(2018) From Turkey, a popular red blend of two local varieties, Öküzgözü and Boğazkere, partly aged in oak and made with the help of a Californian consultant winemaker. Aromatically it is attractively red-fruited and spicy, reducrrants and a suggestion of pomegranate seed crunchiness. In the mouth it is dry, quite rustic, with strong tannins and a liquorice twist of sour, bittersweet acidity squeezing the red fruits into a dry finish, something akin to a northern Italian red perhaps. Watch the video for more information.
(2016) Every time I taste a red Karasi I am reminded of Pinot Noir. Most of the wines I've tasted have been in a very soft, open style, long-aged in oak, but though still Pinot-esque this is all crunch and bold cherry juiciness, a touch of prune or raisin, but fresh, just rounded out with a sheen of oak into the soft but still structured finish.
(2016) The Narince grape is another Turkish native, one of whose parents is the Kalecik Karasi. This pours a pale straw/gold, with a creamy, oaty character on the nose, quite full (with a touch of oak?) and plenty of fat, waxy lemon peel character. That hint of fruit skin grippiness comes through in the mouth, in a wine with plenty of cool, shimmering acidity, but real fat and texture to the mid-palate flavours. Interesting and good.
(2016) Öküzgözü is certainly a new grape variety for me (and almost used up my entire supply of umlauts), this from high altitude vineyards in Anatolia, eastern Turkey. It's a solid wine, with thick dark cherry and and some curranty, blackberry fruit, and a little sheen of oak. In the mouth there is a pleasing, inky darkness to this, a touch of meat and earth as well as plummy black fruit. It has some spice, and a dry, tannic finish that gives it freshness too. Really rather nice in a slightly rustic, very 'Old World' style.