A few months ago I went to a wine tasting lead by Murat Mumcuoğlu of Şarap Atölyesi. I was excited before the tasting because I’d been following Murat on Twitter and Instagram for a wile and was excited to meet him. After the tasting I was excited because, thanks to him, I discovered Likya’s Acıkara.
Never heard of Acıkara? Neither had I; for good reason. Until just a few short years ago it was a mostly forgotten, nearly extinct Turkish grape. The folks at Likya found some vines in the wild (I believe) and thinking they were one thing, transplanted them to their vineyards. However when harvest time came around they realized that these weren’t what they thought and DNA testing revealed that they were actually Acıkara grapes. Likya is now the only producer in Turkey cultivating (small batches) of it.
At the time of the tasting I had never heard of nor seen this wine before. Then I discovered two bottles at the Savoy Tobacco shop (75TL) and snapped them up. Then two weeks later I walked into La Cave and there was a wall of both the 2014 and 2015 vintages. So Acıkara is here to stay!
Other than its relative rarity, what’s so great about it? A lot actually. The 2014 Acıkara is a big red wine with every bit of the 15% abv Turkish wine is allowed to have. In the glass it’s a dark, inky red-purple color. The nose is deep: jammy plums, pepper, baking spices, cocoa, smoke, leather, and cigar box. It’s like following Alice down the rabbit hole…it just keeps going and getting weirder and more interesting the farther you go.
On the palate there are velvety tannins with a balanced acid and a medium finish. It’s very fruit forward but still with a lot of the nose, particularly the cocoa, leather, and tobacco.
I lead an all-Likya wine tasting for a group this fall. About half the attendees favored this over the other three wines. No one hated it but everyone was fascinated by it. For me that was a win. One of the reasons I started leading Turkish wine tastings was to introduce people to local wine that was not only good but interesting. The Likya Acıkara absolutely ticked both those boxes!
And if you don’t believe me, check out Exotic Wine Travel’s video tasting notes about this wine!