Turán is a rare variety hailing from Hungary with distinctive aromas and a deep inky color. This grape is a crossing of other obscure Hungarian varieties created by Dr. József Darab Csizmazia and László Berznai. In 1964, Bikavér 8 (teinturier x Kadarka) and Gárdonyi Géza (Menoire x Csabagyöngye) were crossed to produce Turán. Years later in 1985, the state approved the grape for production. This rare variety is a teinturier grape, which means it has darkly pigmented flesh that’s uncommon in black grape varieties. Additional teinturier grapes include Saperavi, Alicante Bouchet, and few others.
This grape grows in a few Hungarian regions and other Eastern European countries. North American regions like Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia also cultivate the variety. These regions call the variety Agria. Additionally, the name Agria comes from the Latin word for the Hungarian city of Eger, one of the wine regions where this variety currently grows.
Turán is an early ripening variety with large clusters of small, thick-skinned, waxy berries. As a teinturier variety, Turán’s juice is also red. Subsequently, blends often include this grape for the deep color it’s capable of contributing.
In addition to deep, dark colors, Turán also offers aromas of black berry fruits and perfumed floral, rose notes which nicely complement other Hungarian varieties in blends.
As a single varietal wines, Turán is known for aromas of clove, sweet spice, and potpourri. It’s sweet black and dark berry fruit flavors coupled with high tannins, high alcohol and full body make for a striking wine.
The Regions: Eger & Mátra
Turán mainly grows in the Eger and Mátra wine regions located in upper Hungary. Mátra grows 48 hectares of the variety of a totally 180 hectares planted in Hungary. Single varietal Turán wines are more common in Mátra. This region encompasses 5,983 hectares and has a more moderate climate with volcanic, sand, and loess soils.
In Eger, Turán is often used in Bikaver blends. Though it can only contribute up to 10% of the assemblage. Claiming 5335 hectares, Eger exhibits a cool climate with low rainfall and long winters. Vinyards are planted to a mix of lava rock and rhyolite tuff soils.
The Winery: Csernyik Pince
“Great wine can’t be made. It’s always born in the vineyards.”– István Csernyik
Located in the center of Gyöngyöstarján in the Mátra region, Csernyik is a family owned and operated winery. The 7 hectare estate was first established in 1932 and released their first bottles to the commercial market in 2008. Fifth-generation winemaker István Csernyik grew up in the family vineyards. He began studying winemaking at 14 years old and after stints in Germany and other wineries in Hungary, István took the helm of the family estate.
Working with only ten varieties and producing 10,000 bottles of wine per year, the family values experimentation. Csernyik emphasizes naturalness and producing wines which highlight their place of production as faithfully as possible.
The Wine: Csernyik Winery Turán 2018
Csernyik grows Turán in their Well Pit 1.5 hectare vineyard located in the lowland area of the border of Gyöngyöstarján, at an altitude of 170-180 meters above sea level. The vineyard is named for the well of drinking water located here. The lower third of the vineyard area where Turán grows has brown forest soil, which is common throughout the Mátra region.
- Deep, dark, inky intense ruby violet color
- Medium + intensity aromas of juicy blackberry, lingonberry, coves, rosehips, dried rose potpourri
- High acidity, medium + body, and high dusty tannin, dark berry flavors and a touch of potpourri on the palate
- Medium concentration of flavors with a delicately bitter edge on the finish
With robust tannins, high acidity, and an array of dark fruit, spice, and floral flavors, Turán is the perfect pairing for variety of meat dishes. Smoked Brisket, slow cooked pot roast, and even carne asada tacos are all fantastic pairings for Turán. Grilled steak kebabs doused in herb loaded tzatziki are other great matches for this wine.