Italy, France, Spain, and the US are the largest producers of wine, in that order. There are many other countries that are well known that ferment the juice including Germany, Australia, Argentina, etc. But with all of these big players out there we tend to forget the other countries that are producing brilliant vino. Ranked 37th, 2 below Morocco, Turkey is underrated! In fact, the earliest known artifacts of winemaking date back 8000 years in Eastern Anatolia. It’s probably best if you did an internet search on the geography as my article is limited – I had too.
I stumbled upon Öküzgözü (pronounced oh-cooz-goe-zue) a large berried grape indigenous to Turkey. The name translates to “bull's eye”. Kayra Vintage 2008 did a fantastic job with this grape. This wine is sourced from vineyards planted on gravelly soils of decomposed granite. After fermentation the wine is aged for 19 months in American oak, and is then bottled unfined and unfiltered. This is something you want to decant for about 30 minutes. This wine is off the charts interesting! This wine is a dark crimson color upon pour. Aromas of mint, raspberries, and cherries. The palate of chalky minerality, red fruit, rose petals, and a hint of cranberries (that tartness) had me gulping for more (I am a wino at heart) - finishing with awesome acidity and super fine tannins. It is fascinating, compelling, unique, exotic, and fun and it can be yours for about $20 a bottle. Yep, they nailed it, bull's eye! Drink now through 2016.