Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Taste of Hungarian Wines

I was asked a few weeks ago to take part in a #Winechat featuring Hungarian Wines.  How could I refuse. This was my chance to taste wines from my home country.  One of the wines is produced about 40 minutes from where my family is from.  Below were the selections for the evening.
I have to say the selections were very unique.  That's what I LOVE is tasting wines from different regions made with grapes indigenous to that region.  Not your mainstream wine.  Also an interesting not is that it's been 20 or so years after the re-establishment of private and faily wineries in Hungary.  My father actually had papers claiming our vineyards and I believe the filed them with the consulate but nothing ever came from it. Today, Hungary is in the midst of a huge wine renaissance.

2011 Bodrog Bormühely Lapis Furmint - The Furmint grape is widely grown in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region of Hungry.  It is the principal grape in the Tokaji dessert wines people think of when you think Hungarian wines.  Actually this was was relatively dry.  It is said the grape was introduced to the region during the Austro-Hungarian era of the Middle Ages.

The grape is very high in acidity and with residual sugar at 4.9 g/l it doesn't taste sweet at all.  The acidity is really nicely balanced. The aromas of this wine are of sweet ripe peaches and toasted sugar.  The minerality of the wine comes out in the taste along with a nice creaminess felt on the palate. The wine did go through a full malolactic fermentation furmentation and spent 9 months aging in Hungarian oak sur lie.

2011 Fekete Béla Olaszrizling - This wine comes from the Somló region about 40 minutes from Tapolca and Hungary's smallest appellation.  The region was once an underwater volcano. The grape is also known as Welschriesling in Austria and is no relation to the Riesling grape you are accustomed  to.  This wine had lemon on the nose with a hint of floral.  It was very soft on the palate and had a hint of spice on the finish. This wine is aged two years in 1200 liter Hungarian oak casks before bottling.  SRP $25

2011 Eszterbaur "Nagyapám" Kadarka - This wine comes from the Szekszárd region which is in southern Hungry. When I first tasted this wine I immediately characterized it as a Gamay with a hint of Pinot Noir.  Fermented with native yeasts, the wine had flavors of tart cherry, raspberry, soft tannins and a nice spice on the finish.  I tasted it room temperature as well as chilled for 15 minutes in the fridge.  It is definitely better when slightly chilled. SRP $18
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