I am now a month down on the blog, so I owe you a lot of furmints. Let me start catching up with Furmint February. The Grand Furmint Tasting organized by Vinoport took place a month ago, here are the findings:
Average wine quality was good, very good. Some 60-80 wines have been on display, with no bad wines at all, and only a very few just above pass grade. Most wines would have scored between 85-90 points, which is really satisfactory. I tried to stop and have a closer look at a few wines in detail.
Most wines came from Tokaj, a few from Somló, and only 2 from Eger. Slovenian šipons and Austrian furmints gave a chance for some international comparison.
Royal Tokaji Furmint 2009
made its debut now (at least for me) after spending 3-4 months in bottle. Cool screwcap closure from this vintage. Pale lemon colour, a bit restricted nose of fresh citrus fruits with some of vanilla. It is round on the palate, dry, but with a slight bit of sweetness, with the typical furmint fruits of sweet apple and pear. Probably needs some time to get into shape. I prefer this one to the ’08 vintage (ca. 85 points), but fails to reach as high as the ’07, my personal favourite (ca. 89-90 points). Somewhere in between, closer to the ’08 for me. Still a typical furmint, still a consistent best buy.
NJK Furmint 2009, Nagy Eged
This wine is the first vintage of the new furmint plantings on the terroir of Nagy-Eged. It made a stunning debut in the summer, but has changed a lot since then. It has a pale golden colour, (this may have been the same before,) but primary fruits have changed into a fainter cheesy-quincy nose with apple peel, this hit me as a surprise (though the early November harvest may explain for the quince.)
Still, the wine is great on the palate, fantastic acidity, grandiose structure, simply large and smooth, with taste of baked apple, herbs, and sweet spice. Definitely well above 90 points, perhaps the wine of the day for me (a funny nose, still). This Nagy-Eged furmint is definitely something to look at, I am eagerly awaiting the next vintages. Unfortunately only 480 bottles were made, but I hope there is more to come.
I dare say that Furmint is generally about Tokaj, or Somló at the moment, but this wine stole the show, despite the doubts I had.
Chateau Dereszla Furmint 2009, Lapis vinyard
Pale lemon, with a typical nose: a bit of white flowers, some elderberry, and wet stones, like the streets after a summer rain, that I like finding in some Lapis wines. A lean structure, very clean acidity, a firm body that is not fat, but powerful – another trademark I associate with some Lapis wines. Also pretty intensive, and I like that. Somewhere between 88-90 points.
Chateau Dereszla Furmint 2009, Teleki vinyard
Same producer, same vintage, but a different vinyard – a very friendly and approachable wine from the loess near Tokaj. A friend of mine bet that it has some hárslevelű, so rich, flowery, round, full-bodied and aromatic it was, but the winemaker proved him wrong. The difference was simply the vinyard Teleki. Same quality as the Lapis, but more approachable. I think I have a speculative theory on the differences between a few Tokaj vinyards by now, and these wines fit the picture well. It was a great experience to meet them, both are outstanding wines, they deserve some further inspection.
I stop here for the moment, and will soon be back with some more Hungarian, and Slovenian wines. Unfortunately, I missed the two Austrian producers this year.