Sunday, May 29, 2016

Wine Review: Vinkara Boǧazkere Reserve 2011


Vinkara Boǧazkere Reserve 2011

This is the final of seven reviews of wines from the Turkish winery Vinkara. To learn more about the history of Turkish wine, what's going on with it today, and more on Vinkara, check out Tarhun Returns: The Resurgence of Turkish Wine.

I'm not sure how to pronounce Boǧazkere but it means "burning throat" in Turkish. The varietal originated in southeastern Anatolia and legend has it that it's incredibly ancient. This very well could be one of those wines that Tarhun was guzzling while he beat the snot out of asshole serpents! Cool!

Boǧazkere is often blended with Öküzgözü to soften it up because it can be pretty big and rough, but this particular one is 100% Boǧazkere. Apparently you need to be in the right mood to enjoy a pure Boǧazkere... and, lucky for me, tonight I can't wait to have my throat burnt.

Vinkara's 2011 Boǧazkere was cold pre-fermention macerated, then fermented on the skins in temperature controlled stainless steel. It saw 30 freaking months in French Burgundy barrels, and then went down into freaking caves for six months of bottle aging. I'm about to have my throat burned by some Turkish cave wine.

Seriously, what the hell do they do to their wine that makes it look so goddamn pretty? I'm usually not all that into the color of wine but every single one of Vinkara's wines has had me admiring their appearance. This one is a dark ruby red with brightly illuminated edges. Incredibly attractive and sexy.

At first the nose reminds me of some of the Bulgarian reds that I've had: lots of licorice and oak with a little raisin. After it opens up it becomes brighter with aromas of Fruit Rollups, warm spearmint and toasted almonds. In the mouth it's medium bodied but your saliva is immediately sucked dry by the tannin. Immediately. But that doesn't stop the flavors of red currant, black cherry and peppercorn from coming through. It finishes with black cherry and almonds, and so dry that you think you're dying of thirst.

If I had to compare this wine to a varietal that you're familiar with I'd say it's most like a Zinfandel, with shades of Cabernet. But not the candied crap that's taking over the Zinfandel category; I'm talking about the good stuff. This Boǧazkere is big, strong, structured, fruity, peppery and ridiculously dry. It's gonna help you chew that cheap, tough piece of steak that you had to buy because you spent $30 on the wine. And it'll be worth every cent.

At five years old this wine is still young and I would decant it if I were you, but you can cellar this badass for another five years and I bet it would be phenomenal.

Price: $30
Rating: 5/5 = Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


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