Tag Archives: Turasan

Turasan Kalecik Karası 2015

This Turasan Kalecik Karası 2015 was part of a shipment of wines I got from Turasan a while back. Kalecik Karası was the first wine made out of native Turkish grapes that I really liked and while I’ve come to love what Turkey does with international grapes more, I still try a new one from time to time.

Turasan is possibly one of the most well known wineries in Turkey. Certainly the most well known in Cappadocia. The winery produces a wide range of styles, grapes, and quality levels. I’ve mostly only had the wines from the low and mid price ranges but would really like to try some of the higher end wines soon. One of the things I love about Turasan is their Emir. Not a lot of wineries in Turkey produce Emir wines which makes Turasan’s extra special.

Turasan Kalecik Karası

On its own, for me, the Turasan Kalecik Karası was a little bit of a disappointing drinking experience. While it might not have been my favorite stand along drinking wine; it was a great food wine. It did go pretty well with our dinner of cold pasta salad with grilled vegetables, Greek pork sausage, and white cheese. Not all bad, and cheap (only about 25 TL directly from Turasan).

Turasan Kalecik Karası

Turasan Kalecik Karası 2015 Tasting Notes:

This is a pretty standard Kalecik Karası in the nose with aromas of red berries and candy. The palate is berries, licorice, and black pepper. Fairly well balanced but with something of a cliffhanger finish. One minute it’s there but the next it’s gone.

In the end the Turasan Kalecik Karası is a simple wine that isn’t going going your palate. Also nice drinking for the summer if you’re not quite a rose person (like me). This would not be hurt at all by a little chilling before you open it.

2013 Turasan Öküzgözü Boğazkere

It’s been ages since I’ve had an Öküzgözü Boğazkere blend. As much as I enjoy trying the native grape wines in Turkey drinking the same three reds (Öküzgözü, Boğazkere, and Kalecik Karası) and blends of the same does get old. I was, however, only too happy to take up a friend on her offer of a glass of the Turasan Öküzgözü Boğazkere that she brought to a Thirsty Thursday event.

Turasan OB

In the glass the Turasan Öküzgözü Boğazkere was a ruby red bordering on purple, bright and clear. The nose was dark/black fruits. On the palate it was very tart, no tannin, and little bit of a cliffhanger; something of a surprise for anything involving the powerful Boğazkere grape. It was a predominantly fruit-forward wine with flavors of blackberry and cherry but those dropped off quickly leaving very light hints of spice and possibly pine forest.

There’s nothing technically wrong with the 2013 Turasan Öküzgözü Boğazkere. If your preference is easily drinkable, unchallenging wines then this is right up your alley. For me, I like something more complex and structured.

Turasan Misket

Turasan Misket and A Bosphorus Cruise

Recently I discovered that a new friend owns a yacht. And while I would love to be friends with the idle rich O is not idle, she and her husband have a travel agency here in Istanbul and the yacht is one of the services they offer. She kindly offered to take a bunch of us out a couple weeks ago for a Sunday Bosphorus cruise, and what goes better with a cruise than a nice, sweet wine like the Turasan Misket?

Ortakoy Mosque & the First Bridge

So on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon we all met at the Kabatas dock to board the Zoe in what was going to be a three hour tour (and don’t think the Americans didn’t giggle at that). Three hours turned into four and half as we cruised up the Bosphorus admiring the palaces and architecture along the way and stopping near the Black Sea, practically underneath the infamous Third Bridge, for a swim.


Of course I wasn’t going to miss the chance to sip a wine as I pretended to be idle rich myself. It’s not everyday a girl gets invited aboard a yacht (although if anyone does have those days often please tell me how!). What wine would go better with a Sunday summer cruise than a semi sweet? So I broke out one of the Turasan wines I had shipped from the winery in Cappadocia: Turasan’s 2015 Misket.

One of the things I like about Turkish Misket (or Muscat as most of us know it) is that they are generally of the semi sweet variety; they’re not cloyingly sweet dessert wines. Turasan’s isn’t quite dessert-level sweet but it is sweeter than I like my Miskets.

In the glass it’s, a bright, extremely pale yellow and smells, of all things, like champagne. I love aromatic white wines and Muscats usually deliver in that respect with a lot of floral and tropical notes. On the palate there was little acid and it felt a bit thick however some of that might well have to do with the fact that I wasn’t drinking it at ideal serving temperature. A few degrees colder would have made a world of difference. The flavor was very nice following the aromas from the nose: tropical, citrus, and white flowers. I did not get the orange blossom though that I love so much in Miskets.

Maiden’s Tower

Pricing on this one is a little difficult. I ordered directly so I got the winery price of 28TL for the Turasan Misket. The Cave sells these for mid/upper 30s, and Solera has a mid 50s price tag. It’s worth the 28. At the risk of sounding like a credit card commercial, drinking it on a yacht on the Bosphorus, priceless!

The best thing about it? You can do it too if you’re in the city! The Zoe is for hire for private events of I think 10-12 people. It was recently written up in The Guide Istanbul magazine and you can contact them for hire information via the Zoe Yacht Cruise Facebook Page. Bon Voyage!

Turasan Syrah

The 2013 Turasan Syrah

I must preface this by saying that I actually drank this Turasan Syrah before the Emir I recently both reviewed and enjoyed. So…grain of salt.

Since I’ve had a couple bad experiences with Turasan wines I was pleasantly surprised by one M bought a while ago. Like the previously reviewed Emir, the 2013 Turasan Syrah may have changed my mind. And at 38TL won’t break the bank.

A pretty purple and a spicy, plummy nose lead to a soft wine and a mouth full of blackberries. I thought I also tasted sour cherries but either the wine was a little too yeasty or I don’t know what a red currant tastes like. According to the bottle I should have been smelling/tasting red currants and it is pretty fair to say that I have never in my life eaten a currant.

Did the Turasan Syrah blow me away? No. Did I find a decent table wine that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to serve people, yes. In a world where a good wine can set you back $50+ that’s a win in my book.


The 2013 Turasan Emir

For the last two weeks I’ve been getting up at 3:50 AM. No one understands why and everyone thinks I’ve insane, including my cat. There really is an excellent reason: wine! I’ll wake up anytime of the day or night for good wine and this isn’t just wine; it’s wine and education (about wine). I like to drink wine, we all know this, and I like to write about it. However mostly I’m just making up things. I don’t have a very refined palate and usually only am able to taste the top notes of wines. So these last two weeks, and next week, have been an opportunity to chat, via Twitter, with other wine lovers.

And not just about any old wine…about Turkish wine! Protocol Wine Studio, an organization dedicated to education about wine and wine culture, is partnering with VinoRai, a Seattle-based wine importer bringing Turkish wine to America, on a three-week discussion about Turkish wines. That is worth a pre-morning call to prayer wake up. The first week’s discussion was focused on Turkey’s history and politics (as they relate to wine) and general viticulture, growing regions, types of grapes, etc. This week we moved on to the wines themselves, specifically the Turasan 2013 Emir.

This is a very cool thing but 6PM on the west coast is 4AM in Istanbul!

Sherlock thinks I’m nuts for getting up so early.

Like Turasan, Emir grapes are from Cappadocia where they grow well in the volcanic soil of the region. ‘Emir’ means ‘prince’ and wines made from this grape have been drunk at lords’ tables for millennia. I’ve seen a lot of wines here that are Emir blends but aside from the Turasan no stand-alone Emir wines. The folks at VinoRai told me why: Emir grapes are expensive and not overly easy to produce which makes producing 100% Emir wines expensive and not really sustainable.

The best old-world grape match to the Emir is Pinot Gris or Torrontes and you can food pair similarly: shellfish, fish, chicken, mild cheese, etc. Think Mediterranean food and you’ll probably do well. That’s for the 100% Emir. The more common blends (usually I see it with Narince) have a bit more body to them and will stand up to creamy dishes and likely stronger cheese.

While I’m willing to get up at 4AM; this week I decided I needed to be drinking along with everyone else and picked up a bottle of the 2013 Turasan Emir (35 TL at Solara). When my alarm went off at 3:50 AM I rolled out of bed, started up my laptop, poured a glass of wine, and got ready to join the Turkish wine love fest.

Normally I eschew dry white wines because I find they generally are too oaky for my taste. I was prepared to dislike the Emir…but the first sip both surprised and hooked me! I read later that Emirs are not oaked because the grape doesn’t do well with the wood. I wish more white wine grapes were of that attitude. But I get ahead of myself; one must start at the beginning.

The 2013 Turasan Emir was pleasing right out of the bottle with a pretty straw yellow with green highlights. The nose was all tropical fruits and flowers, citrus fruits, and minerals. On the palate it was lively and crisp with a medium body and a nice finish. One person put it very nicely that the Emir is a “meaty” white with a lot of heft in the texture. In the flavor I picked out largely the tropical flavors, lemon, apple, and minerals (stone mostly). There was one thing bothering me though-a flavor I just couldn’t put my finger one but thanks to another participant I found out what it was: salty! So simple in the end but a flavor I don’t recall every before encountering in wine.

I haven’t tried many Turasan wines yet. Like my peeps over at Suvla they have a wide variety of wines with price points that run the gambit from cheap to ‘when I win the lottery’. I will definitely be trying a lot more of these though and the next time I go to Cappadocia I will make sure a trip to the winery is on my itinerary!

Next week is the last in the two-part session and we will discuss the Diren 2012 Okuzguzu and the Gali 2010 blend. I have some shopping to do!

Turasan Red Blend

Tursan is possibly the leading winemaker in the Cappadocia region. It’s a tough region with high elevation, grasslands, harsh, cold winters, and not a lot of lush greenery. Like many wineries in Turkey, Turasan produces several labels under its name including: Seneler, Classic, and blends. While I was in Cappadocia with a visiting friend we picked up the Turasan red blend. Not gonna lie-not my favorite.

The Turasan red blend seemed to have been on a mission to include any and every possible grape including: Syrah, Boğazkere, Kalecik Karası, and Öküzgözü. In the glass this Turasan red blend was a deep purple-red color. In the nose I detected hints of blackberry, dry plum, and caramel.

That sounds nice, but for me this is where the Turasan red blend fell apart-to the point where I couldn’t even finish two measly glasses. On the palate there were some light tannins but a rather high level of acid. Some of the aromas from the nose carried through to the palate but it was a little difficult to really detect anything under how hot the wine was.  I have a feeling that, had I drunk anymore, I would have not been able to get up the next morning for our sunrise balloon flight!

For me this was a sad introduction to the famous Turasan wines. Hopefully I’ll find others to my taste!