From the Lake Balaton region of Hungary, this is made from Kadarka grapes. Ruby in color, mostly clear and bright. The nose has cherries and cranberries and a slight dustiness to it. Medium bodied. On the palate, this is semi-sweet. Smooth, not cloying and easy to drink. No bite. Cherry and cranberry notes balanced by the sweetness. A nice wine to offer those who like this style but at the end of a meal, this would be a nice wine to serve with a few bites of hard cheeses. Drink over the next five years.
All of Sauska's blends are named after prime numbers as a testament to their uniqueness. The lower the number, the better the wine. This one is a blend of 45% Cabernet Franc, 34% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 21% Merlot. It is aged 4 months in used French oak and two months is bottle prior to release. Ruby in color with purple swirls, mostly clear and bright. The nose has cherries, tobacco, plums and black pepper. 14% ABV. Medium bodied. On the palate, the cherries come thru along with the black pepper and slight tobacco underneath. Nice balance. Smooth and easy drinking. Mild tannins.
Bikaver means Bull's Blood and is a red blend dating back at least to the 18th century. The name comes from the comments of the defeated Ottoman soldiers who saw the dark red wines the Hungarians were drinking. Today, they are having a rebirth of sorts. Always a blend, it must contain a minimum of 45% Kékfrankos and 5% Kadarka and no more than 40% of the grapes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot can be used. This one is 47% Kekfrankos, 27% Merlot, 10% Kadarka, 8% Cabernet Franc, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 3% Sagrantino. 13% ABV. Ruby in color with purple swirls, mostly opaq
Bull's blood wines are blends, traditionally from northern Hungary. The name comes from the dubious story that says after the locals fought off the Ottoman's, the Ottomans said the people there were drinking dark red wine made from bull's blood which gave them strength. This made from the "500 year old" recipe as a blend of Kekfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Zweigelt. It drank nicely especially given its $12 price tag. Purple in color, with ruby swirls, mostly opaque and bright. The nose is dusty with plums and black cherries. Medium bodied. On the palate, this has tart che
This is from 100% Hárslevelű grapes grown on the volcanic Somlo hill near Lake Balaton. Green/gold in color, clear and bright. The nose is nice with apricots, slight lemons, smoke and salinity. Medium bodied. On the palate, this is a broad wine, i.e. not concentrated but with strong acidity. Lots of tart orange fruits with a bit of salinity. It improves with a bit of air. This works better with food but does drink well on its own. Drink over the next five to seven years. It will work well with lighter foods; chicken salad would work well.
This made from the Ezerjo grape in the Mor region of Hungary. The wine is fermented in small Hungarian oak barrels for three months before being transferred to stainless steel. Light yellow/gold in color, clear and bright. The nose has lemons, oranges and underlying minerals. A bit of smoke, too. On the palate, this has crisp acidity. Medium bodied. Oranges and grapefruits with lots of minerality. Very tasty but it begs for food. This should drink well for the next five to seven years. It will work with cheeses very nicely and most lighter foods.
This is a white made from the Olasrizling grape more commonly known elsewhere as Welschriesling or Italian Riesling and has no relationship to Riesling. 12.5% ABV. Silvery/gold in color, clear and bright. The nose has Meyer lemons, pears, smoke and minerals. Light bodied. On the palate, this has tart apples, pears and slight orange citrus notes. A bit of almonds on the finish. It is refreshing with strong acidity. This should drink well for the next five to seven years. It will work better with food. Smoked whitefish should be a nice pairing.
Made from the Juhfark grape on the Somlo hill near Lake Balaton in Hungary. Silvery green/gold in color. The nose has pears, smoke (it is grown in volcanic soil), slight soapy note and an herbal note. On the palate, this is semi-sweet with apples and honey notes. It has a tart green apple streak on the finish. This improved with air and definitely needs some food to counter the acidic bite. Drink over the next five years. It worked well with soft cheeses and will work with most lighter foods.
My first time trying the Juhfark (pronounced YOU-fahrk) grape. The term refers to the elongated shape of the grape bunches.
Honestly, expectations were very low for this. From a 250ml bottle. In the bottle, it looked like balsamic vinegar but once poured it was more the color of iced tea. Clear and bright. If served blind, the guess would be Vin Santo. The nose is nutty with caramel but also a slight honey and pear. Medium to full bodied but viscous. On the palate, this is just barely sweet. More like semi-sweet. Caramel and nutty flavors with some burnt cashew notes. Some acidity. Moderate finish. Certainly a respectable showing at age 33 from a 250ml bottle!