Hungarian Wine

Blue DanubeWine Company is an importer focusing on the wines of Austria, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Montenegro. On 3/18/14, I participated in a winechat and tasting on Twitter hosted by Protocol Wine Studio focusing on Hungarian Wine. The tasting focused on three traditional Hungarian grape varietals Kadarka, Furmint & Olasrizling.

Wine has been made in Hungary since Roman Times and is mentioned in the national anthem of Hungary, but until the fall of communism in the 1990’s, wine in Hungary could only be made non-commercially for family or friends. Things have changed and at the present time there are 22 wine regions in Hungary with some talented winemakers commerical selling their wines.

Although Hungary is most known for it’s sweet Tokaji dessert wine, Hungarian winemakers are making some amazing wines from other traditional Hungarian grapes and Blue Danube is trying to spread the word and get Americans to taste and enjoy them.

Esterbaur Kadarka Nagyapam 2011 sells for $17.95 a bottle and is made from the Kadarka grape. The Kadarka grape is believed to have been brought to Hungary from modern day Bulgaria by Turks. This wine is from Southern Hungary and is grown in chalk and loess soils. Nagyapám, means Grandfather and the wine is named to honor winemaker János Eszterbauer’s father who drank Kadarka cold straight from the barrel. This red wine has a nice freshness and minerality, it is dry with nice fruit and spice accents and it meant to be enjoyed slightly chilled. It has been compared to Cabernet Franc from the Loire Valley.

Bodrog Bormuley Furmint Lapis 2011 sells for $21.95 a bottle. This wine is from the Tokaji region of North Eastern Hungary. Tokaji has quite a history and is actually the site of the world’s first appellation system, over 100 years before Bordeaux. Typically when one thinks ofTokaji, sweet dessert wine come to mind but this Furmint grown in clay and volcanic soil on a site with a bit of an altitude and a breeze is bone dry with amazing creaminess & minerality. The wine is fermented in Hungarian Oak

Fekete Olaszrizling 2011 sells for $24.95 a bottle. This wine is from Somlo in Eastern Hungary and is made by Bela Fekete who is now almost 90 years old and who finally stopped making wine in 2013. High in alcohol, very acidic with lots of smoky volcanic minerality, this wine has great structure and depth and will only get better with age.

Thank you to Blue Danube for my first introduction to Hungarian Wine beyond sweet Tokaji dessert wine (which is also quite delicious and often referred to as the nectar of the Gods).   I look forward to trying and learning about many more amazing Hungarian wines, Kedves egeszsegere!

All of the above mentioned wines can be purchased from Blue Danube Wine Company www.bluedanube.com

 

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