Hungarian wine has a history dating back to at least Roman times. Outside of Hungary, the best-known wines are the white dessert wine Tokaji and the red wine Bull's Blood of Eger (Egri Bikavér). Hungary's most famous wine region lies in the foothills of the Zemplén Mountains of the far north of the country - in fact the traditional area crosses into the southeast corner of modern Slovakia. The area is notable for its long warm autumns and mists that come in from the River Bodrog, creating perfect conditions for noble rot. This can contribute towards creating the botrytised ('aszú') grapes for which the region is famous. These are individually picked as late as mid-November into buckets ('puttonyos') and crushed to a paste. Varying amounts of this aszú paste are then added to non-aszú must or wine made from a mix of Furmint, Hárslevelű, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Kövérszőlő or Zéta grapes, and left to ferment. The resulting wine is then aged in relatively small barrels in a labyrinth of cellars in the soft volcanic tuff, on whose walls thick blankets of fungus regulate the humidity.
- Item #: i_372356Bottle Size: 750mlEgervary's 2011 Szekszardi Bikaver is made from 30% Cabernet Sauvignon; 25% Kekfrankos (Blaufrankisch); 10% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot.
Bikavér is a traditional, Kékfrankos based blend of international and autochton varieties. A straightforward, fruit driven wine with ripe dark berry fruit character and soft, spicy, smoky overtones.
Food recommandation: pork, beef, wild boar and fowl
- Item #: i_374811Bottle Size: 500mlWine Spectator: 90Hungary’s sweet Tokaji (Tokay) wines have been considered one of the world’s greatest dessert wines since at least the Middle Ages. Wines labeled Aszú are made from late harvest, botrytis-affected Furmint and Harslevelu grapes with a small percentage of Muscat. 5 Puttonyos indicates the richness and sweetness level of this impressive wine.
WINE SPECTATOR 90 POINTS - "The apricot, kumquat and honey flavors are tinged by lanolin in this medium-sweet white. Racy acidity keeps this fresh and lively on the lingering aftertaste. Drink now through 2020."
- Item #: i_300034Bottle Size: 500mlHungary's remarkable Tokaj region has enjoyed royal patronage for 400 years. From the country's most exciting cellar, this is a divine sweet white - not a traditional Tokaji but a Late Harvest wine with intense honeyed fruit and brilliant freshness.
- Item #: i_372366Bottle Size: 750mlThis is a delightful Olasrizling (Welsh Riesling or Riesling Italico) from Badacsonyi, Hungary. The grapes are grown on volcanic soil near Lake Balaton. The wine is aged for a few months in neutral oak. This white is fresh, clean, crisp and completely charming. From the winery: "All of our wine is coming from an organic production method. Vineyards are tended with professional care, grapes are carefully managed, selected and processed from growing until vintage and the wine is matured by spontaneous fermentation."