Jásdi Ranolder White 2008

The White Blend named after bishop Ranolder is the top wine of the Csopak producer, blended from the old vines of furmint and olaszrizling of the Siralomvágó plot. A single reminiscent of an age long gone by, when Csopak wines were rated among the best wines of Hungary, commanding top spots and top prices on plush restaurant menus in the first half of the 20th century.

Pale lemon hue, with a reserved nose of citrus fruits, some green apple, and a bitterish touch of white flowers. Round, but lively acidity,with a firm body. Much more bitterness on the palate, with citrus fruits, and firm tannins. A firm core, and good concentration, and a reasonable use of barriques, I suspect.

Seems to have all the potential a well-supported, furmint blended, old vine olaszrizling can (ever?) offer. Probably a bit closed down at the moment, but I think it will be worth to look back in 3, 5, 10 years, at least.

92 points for the great structure, and the potential I suspect. Show a lot more if drank slightly warmer.

I have just realized that TheEdAlc covered this wine precisely a year before me, and scored it at 7 points (worth ca. 90-91 here, promising more, if barrique tones retire with time).

(On a late note, this wine has spent ca. 4 weeks in the fridge after opening. It was completely unchanged, showing the very same profile, shifting towards a bit more fruit.)

I found the picture in TheEdAlc post.

Disclaimer: This wine was my own purchase from here.

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Furmints for February again

February is looming up, so it will be all furmint again -just like last year.

The Grand Tasting for Furmint February 2012 organized by Vinoport takes place at Vajdahunyadvár in Budapest, 9 February 2012. Tickets cost 6.900 HUF, grab yours here.

Click here for last year’s report Part I and Part II.

This year’s participants come 77% from Tokaj, with a few Somló producers, and the odd guest from the Mátra Hills, lake Balaton, Eger, Zala, and Austria. This means there are no Slovenian guests with šipons this year, but more Hungarian wine regions join the show. (Non-Tokaj participants are bold): Continue reading

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Weninger Merlot 2001

Another great Weninger wine from the time I did not know them, thus never really got to taste it in full fame & glory. Now on a 50% sale at In Vino Veritas, probably slightly past its best, but still with a good chance to show some skin. I did love the 2000 & 2002 vintage last year here.

This wine looks definitely older, and has a garnet hue with a pale rim. Pretty simple at the start, but develops a nice bouquet after a few hours in the bottle. A mature nose of leather & tobacco, with some black cherries. Some dark chocolate appears, with a touch of that interesting, slightly vegetal note that made the 2000 so exciting. Black cherries on the palate, with some chocolate. Nice acidity, with a considerable amount of smooth tannins. The warmer it gets, the heavier it seems to be due to a 14% alcohol. At first it looked pretty lean compared to my memories of the 2000 & 2002 vintages.

Anyway, it is a great wine from a not-so-great vintage. A classic in Hungary, while possibly a bit shy of being an unquestionable classic on the international scene. Lots of Bordelaise wines are gone by now from the poor year of 2001, only the top ones are performing still. This one is tirinig, but definitely on the chase. 89 points with me & a buy at half price for 3200 HUF or ca. 12 EUR. Drink it soon, do not lay further.

Or rather 10 EUR, that is, as some goddamn politician is unable to keep his (not-yet-)bloody mouth shut again.

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Terre del Barolo “Vinum est Vita” Barolo 2007

Few are my experience in barolo & barbaresco. I was (un?)lucky enough to start with a great flight of top barolos. They impressed me so much that I thought I will never ever really get back to their everday, lesser ones. I also had a few glimpse of the highly tannic young talents, and they did a good job of hiding their treasures from me.

Last year I bought a cheap barolo in an Autogrill on the Tuscan motorway, just for fun. And this cheap barolo did provide enjoyment due to its tipicity & good drinkability.

So it was pretty straightforward what to do, when I noticed a whole set of very reasonably priced barolos & barbarescos in the Austrian discount chain Merkur. I bought a full set of the Terre del Barolo Cooperative products between 12-16 EUR, and started drinking.

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A Visit to Sopron in June 2011

In early June I managed to make it to Sopron for some private affairs, and I also payed a visit to the top two vineries in the region. As I did not take any notes on the spot, but tasted a lot of interesting wines indeed, I decided on being brave, and summing up a few basic impressions. Please take all comments with a pinch of salt.

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Terra Australis 2011

This year’s Terra Australis, organized by our guest contributor Attila Halász, was held at Curia Restaurant. You can find his scores either here or here. Hungarian bloggers share their thoughts here and here. Funny, but this time my scores are pretty close to Attila’s, while the usual thing is being close to TheEdAlc.

We started with a sauvignon blanc called Cornelius Sauvignon 2007, by Scotchmans Hill. It is a beautifully crafted wine, in the style of the Bordeaux blancs, but still staying an authentic Australian wine. I am not a fan of sauvignon blanc, but this one could dismiss some of my doubts whether a 93 point sauvignon blanc may ever exist. I still had some second thoughts, but basically, I was convinced.

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Vylyan Ördög 2008

Vylyan is definitely one of the major prestige wineries of Villány, this is one of their basic standard red blends. A standard best buy for years, this blend is made from zweigelt, kadarka, kékfrankos and merlot.

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Gedeon Cserszegi Fűszeres 2010

A relatively new producer on my radar screen, working on the Plains, possible home of the great value base wines for Hungary. More and more people are making better, and very reasonably priced wines down there. A few weeks ago their pretty basic Gedeon Kadarka 2009 stole the show from a lot of overripe prestige-kadarkas. It was actually one of the few nice ones on show that evening. Cserszegi Fűszeres is one of the local aromatic grape varieties, producing simple, but very popular wines for summer consumption, like Moscato di Asti, Wachau Gelber Muskateller, or Sauvignon Blanc.

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Szepsy Furmint 2008, Thurzó vineyard

This special bottling has been reserved for the Imola Udvarház mansion & wine restaurant in Eger. The Thurzó vineyard is of historic fame, and also highly rated by some Hungarian experts, but I never managed to get hold of any bottles sourced from this plot. The only wine I ever heard about is that of Mr. Szepsy, but it has never been commercially released probably due to the small, 0,4 ha size of the plot. Continue reading

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Tokaj Renaissance – the aszú vintage of 2007

The Tokaj Renaissance Association held its annual public presentation of its wines last Friday in the Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest. This included an aszú tasting of the débutant 2007 vintage, and also a cheese-and-wine pairing course with Ronn Wiegand MW, MS of Tokaj.

My expectations were high, as 2007 was a really hot vintage in most of Hungary, thus we expected round, rich, and very palatable aszú wines with a relatively lower level of acidity, pretty much for hedonistic consumption now, than cellaring for decades. The 2004-5-6 vintages were not famed for producing easily approachable wines, probably 2003 being the last such year.

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