Turán is a Hungarian cross, a teinturier grape variety (whose flesh is red, or rather inky purple) with poor reputation. It ripens early, has a muscat-like aroma but it’s very tannic and slightly bitter to taste. A blending component to boost color, not much else – at least in most winemakers’ eye.
A small batch Syrah from one of Szekszárd’s top producers, Heimann. The new generation – jr. Zoltán Heimann – is making more and more impact on the winery style and I’m sure this wine reflects his ideas.
This is simply one of the greatest dry Tokaji Furmints I have ever tasted. I can recall only a few bottles of Szepsy and Demeter Zoltán from the last two decades, that amazed me this much. Those were made in a very different style, though, oaked and full-bodied.
I could not name a more exciting Hungarian red wine than Szentesi’s Tihanyi Kék. It’s even more individual than his Csókaszőlő, though both are highlights for me from his range of wines, in every vintage.
Irsai Olivér is a local grape of Hungary, a cross made in 1930. It has a bad reputation amongst wine aficionados as a dull, cheap, mass produced wine. An equivalent of low priced Pinot Grigio perhaps – except that it’s a highly aromatic, Muscat-like variety. And when made well, it can be quite pretty, like the most well-known version, made near Budapest by Nyakas.
I attended Borjour’s so called Bikavér Duel event in March, where the two wine regions eligible to use the name Bikavér showcased their wines. Eger impressed me a bit more than Szekszárd, especially the Böjt 2016. I bought a bottle the next week.
At the end of January I visited Szekszárd on the Southern part of the country. Together with Villány, it is the region making the ripest, more full-bodied reds of the country, based on mostly Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc – but in a different style than Bordeaux. There is generally a slight move away from overoaked, big reds in recent years, but what I tasted at the region’s most famous producer Heimann is something groundbraking.
Kadarka rarely gets cheaper than the Schieber Trilógia 2018 from Szekszárd. That means 5-6 Euros on shelves. I wonder if it makes enough profit for them, considering that Kadarka is tricky to grow – the tiniest bit of rain around harvest time results in serious rot and loss of crop. One of its best producers, Heimann told me once that they do rigorous grape sorting to ensure quality, discarding half the crop on average.