Author: Kristian Kielmayer , Ágnes Herczeg

Turán

Turán

History

A Hungarian variety, which is connected to the names of Dr József Darab Csizmazia and László Berznai. It is a crossing of Bikavér 8 (teinturier x Kadarka) and Gárdonyi Géza (Menoire x Csabagyöngye). The crossing’s original name was Eger 208 and Bikavér 13. It was created in 1964 and authorised by the state in 1985. Originally, the name Agria was considered for the variety, as this was the old Latin name of the city of Eger, but this met with obstacles. Thus, Turán was chosen, which was apparently the mythical name of a plain beyond the Oxus River (now Amu-darja) to the north of the settled Iranian peoples.

Viticultural characteristics

It is an early-ripening variety with large, round leaves, large clusters and small, waxy, thick-skinned berries, whose juice is also red. This is a peculiarity of teinturier varieties, where colour is not only extracted from the skins, but the juice also contains colour.

Where it's grown

There is a small amount of this Hungarian crossing cultivated under the name of Agria in British Columbia in Canada. It is grown on 180 hectares in Hungary, mainly in its home of Eger, where it accounts for 2% of the plantings, whereas there are also 48 hectares in the Mátra wine district. In Eger, it is often used in the Bikavér blends, although Turán may not account for more than 10% of the assemblage. In the Mátra, it is often produced as a monovarietal, resulting in really enticing, unique, characterful wines. In this case, it is very deep in colour, purple when young, and characterised by ripe, almost sweet black and dark berry fruit, rosehip and delicate perfumed floral and rose notes. It is full-bodied with high alcohol and prominent tannins, yet also retains a sense of freshness.

What its wine tastes like

It is popular in blends thanks to its deep colour, black berry fruit and delicate floral perfume. It complements the peculiarities of other varieties with its deep colour, spicy notes, aromatic rose and fresh, light fruit. It also makes appealing wines in its own right. The most striking things are, of course, its deep colour and pronounced tannins but its wide range of aromatics also enable it to create sometimes truly unique monovarietal wines.

Turán grape bunch and leaf

Wine & food pairing

Turán is a Hungarian variety which can mainly be found in the Eger and Mátra wine districts. It has special, unique flavours and is very deeply coloured. It is used both in blends and monovarietal wines, but its characteristic rose and rosehip flavours mean Bikavér blends may contain maximum 10% of the variety. Turán wines are intense and mouth-filling with high alcohol, so generally tend to be consumed in the cooler months, although those who enjoy this style will happily drink it all year round. Its characterful, firm tannins and perfumed aromas make it a great pairing for spicy Asian pork and beef dishes; however, it is also the perfect complement for game, roast meat and baked camembert with cranberry jam. Choose wines from recent vintages and consume within a couple of years to best enjoy its aromatic style. Always store in a cool place, at a constant temperature, away from direct sunlight and heat, to best preserve its perfumed aromas. Serve just below room temperature at about 14-16°C in a tulip-shaped red wine glass. Ingredients that best match the flavour and texture of wines made from Turán include sweet potatoes, beetroot, aubergines, celeriac, tomatoes, sweet spices, curry, mature cheeses, blue cheeses, camembert-style cheese, goose, duck, game birds and offal as well as pork, veal and venison dishes.

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