Mourvedre in four bottles

In less than two weeks we will be living in our new house! At the same time that we are preparing the new house, we are wrapping up on the sale of our current house.  Various aspects of the sale continue to occupy my time so while it is impossible to conduct any historic research, they do not preclude liquid research.  My latest round involved four bottles of Turkish and Israeli wine I brought to taste while my daughter had a playdate.

According to the article On a Turkish Isle, Winds Tend the Vines Cabernet Sauvignon is king on the tiny island of Bozcaada.  As such the 2010 Corvus Vineyards, Karga, Bozcaada Island is a blend of mostly Cabernet Sauvignon along with Kuntra, which is specific to the island.  Together this produced a wine that will please many with its different flavor profile.  And it is quite affordable!  The 2011 Kavaklidere Wine Co, Egeo, Syrah, Anatola presented a softer, riper profile but kept interest.  I rather liked the 2012 Domaine Netofa, Basse Galilee for it took on orange and rose notes.  It too, was a touch soft but the finish of salivating acidity kept it in check.  The 2013 Dalton Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee is sure to please any lover of forward, Cabernet Sauvignon.  It was the biggest and most generous of the wines, which certainly created fans at dinner.

I thought, if being generally critical, that the wines were a touch soft and could benefit from more acidity.  That aside these were all tasty wines that provided good fun.  I might give a slight nod to the Turkish pair but in recommending one from each country I suggest the Corvus and Netofa.  These wines were purchased at Potomac Wines and Spirits.


2010 Corvus Vineyards, Karga, Bozcaada Island – $15
Imported by The House of Burgundy.  This wine is a blend of 60% Cabernet Sauvignon and 40% Kuntra.  Alcohol 13.5%.  A mixture of mature aromas and prune but with some freshness.  In the mouth this fruity wine had a touch of glycerin and creamy feel before fresh, textured black fruit and a touch of greenhouse came out in the middle.  With air there was a rather ripe note along with more structure and aromas of cocoa.  In general, a good twist of flavors.  ** Now-2018.


2011 Kavaklidere Wine Co, Egeo, Syrah, Anatola – $23
Imported by Stefano Selections.  This wine is 100% Syrah.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were saline notes of the sea on the nose.  In the mouth was a similar seaside accented flavor of black fruit and prune.  This wine showed a softed entry with more body.  It was a little rugged with a mineral finish and an aftertaste of cinnamon spiced wood notes.  ** Now-2018.


2012 Domaine Netofa, Basse Galilee – $20
Imported by Royal Wine Corp.  This wine is a blend of Syrah and Mourvedre.  Alcohol 13.5%.  There were red berries on the nose.  In the mouth were clean, slightly soft flavors of red berries.  The wine was a bit laid back but the salivating acidity and texture in the finish added interest.  It eventually developed orange and rose water notes.  Everything wrapped up with spiced and ripe tannins.  ** Now-2016.


2013 Dalton Winery, Cabernet Sauvignon, Galilee – $22
Imported by Allied Importers.  This wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon that was aged for eight months in oak barrels.  Alcohol 14.5%.  There were some greenhouse infused blue and black aromas.  In the mouth was a rounded, softer entry with tart, purple flavors,  This was the biggest of the four wines with creamy, root beer like flavors, that left texture on the gums and a finish of salivating acidity.  ** Now-2017.


A Concentrated Turkish Wine

June 12, 2012 1 comment

Kayra Wines produces wine under seven labels which have a long history in Turkish winemaking.  This modern winery was created in 2004 as a result of the privatization of Tekel, a 19th century tobacco and spirits monopoly.  It is owned by a private equity group and employs Daniel O’Donnell as the winemaker.  Daniel has a long and international background in the production of wine.  Since his beginnings at Ravenswood he has worked with major Californian clients, blended for Sweden’s Systembolaget, and advised on Bulgarian wines amongst other activities. Kayra has winemaking facilities in Elazig and Sarkoy.  The selection featured in this post are from the Kayra Vintage line which aims to reflect the unique conditions of each vintage.  This wine is produced from grapes sourced from Aydinck, Elazig.  Elazig is located in the eastern Anatolia where the continental climate provides cold winters followed by hot and dry summers.  It is vinified at production facilities which were first built in 1942 then significantly expanded in 1944.   The facility is dedicated to the production of red wine.

This was an interesting drink.  The dense and figgy dark fruit is easily matched by the barrel influences in a way that the wine is still drinkable right now.  I suspect this could benefit from a few years in the cellar. If I lived in Seattle I would buy a few bottles, one to try now with the rest for the cellar.  If you are a member of the Explorer’s Club at Wine World & Spirits you may receive up to a 15% discount on your purchases.  For $17 this is certainly a wine worth checking out. For another Turkish wine made from Okuzgozu check out my post on the 2010 Kavaklidere Winery, Yakut, Okuzgozu.

2009 Kayra Wines, Kayra Vintage, Okuzgozu, Single Vineyard, Elazig – $20
Imported by Martime Wine Trading Collective.  This wine is 100% Okuzgozu sourced from vines on gravelly soils of decomposed granite.  It underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for 19 months in American oak.  The nose begins with concentrated aromas of raisin and fig but with air it dries up becoming fruitier.  In the mouth the dense flavors of fig and plum are not thick as the wine becomes lighter mid-palate.  With air there are strong, grainy, blue and black, inky fruit, which is lush at first but then tightens up over a few hours.  There are plenty of ripe, drying tannins which coat the mouth along with flavors of vanilla and Christmas spice.  The aftertaste leaves very dry, astringent tannins in the mouth.  ** Now-2019.

Wine World is now Wine World & Spirits

Privatized liquor sales became legal in Washington State just a few days ago.  I decided to stop by Wine World to take a look at the liquor selection and purchase some wine.  Not surprisingly the store name has changed to Wine World & Liquor.  This reflects the fact that the entire back wall and some additional shelving, is now dedicated to liquor.  We have a pretty thorough selection of international spirits in Washington, DC so I like to check out what is locally distilled.  There appears to be a continuing increase in spirits from Washington and Oregon.  Should I have the money and I time I would certainly taste them but for now I made do with looking at the labels.

I decided to continue my exploration of Spanish wine by picking up a pair from Montsant and grabbing a bottle from Bullas, a region I had never heard of.

  • 2009 Coop Vinicola-Agrana San Isidro, Cepas del Torro, Monastrell, Bulllas
  • 2006 Bodeas Covitoro, Gran Cermeno, Crianza, Toro
  • 2005 Cellers Sant Rafel, Solpost, Montsant
  • 2007 Buil & Gine, 17.XI, Montsant

I was distracted by the Other European section where there is quite a selection of Greek, Georgian, Croatian, and Romanian wines.  Of course I could not resist an Alain Graillot wine from Morocco.  So I ended up with:

  • 2009 Chateau Kefraya, Les Breteches, Bekaa Valley, Lebanon
  • 2009 Thalvin, Alain Graillot, Syrocco, Zenata, Syrah, Morocco
  • 2009 Kayra Vintage, Okuzgozu, Single Vineyard, Collectible Series #5, Turkey

I Try A Wine Made From Okuzgozu and Bogazkere

Vintage Advertising, Image from Kavaklidere Winery

During my visit to Total Wine in Virginia I checked out the alternative selection of wines where I grabbed the sole Turkish selection.  I have been curious to try a Turkish wine for some time so I opened the bottle last night.  The wine started off very dry with closely played flavors and obvious acidity.  Within half an hour it opened up nicely to show attractive flavors, balance, and texture.  Both Jenn and I had an enjoyable time drinking this wine and recommend you try a bottle.  I will certainly try other wines from Kavakliedere.

Vineyard in Elazig, Image from Kavaklidere Winery

It turns out that Kavakliedere Winery is a well established winery founded in 1929 by Cenap And.  Today there are almost 600 hectares of vineyards located in five regions along with three substantial wineries.  These modern wineries employ stainless steel and French oak barrels.  This Yakut wine is part of the Classic series.  Included in the blend are the indigenous grapes Okuzgozu and Bogazkere.  Okuzgozu has a long history of use in wines and as a table grape.  With soft tannins, high acidity, and red fruit aromas it is used in both wines for drinking now or aging.  Bogazkere is considered a serious varietal with high tannin along with earthy and animal aromas.  This Okuzgozu used in this wine is sourced from the 23 hectare Elazig vineyards.  Located at 920 meters the continental climate is moderated by the nearby Kerban Dam Lake.  The red soils are composed of sand and clay loams with gravel.

2010 Kavaklidere Winery, Yakut, Okuzgozu d’Elazig, Ankara – $13
Imported by Stefano Selections.  This wine is a blend of Okuzgozu, Bogazkere, Carignan, and Alicante sourced from vineyards in Eastern Anatolia and the Aegean regions.  The nose was light with grapey aromas and powdery texture.  In the mouth the grapey flavors are of black fruits.  There is a softness which puts on weight in the middle with a touch of sweet fruit, juicy acidity, and decent texture.  The sweet tannins are drying with a powdery calcium mineral note in the finish.  This modern, clean wine is well made.  ** Now-2015.

1996/1998 Aussies with French, Chilean, Turkish, and California as Well, 14 July 2008

July 14, 2008 1 comment
A group of us got together Saturday night to focus on Australian reds from the 1996 and 1998. We met up at Dave & Deniz Wetmore’s place where Deniz’s mother prepared a wonderful Turkish dinner. Thanks to all three of them for hosting and cooking all day. I must admit, I really enjoy these casual evenings tasting 6-8 wines blind.We started off with a pair of whites. Jenn and I really enjoyed the Lirac but found the Chilean Sauvignon blanc a bit to grassy. The Lirac certainly left me thirsty for the reds. I’ll leave it to William to tell us what they were.  All wines were double-decanted about 2 hours before we tasted them. They were initially served in pairs then everyone drank copious amounts to determine their favorite bottles. The Villard was the favorite, closely followed by the Henschke, and the Coriole in third.Here are the combined group notes on the wines.
1996 Coriole, Mary Kathleen, McLaren Vale
This is a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc that was aged for 12 months in French oak. Medium garnet in the glass with some bricking. A light to medium intensity nose of primarily black currant backed up by cherry and a minty/menthol freshness. More cherries and red berries in mouth, I found an almost salty quality to the fruit. The intensity of the fruit was a bit light but was followed by an assertive and powerful, lengthy finish. There were mild, grippy tannins.
1998 Pycantha Hills, Shiraz, Clare Valley
Medium garnet as well but with a purple tinge that looked more youthful than the Coriole. A medium intensity nose of red stewed fruit, perhaps pomegranate, some spice and medicinal aspect. With air a slight band-aid aroma developed. There was fruit with some roundness that was perhaps more jammy and flabby. The one-dimensional flavors disappeared quickly, leaving a simple, short finish. Decent acidity kept it alive and moving, with no obvious tannins for support. Most preferred the Coriole over this one but Jenn prefered it.
1999 Domaine Francois Villard, Cuvee Reflet, St-Joseph
I threw this in as a ringer. This Syrah is aged for 23 months in new oak due to the young age of the vines. Medium ruby with some slight bricking in the glass. Initially a light nose of toasted oak that developed into an expansive nose of tar with additional air. Very fine tannins are obvious from the beginning then the lighter, black cherry/red berry flavors develop. There was a nice mid-palate and strong finish, that came through in this well crafted wine. I found some fresh menthol on the nose at the end. This was the first bottle finished!

1996 Penfolds, Bin #128, Shiraz, Coonawarra
Medium garnet with brown component looks old. A sweet nose of chocolate (chocolate covered cherries), almost port-like. A soft, old wine, with very little complexity, very fine tannins in the aftertaste, this bottle was near the end of its life. Best described by William, “Like a sprint to the back of the mouth – like a skittish cat scampering from the room when confronted by strangers.” This was clearly the least favorite of the group.

1998 Wild Duck Creek, Spring Flat Shiraz, Heathcote
This Shiraz is aged in 50% French and 50% American oak. A medium intensity nose of primarily eucalyptus. In the mouth more eucalyptus combined with dark red fruits. A light to medium bodied wine, with light to medium tannins, and a light, acidic aftertaste. The intensity of the eucalyptus made the wine come across as monolithic. Dave felt it was slightly corked on the nose. William felt there was energy, quality, and vibrancy. I initially preferred this to the Henschke but then the Henschke hit its stride.

1996 Henschke, Keyneton, Eden Valley
Lighter in color than the Wild Duck Creek. This is primarily Shiraz with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot thrown in. The initial nose was of sour, red fruit but then an older, darker, barnyard nose developed. Soft, round, red fruit (cherry and raspberry) with some oak spice. I found it slightly salty. There are still light to medium tannins. This wine was the slowest to developed and grew on William and myself. Dave felt this was near the end of the drinking window. Jenn liked it over the Wild Duck Creek from the beginning. Unfortunately this was my only bottle.

We then unveiled the six bottles. In the process we realized we had completely drunk the top 3-4 bottles. Dave disappeared then returned with the following two wines:

2005 Kavaklidere, Kalecik Karasi, Anatolia
Kavaklidere is Turkey’s first private wine producer founded in 1929. This wine is made from native grapes and aged in oak barrels. I didn’t take any notes but this was well made, contemporary, and easy to drink.

2005 Zeitgeist, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley
Dave served this blind after a brief stint in the decanter. No one guessed what it was but it was perfect match considering what we had drunk. This came from 5 barrels of Cab and is made at Behrens & Hitchcock. It is the personal project of Mark Porembski (winemaker at Anomaly and former B&H assistant winemaker) and Jennifer Williams (winemaker at Anomaly). I had a bit of a buzz going so my notes are short. I thought it was Shiraz. There was a good nose that developed with air. In the mouth I found chocolate, dark fruit, some minerals, and salt. Definitely an interested wine and one to try again.