Last weekend Sabar-dűlő borház organised a wine tasting for his partners and close friends. We were invited to taste the new 2016 vintages and later on taste back the older ones together with a cozy dinner at the winery.
Saturday 28 January 2017 and we are in Badacsony! Some people would call me insane to visit the lake in the winter but I can assure you it’s beautiful to drive through the snow white hills area and this year they even organized an ice skating across the lake!
We stayed in a beautiful pension located a little upwards in the hills called Óbester Panzio. it’s owned by a Swedish-Hungarian couple and when you arrive you immediately have the feeling you are at home. I highly recommend staying over for a night!
Moving on to the wine tasting, we started with some tank and barrel samples. Although anything can happen between now and bottling I can tell you it looks very promising. Sabar changed winemaker in 2016 and we were all excited to see what Bálint Földi would bring. Well let me tell you this; he brings magic to every glass of wine reflecting the region’s potential in both fresh and more complex wines.
Kékfrankos rosé 2016 (tank sample #1)
This wine will be bottled by March-April. Very fruity, strawberry and peaches on the nose with still little hints of yeast hanging around. The strawberries are very dominant on the tongue but you can feel it is not round just yet, but it looks very promising.
Olaszrizling (BalatonBor) 2016 (tank sample #2)
This wine was picked as the best BalatonBor for 2016 with 29 points on the quality tasting, this is quite big as the second one came in with only 22 points. Very fruity as well with pear and lots of red apple, it’s still a little ”acidy” and more green apple on the tongue. Another promising wine!
Moving on to barrel samples!
Unlike the previous two (which were made of purchased grapes), these grapes were grown behind the winery, tank fermented and was put in barrel 2 weeks ago. It will stay in the barrel for another few months. The plan is to ”marry” this ones with part of the ”BalatonBor Olaszrizling” after they’ve bottled enough of those. If they have some of the barrel fermented wine remaining after that they might release another version of Olaszrizling.
Very toasty with apple on the nose, quite complex but already easy to drink. The acidity was quite balanced as well.
Purchased grapes from Badacsonyörs, fermented in barrel and will age till roughly the beginning of February. Bready nose, with red apples and small hints of pomelo. The acidity is a little higher but well structured with the rest of the wine.
Almonds on the nose, a little creamy at the very start and some pistachio. On the tongue it was still quite acidy but with time this should become very balanced.
After this we went up to the tasting room and had a typical wine tasting dinner, with Hungarian sausages, ham, cheese, home made körözött (cottage cheese with paprika, onion or spring onion, salt, pepper and sour cream) and
Picture was taken by Ádám Krisztina!
We’ve tasted about a dozen samples from 2015 to 2013, I will share some of my tasting notes on the wines we drank.
Sabar – Olaszrizling 2015 (hegy-bor)
From the Csobánc hills, aged in Hungarian oak.
Nice creamy and oaky nose with a bit of Calvados apple. Excellent balanced acids and flavors with a medium long finish.
My score: 89 points
Sabar – Olaszrizling 2015 (dűlő-bor)
Single vineyard selection, aged in Australian Stockinger barrels. Melon, peaches and enjoyable oak on the nose, takes a bit of time to open up. The taste is perfectly structured and balanced, medium long finish. This is the flaghship wine of Sabar-Dűlő Borház
My score: 91 points
Sabar – Pinot Gris 2015
Aged in Hungarian trust barrels, very complex on the tongue, apple (the flavor you get when you drink Calvados) and little hints of mineral and oak. Balanced acids but the flavor is a little too much dominated by oak.
My score: 81 points
Sabar – Rajnai Rizling 2015
Flower and herbs on the nose, little hints of minerality. The flavors are very concentrated and open up more after every sip. There is a nice mixture of flower with minerality on the tongue.
My score: 84 points
Sabar – Kéknyelű 2015
Single vineyard selection from the Csobánc hills. Kéknyelű is an ancient grape that is indigenous to Badacsony. On the nose you can find some exotic fruit like melon and pineapple and also some red apple. On the tongue you can find the pineapple giving light hints of acidy, it’s round and well balanced.
My score: 86 points
Sabar – Olaszrizling ” Mórocz” 2013
Single vineyard selection of 2013, made from their own grapes grown on the western slopes of the Sabar hill. Nice minerals, little oaky and creamy opens up with time. Extremely well balanced and structured.
My score: 90 points
We finished with two törkölypálinka (brandy made from grapes that were used to make wine), one was made from Kéknyelű and the other one was made from Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris). Both were really nice to drink but my personal preference goes towards the Kéknyelű which was a lot smoother!
From 2017 on Sabar invented a loyalty system called Sabar and friends wine club. The advantages of this are quite generous and are definitely worth aiming for.
If you buy 6 bottles of wine (1 box) or more you get a 9% discount. This can be 6 of the same bottles or a mix.
If you buy 18 bottles (3 boxes) or more, you get a 9% discount, free shipping in Hungary and you become member of the Sabar wine club. This can once again be 18 different bottles or 18 of the same.
The Sabar wine club membership gives you a 15% discount on wine tastings and dinners and you will have the opportunity to buy unique and exclusive wine packages over the year. What the packages will include stays a secret but I am sure it will include some very hard to find vintages of the winery!
So if you are on vacation at the lake, and you are in or close to Badacsony go and visit Sabar, you will not regret this! Their wines are extremely well priced and are of great quality. Plus seeing the vineyards behind the cellar is a small but unique experience.
Below you find a slideshow of some random pictures I’ve took at the tasting and some from last year. I will also drop the contact details and addresses under it, if you would like to visit them just send them an email unlike most Hungarian wineries they will respond very fast!
This is the location of the cellar! They got a separate wine shop in the same town where you can just buy some wines.