Patkara (Yaban Series) by Asmadan Winery
Easy to drink but deep and rich wine.
Sometimes you go looking for a shiraz and you find something very different and unique.
That happened to me recently - I was visiting the lovely Foxy Karakoy Wine Bar and Restaurant, and looking for a deep oaky red to enjoy on an unusually cold, rainy May night.
I choose something new from the menu - a bit lighter than I had hoped but in discussion with the knowledgeable and helpful Gizem, she mentioned a few wines unique to Foxy, developed under their owner Mr. Levon Bağış relatıonship with Asmadan Winery (Eceabat).
I asked if I could try them and while the Gamay was good (I don't love lighter reds) the Patkara was much more dimensional, light and easy to drink like the Turkish Kalecik Karasi, but at the same time fruity, robust and noteworthy with minerality and depth I wasn't expecting.
The Patkara is a unique varietal in Turkey, hailing form the Eastern Mediterranean coast here. Likely related to the Kalecik Karasi though distinct, I find this to be more of all the things I like in a Kalecik Karasi.
The grapes come from vineyards 1150 m in elevation in the Taurus mountains - quite high compared to many Aegean vines which are often just a touch above sea level. But, these grapes come from one of the hottest and most humid parts of Turkey - the province of Mersin. The vineyard sourcing this bottle is more than 40 years old, which is not unusual for Patkara, as the grapes very unusually are used for both table consumption and wine. The saving grace is that table consumption means there is continuity and older vineyards.
Asmadan has produced a very good wine, as they always do, This was my first memorable experience with Patkara, and I was delighted by it.
The wine has a depth of fruit flavor, darker forest fruits, and a plum depth, perhaps some black currant as well. The extraction seemed very full but the tannins, acid and overall body were gentler, nothing like a strong Shiraz or CS. I enjoyed a bottle later almost entirely without food, so the tannins and acidity are in check. I would recommend pairing this with lighter fair though the color is dark.
If you looking for a very Turkish medium bodied red, this is a good choice.