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_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.
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.
- 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_372429Bottle Size: 750mlFurmint is one of Europe's foremost grape varieties with a history stretching back many centuries. This is a wine that is under the radar but overdelivers. This is a wine with an excellent QPR. Think of this as a cross between Chablis and Chenin Blanc. It is a wine to be drunk with charcuterie, oysters, dishes with warm spices or garlic cream sauces. This is the perfect foil to a good many dishes. What makes it so good is that it is delicious on its own, served chilled for sipping on a hot summer day. Delightful!
- Item #: i_372595Bottle Size: 750mlPeter Wetzer makes some of the most intriguing wines in Hungary, from five different historical high-value plots, and slate-dominated soil. Looking for unique drinking? You found it. This Blaufrankisch showcases his delicate touch, a deliberate counteract to the industrial products of this wine-rich region. Acidic, lightness, spice and minerality.