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.
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
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.
The lesser-known of the Vesztergombis of Szekszárd is József, bottling his wines under the label “Remete-bor“. Despite a quiet marketing, he is known for making lean, natural, and beautiful varietal wines that you immediately find wanted in the Szekszárd landscape. His kadarka is one of my favourites with that of Mr. Heimann. Both are simple, natural and typical fruity-spicy wines for the variety, and they do not try to look more than what they are. This should be the base level countrywide, I think, but it will take some time.
The older brother of the previous wine, very similar, but still with more power, a bit more impulsive acids. Also more tasty, but still not as relevatory for me, as for lots of Hungarian tasters. I still have a long way to go, but Mr. Homonna is someone to keep an eye on. Interesting to note, that while I clearly preferred this wine to the previous one, their score is still the same, probably because both of them are within a cat’s whiskers to bring the door down on me.
Attila Homonna is a young, talented, and by now a highly renowned winemaker in Erdőbénye, north of Tokaj. Ha gained international experience in several European cellars. He follows his insticts in the actual process of creating his wines. He is also working as a consultant to several other Tokaj wineries. His top wine comes from the Határi vineyard, it is sourced from very old, traditional, small berry furmint clones.
A pale lemon hue, nearly as pale as a champagne. Sweet apples, a bit of yeast and bread on the nose. A touch of white flowers. Reserved, but elegant at the same time. A great structure at first, hard and chewy on the palate, but it feels surprisingly thin for me at the core. A good amount of acids vibrate lightly, but still, the wine seems to be a bit lazy. Alcohol is medium. 89 points altogether. A reserved, well composed wine in a style that is said to be typical rather for France, than for Hungary. Attila Homonna started high, and still has time, and a lot of upside.
This post is a translation of the how-we-score-wines post of The Educated Alcoholist, the wine blog I rate number one by far for consumer wine reviews in Hungary.
(Disclaimer – I got involved in posting certain international reviews on The EdAlc since launching this blog, so please note that I am slightly speaking home now.)
Here is my translation on the scoring notes, I hope you can unlock a wealth of information from the site.