Hungarian wines

Anybody tried Hungarian wines beside obviously Tokaji? Recently discovered some grapes I never heard about before. Great wines. Highly recommend to try.
Kolonics, Karvaly Juhfark Nagy-Somlo 2017
Kikelet, Lonyai Harslevelu Tokaji 2018

Had a 2019 Bencze Pinot Noir the other day.
It was pretty delicious. Very light in style.
(Disclaimer: it is a natural wine with some funk).

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I’ve been a big fan and proponent of Juhfark and Hárslevelű and especially the Somlói wines!

It’s hard to find Juhfark outside Somló as it is a variety that’s grown only for some 100 hecateres in the world and a lion’s share of that is on the slopes of the Somló hill. The remaining few plantings are in Slovakia and in Hungary.

I haven’t tasted Juhfark outside of Somló, but it really thrives on the volcanic soils of Somló, producing wines of intense acidity and minerality. The variety needs to be picked very ripe, but fortunately it doesn’t produce much sugar even when fully ripe (at least in the Hungarian climate) so the wines often are of modest alcohol, and thanks to the volcanic soil, the grapes retain crazy acidity even when very ripe. Definitely my favorite Hungarian variety and also one of my favorite white varieties in the world. If you can find older vintages of Fekete, they are simply outstanding. Somlói Vandór is also a name to keep in mind.

People usually rave about Furmint since it’s so ubiquitous in most Hungarian wine regions and famous for being the main component in Tokaji wines. However, people don’t seem to realize that Furmint is only best suited for botrytized wines because it tends to fare better with botrytis than Hárslevelű. However, Hárslevelű is normally more responsible of the aromatics and complexity in a young Tokaji and when it comes to dry white wines, Hárslevelű tends to produce wines with more depth, complexity and aromatic interest than the more neutral and aromatically more one-dimensional Furmint, while both varieties excel in high acidity and minerality. I do love a great dry Furmint, because it is not unlike an Hungarian take on Rheingau Riesling or Loire Chenin, but for me, Hárslevelű is more of a unique wine altogether. István Szepsy, the legendary Tokaji winemaker, makes some exceptional dry Hárslevelű and Furmint wines that are definitely well worth checking out.

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the grape variety to watch out for is Kékfrankos – across the border in Burgenland known as Blaufränkisch –
and the Hungarians are paying keen attention to what the best growers in the Austrian federal state formerly known as Deutsch-Westungarn are doing

I’ve dabbled after visiting in 2019. The dry whites had the more lasting impression on me than the reds.

When I can find in my market, have purchased Furmint wines, especially those from Tokaj.

Trade Joe’s has a nice grüner veltliner for $4.99

Just had it last night with seafood :lobster:


I can’t remember if it was Villaney or not, but some Hungarian Cabernet Franc I had about a decade ago was one of the greatest surprises of my 30 odd years of wine drinking. It was less than £10 and was absolutely delicious.

Recently bought some Áldás Egri Bikavér, St Andrea 2018, waiting for it to be delivered, I will post on what it tastes like.

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Estevan Szepsy’s dry Furmints are incredible. As a matter of fact all of his wines are amazing.

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Tokaji Château Pajzos 5 Puttonyos. Had that about 12 years ago, really liked it.

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Just tried 2 INCREDIBLE Hungarian wines>

Lenky Pinceszet Flow 2020 … Weirdly this gave me flashes of high end white burgundy. It’s made with furmint and aged in of course Hungarian oak. It has a lot of Chardonnay vibes with lemon pretty high acidity and minerality.

Jasz Laci Harslevelu Bazalt 2017 was golden like a much older wine with notes of apricot and honey blossom. It’s unoaked and grown on volcanic soils like a lot of Hungarian wines. I’m not really sure how to describe this wine… in some ways it’s floral like Chenin, but also isn’t so far off Pieropan Soave lovers.

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I love hungarian wines both red and white. They have the cold climate feel and the prices as in what is in the bottle is just crazy.

A really good source of information is A. Gere are for me the best alongside the Sebysten, Pannonhalma Abbey and St Andrea. I also find myself prefering Kekfrancos (Blaufrankish) from Hungary rather than from Austria.

We put Gere’s Syrah in a blind tasting with french Syrah’s including Jamet, almost came out on top.

On Tuesday a Hemina 2021which is a blend of Cabernet franc and Merlot from Pannonhalma Abbey was really nice, despite the 14% alk very crisp and mineral driven.

Some one wrote Hungary is the spiritual home of Cabernet Franc, the Gere Kopar is fantastic, but at a completly different level is the Malatinsky Noblesse CF Cabernet Franc 2013 at under 30 € this is killer wine.

Dry Furmint is also really fascinating. The Royal Tokai Furmint Dry which the vinothek sell for 7,42 € is amazing for the price. Also very good Dobogó Furmint.

I do not sell hungarain wines (but would love to) or have any affiliation to the above vinothek. I just think the value and quality the wines offer are tremendous. I think if it was not for the tragedies of the second world war and then communisim, Hungary would be at the top of list of european wine countries.

I went through a phase of drinking quite a bit of dry Furmint a couple of years ago, in my case from one of the bigger producers: Sauska, and mainly from the 2015 vintage. At the time it was quite excellent value here in Hong Kong, and I found myself comparing it in quality to white Burgundies of several times the price.

I look again now and see that the price has crept up somewhat, but I really should go back and explore new vintages.

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Agreed, with how volcanic the soils are… these wines are incredibly structured and can age like monsters.

Of course. Many. Tried to import some in the 1990s. Been to Somló a few times and had Juhfark last week with some friends who didn’t know it. The wines have improved dramatically over the past 20 years and some are as good as anything you’ll get from anywhere. Best Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) I ever had was from Eger, a bit southwest of Tokaj up in the mountains where it’s cold as hell. And that wine came from a mountainside vineyard covered with huge clam shells. Best Bikavér too, which was nice because it had become a sorry joke under communism. But just as people laughed at Chianti in the 1970s, and it had a re-birth, so with Bikavér (Bik = bull, vér = blood). It was good because it came from the cold region. It’s also made in Szekszárd, which is in the south of Hungary and is much warmer, and supposedly it was a favorite of Franz Liszt, but who knows. The wines from there can be good but they’re not as dramatic as those from Eger.

And then of course there’s Tokaji aszú, which is flat out the greatest sweet wine in the world, excepting perhaps some Madeira but most assuredly including every Sauternes. But this thread was about other wines.