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A pair of Turkish wines made from Kalecik Karasi

With most of my spare time currently dedicated to painting our living and dining rooms, my focus has shifted from historic research to wine drinking.  This week we opened two bottles from the Vinkara Winery located in Turkey.  Founded in 2003, this winery aims to increase international awareness for their indigenous grape varieties.  The pair of wines we tried are both made from Kalecik Karasi.  Both of the wines are quite light in color with the 2013 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik taking several hours to fully develop its flavor.  Once open, the heady nose made way to an attractive mix of acidity, black fruit, minerals, and just enough ripeness.  It is a wine certainly worth trying and my encouragement should be aided by the $13 price tag.  Just be sure to double-decant it an hour or two before trying.  I will do so for my next bottle.  The 2011 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Reserve, Kalecik showed  a similar fruit profile but the 14 month upbringing in oak clearly comes through on the nose and mouth.  The wine remained a bit tight and the oak needs more time to integrate but I can see how some might prefer this bottling.  I think that if you are at all curious about Kalecik Karasi then you should try entry version that was raised entirely in stainless steel.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2013 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Kalecik – $13
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Kalecik Karasi that was aged for 12 months in stainless steel tanks.  Alcohol 14%.  The nose reveals dark red berries that are tart and a little heady in aroma.  In the mouth the clean red fruit shows some roundness before quickly morphing into black and mineral flavors.  There is a slight prickle on the tongue that makes way to fuzzy ripeness, a developing hint of cream, and a good aftertaste.  *** Now – 2017.

2011 Vinkara Winery, Kalecik Karasi, Reserve, Kalecik – $20
Imported by Winebow.  This wine is 100% Kalecik Karasi that was fermented in stainless steel tanks then aged for 14 months in French-oak barrels.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The nose is headier with wood infused aromas.  In the mouth the flavors are a touch muted, showing blue and black fruit with some vanilla wood sweetness.  The wood becomes more noticeable as the wine progresses but the grippy and citric tannins at the end are attractive.  It wraps up by leaving dry spices on the gums.  ** Now – 2018.

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