Forceg in fire at Embassy of Hungary in Copenhagen (Augusztus)
A notes of Peder Larsen’s pen:
Hungary – ‘Forged in Fire’
Earlier this week, I was invited to a master class at the Hungarian Embassy conducted by Mihály Konkoly DipWSET.
The master class highlighted four Hungarian wine regions and the wines presented showed some of Hungary’s own varieties. Some indigenous, some not – but all of them very important to Hungary and Hungarian wine.
From Badacsony we had a Furmint-based sparkling from Laposa.
Easy to drink, fruit driven with pear, green and yellow apples, plenty of citrus aromas and a slight honeyed note. Perfect for summer.
The tiny region of Sómlo to the north of the Balaton is the home of Juhfark. Way too few people know of it and appreciate it. Or they simply drink it way too young. This 2017 Juhfark from Spiegelberg illustrates this, even from such a warm vintage. Still very reserved. A slightly creamy, buttery sensation from going through MLF as well as spending 8 months on the lees. A definite mineral sensation to it. I allowed it to breath in the glass and this allowed the wine to show its riper side, which will with a few more years in the bottle, I think.
From Balatonfüred-Csopak, also on the north shore of Balaton, we tasted a big bodied Olaszrizling. Very ripe fruit with tons of both fruit concentration and intensity. Fruity, spicy, mineral all at the same time. The very high alcohol for a white white is neatly absorbed by the big fruit. The wine is elevated by its acidity.
Kadarka is a must try for Pinot lovers. We tasted a beautiful version from Gróf Buttler in Eger. I really love the fine, red fruit (here dried or even cooked strawberries), the spiciness and the fresh acidity of well made Kadarka and this one delivers.
Tóth Ferenc provided us with a Kékfrankos packed with very ripe, predominantly black fruit and overt oak impact from 2 years in new big format barrels. The oak is well integrated, but I should still prefer to hold this wine for some years to settle even more.
Gál Tibor is an iconic winery and my personal history with the company dates back more than a decade. It was interesting to try their 2017 Titi, as it is the first time, that their basic Bikavér was elevated to Superior, the mid-level of the three levels. Bikavér is such an elegant style of wine and this one is no exception.
Three beautiful wines from Tokaj were also presented.
Balassa‘s 2018 Furmint is a very fine example of modern, dry Furmint. He is known for his 12 different single vineyards, but this blend of different terroirs drinks so nice just now. Dry with a creamy texture. Apple, almonds, vanilla are just part of the aromas. These dry Furmints should find plenty of fans in Denmark, once people have tasted them!
Tokajicum 2014 Tokaji Aszú 5 puttonyos from 100% Furmint is a nice example of an Aszú wine in a less traditional way. Not overly complex. Straightforward and very easy to drink. Actually more of a TBA style of wine. I really love, that they have used Hungarian (Szerednyei) oak for the maturation.
Balassa 2010 Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos was outstanding! Only 400 bottles made. 4 months of spontaneous fermentation in 3 year old 225 liter barrel followed by 4 years in the very same barrel. Highly complex with all of the aromas and flavours, you expect from your Tokaji Aszú. Raisin, apricot, orange marmelade, nuts, tea leafs. Slightly volatile and with a more oxidized expression than the Tokajicum. Razor sharp acidity to balance the 182 grams of sugar per liter. And the finish just never seems to stop.