January tasting: Furmints of Hungary

Last Saturday we had our monthly wine tasting, the theme this time was the Hungarian grape Furmint.

I first would like to thank Robert Smyth, for helping to advertise this tasting in the Budapest Business Journal, u can read the article he wrote just below.

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The line up was specially picked to show everyone the different regions that produce Furmint and how different terroir can affect the wines. We had a total of 7 wines which included a sparkling wine, 4 dry wines and 2 sweet wines at the end. We also drank a pálinka!

furmint-line-up-2017
The original line up

 

Tállya ZZ furmint Habzóbor 2015

Tállya ZZ Furmint Habzóbor 2015.JPG

Nice and refreshing sparkling wine, citrus fruits on the nose. In the flavors we find hits from both green and sweet red apples with a bit of lemons. And perfect start and excellent to drink on a nice spring or summer day.

 

 

Price: between 2400 and 2750 Forints, 7-8 euros

My score: 87 points

Orsolya Pince Furmint 2015

This wine is quite special in some way, the grapes were grown in Tokaj and transported to Eger after the harvest. The wine was fermented and aged in the cellar of Orsolya Pince for about 8 months. This happened in used 400l barrels. The grapes were extremely ripe and the berries were in pristine condition when they were harvested.

orsolya-pince-furmint-2015

Despite the fact that I have served this wine second, it’s not a light bodied one at all. We got a nice and elegant buttery nose because of the oak aging and on the tongue it’s creamy, oaky and has hints of apple pie.

 

 

Price: Between 3500-4500 Forints, 11,5-14,5 euros

My score: 91 points

Szent Donát Furmint 2014

Another unique Furmint, this one hails from mineral rich wine region Csópak. Szent Donát their main focus is to reflect the terroir  of each vineyard back into their wines. They only focus on three varieties; these being Olaszrizling, Furmint and Kékfrankos while they also experiment with some very promising Sauvignon Blanc. This Furmint was harvested from 3 vineyards which are surrounding the cellar, the vines are roughly 15 years old. All three vineyards are exposed to the south towards Lake Balaton, the soil is a mix of loess, clay and marl stone and on top there is more marl stone.

St. Donát - Furmint 2014.JPG This Furmint is easy going, we got a lot of complex minerality on the nose with light hints of citrus fruits. The flavors are in harmony with the nose and the wine shows nice and balanced acidity with a short and very dry finish.

 

 

Price: Roughly 3000 Forints, 10 euros

My score: 92 points

Sauska – Furmint 2012

We are heading back into Tokaj, 2012 was a very dry year but the conditions were very promising. There was no infection in the vineyards and thanks to the heat wave in August the berries had chance to become very ripe. After it was hand harvested it was fermented in stainless steel tanks with the lees for about two months, the wine was blended in the beginning of May and bottled in July it also did not see any wood barrels. The grape stocks were planted in 2007 so they were 5 years old at the time of the wine making.

Sauska - Furmint 2012.JPG

Despite its older age this wine is still very fresh and alive. On the nose you could find back the minerality from the volcanic soil, some pomelo, green apple and some light hints of pear. On the tongue the minerals are dominating with green apple, nice and strong acids with a medium long finish. The acids in this one were about 2 grams less than the previous one but were more dominant.

Price: Roughly 3000 Forints, 10 euros

My score: 86 points

Kreinbacher – Nagy Somlói Furmint selection 2011

Hailing from the volcanic region of Somló, this Furmint is amazing. The grapes were harvested from very mineral rich volcanic slopes of the Somló mountain and were harvested at the very end of September. The wine was mostly fermented in stainless steel tanks and partly (about 10%) in 500 liter Austrian Stockinger oak barrels. It was bottled about a year later in October.

Kreinbacher - Nagy Somloí Furmint selection 2011.JPG

This was my favorite of the tasting, it had body and was very complex. On the nose there was minerality ( I would dare to say Limestone), limes and little hints of hazelnut. The acidity was high but very well balanced with the wines body and long finish. This is a wine that would fit great with sea fish dishes.

 

Price: I forgot how much I paid for this bottle but I would estimate between 3000-4000 forints which is 10-13,50 euros.

My score: 94 points

Tokaj Classic – Late harvest cuvée 2006

We are back in Tokaj and are heading into sweet wine. This wine is not 100% furmint but is a cuvée with a backbone of Furmint. It’s made of 60% Furmint, 35% Harslevelű and 5% Sárgamuskotály. Harvested between 10 and 25 November was fermented in the traditional Tokaj way for several months on low temperatures and aged in partly new oak barrels. It was bottled 2 years and 5 months later in April 2009 and the sugar content per litter is 92,4 grams.

tokaj-classic-late-harvest-2006

What an elegant and complex wine this is! It’s 10 years old but still has a lot more potential, the nose is complex with hints of honey, peaches, linden, chamomile and nice hints of oak.
The structure of the wine is perfectly balanced between sweetness and acidity with a medium to long finish. This wine would be a perfect pairing for foie gras (duck liver).

 

Price: I have no idea since I got the bottle as a gift from the winemaker but I would estimate between 4000-6000 forints which is 13,50 – 20 euros, this is also a 0,75l bottle which is unusual because most sweet wines are only 0,5l.

My score: 94 points

We finished the tasting with another sweet wine which I was asked not to write about and a Aszútörköly Pálinka 2008 which was also made by Tokaj Classic. Aszútörköly Pálinka is a little different from the normal well known fruit Pálinkas, because it’s distilled from the grape residues left over from the wine making. This one is very nice and smooth to drink and doesn’t really give you the ”burn in the throat” feeling some Pálinkas tend to do.

Tokaj Classic - Aszútörköly Pálinka 2008.JPG

Next weekend I will be attending a partner wine tasting of Sabar in Badascony and will write something about the event, what we tasted and hopefully will be able to show you some beautiful pictures of the region during the winter!

The next Wonderfultasting wine tasting will be held on Saturday the 4th of March at 14.00 I will make a Spring selection of 6-8 wines (depending on the sign ups). The wine list will be posted in the facebook event closer to the date, if you would like to attend you can sign up here or send me an email mzeebroek@gmail.com in case you don’t have facebook. The price is 3000 forints as always!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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