04 April 2008

2003 Kavaklidere Öküzgözü d'Elaziğ

Since this has turned into the "Week of the Weird" here at BWR, I figure I might as well wrap things up with a strange wine that was actually quite nice. The name you see on the title of this post is not a typo, it's Turkish: land of the superfluous umlauts.

While looking around the Whole Foods in the University Heights neighborhood of Cleveland, I found the 2003 Kavaklidere Öküzgözü d'Elaziğ. $15. This comes from the Elaziğ province of eastern Turkey on the Anatolian plateau. Öküzgözü is the name of the grape and means "ox eye" in Turkish. Oddly Turkey is the fourth largest producer of grapes in the world but only a tiny percentage is converted into wine. I've never had a wine from a nation where the per capita consumption is less than one bottle a year. (The average American drinks ten bottles a year, the average French or Italian person drinks a little over sixty bottles a year.)

Bright red cherry aromas, crisp, slightly tart flavor with a mild finish. Much lighter than expected, kind of like a mellow Merlot. Totally different from what I expected--I was thinking something aggresive like a Spanish red to stand up to the robust cuisine of the area.


Unknown said...

Hi Benito,

I was reading your review on Chilean Frontera wines while I was taking sips, then the Kavaklıdere Öküzgözü review popped up. I am proud to read your Kavaklıdere review. I live in Turkey. This is a distinct grape with a different characteristic. There is another grape that is produced only in Turkey; it is called Boğazkere. I hope you try it.
take care

Benito said...

Tesekkür ederim, Ozgur!

Thanks for the comment. Any suggestions on good food parings with these native Turkish wines?

Anonymous said...

be careful whose umlaut you call superfluous.

Benito said...

Perhaps I should have used the term extraneous diaereses or supererogatory tremas.

Years ago I was part of a graphic design team where we tried to insert the word "superfluous" into text whenever possible. Since it's primary usage at the time (thanks to the Simpsons) was in the form of "Krusty the Clown's superfluous third nipple", we wanted to help broaden the word's horizons.

WallytheWineGuy said...

We are just now trying the '06. Surprisingly delicate and complex. I googled Okuzgozu and you came up. I think I've bumped into you on Louisville Juice, no?

Benito said...


It is a nice little wine, and definitely something interesting to add to your life list of grapes and regions. I do post occasionally on Louisville Juice, so it's very possible we've bumped into each other.