After the first part we managed to try a few more furmints. The tasting this year gave a chance to make some international comparison:
Four Slovenian producers presented their furmints, or šipons, plus 2 Austrian wineries, both from Burgenland. Unfortunately I missed the latter, but the Slovenian wines came from relatively small wineries, producing cca. 1000 bottles generally, and their base wines cost between 6-10 EURs, so they seem to be a reasonable comparison to their Hungarian artisan counterparts. The wines did well, and now I long to have a shot at their top wines.
Hlebec Milan Sipon 2007 (6 EUR)
You can find some info in Slovenian here. A funny nose at first, pretty mature with a bit of cheese and mushrooms, but sweet, ripe apples and pears are hiding behind. Nice acidity, clean on the palate, very reasonable, that makes it score at around 84-86 points despite the nose.
Vino Kupljen Jeruzalem Sipon 2009 (9 EUR)
These guys have an English website, cool. Clean nose, citrus fruits, apple, same on the palate, nothing complicated, but straight and honest. A fine job, scores also at 85-86 points, I like it a bit better than the previous one.
Puklavec Blaz Sipon 2009 (7 EUR)
Not too informative on wines, but English & German is definitely spoken here.
The first wine was fermented in steel, had a pale lemon colour, with apple, pear and citrus friuts on the nose, while sweet, ripe apple dominates the palate. Well defined, with a midsize body and a strong line of acidity, which are acting a little bit on their own perhaps, also a wee bit sour for me. Still, it is a further step upwards, 86-87 points, indicatively.
The second wine fermented in barriques, has the same pale lemon colour, but rather shows citrus fruits, and a lean body, reminds me of Burgundy. It the same purity as the inox one. Same quality in a different style, same score at 86-87 points.
PRA-VINO Čurin-Prapotnik Sipon 2007 (6 EUR)
Another website in Slovenian. This wine is rather different from the previous ones, slightly overripe, with quince and apples and a bigger body, but still well-made. Scores also between 84-86 points.
I also encountered the Szepsy Furmint 2008, but it was hiding behind a coat of sulphur and I did not have the time to aerate it properly. The Urban vinyard version run out of stock by the time I made it.
We cannot skip the fact at this point, that there is also a different style of winemaking that used to be popular earlier, but it has faded to the background lately. There is no school or alliance, but the wines these people make are of a different style, and this fact is rarely emphasized. It was hard to overlook that some producers seem to operate in a late harvest style, going for fully ripe, possibly even overripe fruit (whatever these phrases mean,) while not being afraid of on occasional botrytis either. These wines are usually higher on alcohol, lower on acidity, might have some residual sugar, they have a deep colour, and you can smell quince, or even dried apricots in the glass. This style is not restricted to Tokaj, it has attracted followers countrywide.
Balassa Furmint 2008, Nyulászó
A popular producer whom I always manage to miss. Well, not this time.
Golden colour, a deep, quincy, overripe, relatively simple nose. “Some friendly mineral notes, too” – I added, whatever that means. Lively acidity on the palate, that also lingers on in the aftertaste, thus creating an interesting contrast between the nose and the palate. A different, but approachable and enjoyable wine.
I also found the wines of Károly Barta promising, he is cooperating with the young vintner Attila Homonna. His 2009 furmint from the (Öreg) Király vinyard was in the Homonna-style reminding me a bit of Burgundy, and the selection furmint from the same plot was a step closer to the quincy-late harvest style.
Orosz Gábor Furmint 2009, Betsek vinyard
The surprise for the day, a slightly odd, but 100% uncompromising wine. Deep lemon colour, with red & blue petal flowers on the nose, a touch of quince and some ripe pears. Probably the only furmint I ever met with such on aroma profile. Racy acids, perhaps slightly hot, but not overly alcoholic. Smooth, well composed, with exactly the same aromas on the palate as on the nose, that includes the blue-petal-flowers stuff, whao. Love it or leave it, a unique personality either way.
The Somló producers Spiegelberg and Fekete also harvest later than most their Tokaj counterparts, but I did not take detailed notes of their wines this time.
It was a great event, thanks for organizing, and thank you for the wines!