Back in the Fall of 2012 I visited Turkey for the European Wine Bloggers Conference and had my first Turkish wines. But after returning I haven’t written about Turkish wines at all, for a couple reasons. One is that there weren’t that many Turkish wines that really impressed me. Although there’s a long history of wine production in Turkey (some say wine was first produced there), the wine industry isn’t as strong there as in other parts of the world and in many ways they’re still figuring out what works well there. Another reason I haven’t written anything about Turkish wines is that their availability was nearly non-existent in the United States – therefore the topic wasn’t relevant to my primary audience.
But I recently learned that the wines of Vinkara have made their way to the US market and they just happen to be the main producer that impressed me during my visit to Turkey. They now have distribution in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — and hopefully they’ll get broader distribution soon.
This particular wine is made from a grape called kalecik karasi, pronounced kah-le-djic car-ah-ser. This wine is light red in color and visually doesn’t have a lot of density. It’s bright and lively on the nose, with fairly intense red raspberry, strawberry, floral and black pepper aromas. It’s a fairly light wine in the mouth. I’d classify this as a medium-bodied wine. While it’s not heavy or dense, it is still very flavorful offering red raspberry, strawberry and cherry flavors with good concentration and balance. There’s another flavor in the mix too that has a tropical fruit quality to it, but I can’t put my finger on what that flavor is. The acidity is perfect for this style of wine and the mouthfeel is good. The finish is tasty and medium-long.
This wine is super food friendly and approachable. Wines like this make me a fan of Turkish wine. Big time. And the price makes it an easy one to add to my shopping list.
Wine: Vinkara Kalecik Karasi
Variety: Kalecik Karasi
Disclosure: This wine was received as a media sample.