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Flat front label of wineFront shot of wine bottle

Kayra Okuzgozu 2012

Other Red Wine from Turkey
  • WE90
  • W&S90
13% ABV
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3.1 6 Ratings
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3.1 6 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This is truly the undiscovered treasure of Turkey, gorgeous acidity and lively bright ripe red fruit aromas are the hallmark of this fantastic wine, just a hint of menthol and exotic spices of the ancient mid-orient, supple tannins that integrate seamlessly with the acidity and when decanted for a few minutes. Try this with a great steak or a bit of fine aged cheese, definitely something savory and luscious.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Deep violet red to the eye, this wine made from native Turkish variety Öküzgözü offers fragrances of raspberry, cranberry and lavender. Tannins are velvety smooth, and it is more weighty than it initially feels due to its pervasive freshness and brightness. Flavors of black cherry, vanilla, anisette, eucalyptus and black pepper cavort on the palate into the fresh yet lingering finish.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Kayra is owned by spirits giant Diageo, with vineyards spread throughout Elazig and Sarkoy. This comes from Elazig, in eastern Turkey, where the vineyards start at about 2,500 feet in elevation. It’s dark and earthy, with a ferrous minerality that fills out the berry fruit. It’s a firm match for meaty dishes. Maritime Wine Trading Collective, San Francisco, CA
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Kayra, Turkey
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This formerly state-owned and quantity-driven winery was privatised in 2004. Today, part of the Mey group and under the Diageo umbrella, it is one of the most dynamic and successful in Turkey. Kayra’s Irish-American winemaker, Daniel O’Donnell, oversees the production of bright, exuberant wines from native and international varieties. Kayra are great exporters, and their wines are already on the wine lists of top restaurants in London and New York. The range includes the straight “Kayra” label, which produces brilliantly characterful and well-priced wines from varietals including Oküzgozü and Kalecik Karasi. “Kayra Imperial” is an intriguing and ever-changing premium range of small-batch wines that capture “whatever the winemaking team find most interesting each year”.

An eastern Mediterranean country forming a bridge between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, Turkey has the fifth largest vineyard area in the world but only 3% is made into wine. Most grapes are eaten fresh, dried or made into the popular anise-flavored spirit, Raki, also responsible for only another 3% of production.

Increase in quality over the last 20 years and focus on indigenous varieties has been limited by Turkey’s Islamist-leaning government.

Turkey’s white variety, Narince, thrives in the cool central Black Sea province of Tokat at 1,300 feet elevation. At the Aegean Sea, the local Sultana, Turkey’s most widely planted grape, is used for drying but recently is producing some highly aromatic wines. Bornova Misketi, related to Muscat blanc à Petits Grains, is also abundant. Red varieties, Foça Karası and Urla Karası are indigenous and many international varieties are used in production here as well.

Other Red Wine

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Beyond the usual suspects, there are hundreds of red grape varieties grown throughout the world. Some are indigenous specialties capable of producing excellent single varietal wines, while others are better suited for use as blending grapes. Each has its own distinct viticultural characteristics, as well as aroma and flavor profiles, offering much to be discovered by the curious wine lover. In particular, Portugal and Italy are known for having a multitude of unique varieties but they can really be found in any region.

MTIKYAOKU12_2012 Item# 146690