IWSC 2024 Turkish Wine Judging: medal results announced

Wine news

Wed 5 Jun 2024

By Mila Gorchakova

Last week, our judges headed to Istanbul for the IWSC’s second Turkish Wine Judging in partnership with Tuğrul Şavkay Turkish Wines Competition.

The judging panels were overseen by the IWSC Wine Judging Committee member Sarah Abbott MW and the IWSC judge Isa Bal MS. Sarah and Isa were joined by a team of industry experts, including Head Buyers from the on-trade and off-trade and renowned Communicators.

Over the 2 days of judging our experts tasted more than 200 entries. Over 160 medals were awarded to Turkish wines, including an impressive number of 20 golds.

“We were impressed with the diversity and quality of the wines we tasted. For those of us who also judged last year, there was also an evident improvement in that quality - which was satisfying - with more gold medals awarded this time round. We awarded a mix of top medals across Turkish indigenous grape varieties and international grape varieties, suggesting that the Turkish wine producers are mastering their techniques across both areas,” shared the judges.

The judges were delighted to taste an impressive range of wines made from Turkish indigenous grapes, awarding many medals to the expressions of native varieties. One of the highest scoring wines was Kayra Vintage Öküzgözü 2021 by Mey Icki Sanayi & Ticaret that earned 96 points and a gold medal. The judges admired the “lovely concentration of fruit, leather, earthiness”, as well as the “rich and polished character with hints of vanilla, cocoa beans, good acidity and long finish”. Another gold-winning Öküzgözü was Kavaklidere Saraplari Prestige Okuzgozu 2021 that showed “abundance of cranberries and redcurrants and great acidity”.

Some of the other standouts included Vinolus Kalecik Karasi 2022 by Molu Tarim Hayvancilik Gida – a “powerful, inky, concentrated wine with great depth of flavour and structure”, as well as Likya Vineyards Boğazkere. The latter displayed “some tertiary character to nose, quite evolved, bramble, meaty notes, lovely mid palate fruit, with some lovely aged qualities, and a cigar box note to the finish”.

As for the white indigenous grapes, Narince performed well, one of the highlights being Kavaklidere Saraplari Cotes d'Avanos Narince 2022. It showed “very good fruit intensity, saline character, with oak being a positive influence.”

Moving on to the international grapes, the judges were impressed with the quality of Turkish Cabernet Franc, awarding 3 gold medals to wines made from this variety. The top performers included Chateau Kalpak Cabernet Franc 2015, Asbos Tarimsal Üretim Sanayii Ve Ticaret AS Expression Cabernet Franc Edition 1 NV and Likya Winery Collection Cabernet Franc 2023. The judges admired the purity of fruit and the ripe character that wasn't overshadowed by oak.

Several Syrah expressions performed brilliantly this year, with 3 gold medals awarded to Syrah/Shiraz wines. One of the standouts - Pamukkale Sarapcilik Anfora Grand Reserve Shiraz 2020 – scored as high as 96 points and earned a strong gold, the judges describing it as “classy, super enjoyable, Northern Rhone style” with “foraged blackberry, black cherry notes, slightly gamey, charcuterie character”.

Congratulations to all winners! Full medal results of the Turkish Wine Judging can be viewed here.

Gold medal winning Turkish wines