WINE OF THE WEEK #049
it’s crazy how time flies. Every month I buy my four bottles and when I take the “group picture” I always believe I’ll have tons of time to do some good research on the specific theme. However, I have to say that this month just flew by like a fighter jet and we are already tasting the last wine of Hungary. A pity on one hand, but as my appreciation is going crescendo, we might just have a blast with the last wine.
TAKLER - DHC Szekszard - KADARKA 2008
Euhm, ok , I am looking on the internet for some time now, trying to find some information about the Takler winery. They have a website, but it’s all written in Hungarian, so no way I understand a word they are saying.The one thing I did extract from their website are some pictures (see below) and the information that this wine is a single vineyard Kadarka.
On another website, I did found some info in english:
The Takler family settled in the Szekszárd region about 300 years ago and has been making wine ever since, maintaining the tradition handed down from father to son. The current winery, established in 1987, is run by the ‘Takler Trio’, Ferenc Takler and his two sons András and Ferenc Jr. The winery’s portfolio consists of local and international varieties. Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Merlot are the three dominant grapes for the Takler Winery as well as for the Szekszárd wine region. One of Takler’s signature wines, ‘Trio’, is also made from a blend of these three types of grapes. The winery also makes Pinot Noir, Syrah and Bikavér (a cuvée known famously as Bull’s Blood), along with Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc.
The 63-hectare winery produces approximately 500,000 bottles of wine each year. Takler wines have excellent reputation winning awards in numerous national and international competitions. Ferenc Takler was named the national ‘Winemaker of the year’ in 2004 by the Hungarian Wine Academy.
n° 13 : Szekszard
Famous for its full-bodied and spicy reds, the Szekszárd wine region is one of the oldest red-wine-growing areas in Hungary. The Celts were the first to establish vine growing in the region more than 2000 years ago. The best-known grape of the Szekszárd region is Kadarka and even though it’s not the most planted grape, it became the flagship of the region. Kadarka’s role is most notable in the ‘Bull’s Blood of Szekszárd’ (Szekszárdi Bikavér), the southern version of the famous Bull’s Blood of Eger. The blend made in Szekszárd is spicier, thanks to Kadarka grapes. Szekszárd, similar to the Villany region, is located in the southern part of Hungary with long hot summers and mild winters favoring red grapes.
Over the past years Szekszárd has produced many quality red wines winning numerous awards in both national and international competitions. Wines from the Szekszárd region may not be well known internationally, but vine growing and wine making in the region has traditions dating back thousands of years. For example, did you know that red wines from Szekszárd inspired the likes of Schubert, Franz Liszt, Zoltán Kodály and Pope Pius IX?
I guess it’s clear what we are tasting here, so let’s pop&pour!
When I pour the wine in the glass, I get a very bright colour, almost tones of soft red and pink like a flamingo. I love the colour, but it’s confusing to read that Kadarka gives body and structure to a wine… This does not look at all a big boy.
Oh my, I can sniff this wine all day.
There is a fantastic mix of fruit and flames.
The fruit = strawberry and black cherry
The flames = coffee beans, ashes, burnt wood from a wet forest and dark chocolate.
And again, the “weight” of the nose comes across as a nice beaujolais cru, so rather light and spicy.
It’s crazy how this wine/this nose connects with me at this moment, I love it.
The structure of the wine is great. The initial attack is juicy and wet, but then all of a sudden the wine gets a little thicker, coating your mouth nicely and leaving behind a soft and elegant feeling.
The juicy attack is dominated by black cherry, hints of violet and very gentle tannins, and as the wine gets thicker a beautiful layer of rose petal appears.
Amazing balance, awesome!
The finish is going more towards the top layer of a crème brulée. A hint of sweetness, burnt caramel but without losing the fruit of the mouthfeel and the overall balance.
I gave the last wine a gold medal because I love the light style and the terroir, but I believe this wine is even better. That transition from a light, spicy and juicy wine towards a thicker more concentrated wine with more developed flavours is just fantastic. No doubt about it, this one is a gold wine.
WINE OF THE WEEK #048
I am amazed we are actually approaching the magic number #052, which means this blog will celebrate it’s first year of tasting a wine every week, without interuption!
But, first things first, it’s time to attack the red wines from Hungary, starting with the THUMMERER - EGRI BIKAVER 2006
This wine has a “DHC” or Districtus Hungaricus Contrallatus from the region of Eger, or region nr 20 on the map below.
What excites me about this wine is that there is a certain legend attached to it, because “Egri Bikaver” actually means “Bull’s Blood”. According to the legend, the name originates from the invasion of ‘Suleiman the Magnificent’ around 1552.
To motivate and support the small group of soldiers during the Siege of Eger castle they were served delicious food and a lot of red wine. Among the Turkish soldiers it was rumored that bull’s blood was mixed into the red wine, as otherwise the strength and firm resistance of the town and castle of Eger could not be explained. Finally the enemy gave up and the Turks took over.
Plus, and this is not a legend, they are the ones who imported the grape Kadarka into that region of Hungary, which brings me to the grape varieties in this wine. Mainly Kadarka, some Kékfrankos (= blaufrankisch) and a bit of cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.
I am looking forward to try this blend. Cabernet sauvignon and kadarka both give body and structure, kékfrankos and cabernet franc will add acidity and elegance to that. Should be amazing actually.
If that is not enough, Thummerer, the producer of this wine is, if we may believe the world wine web, is on top of the game in Eger, producing biodynamically the best Egri Bikavér of the region. (in my price range that is…)
Check out the WINEMAP if you want to know where his vineyards are exactly.
Let’s give this wine a go!
I have a nice ruby red colour, slightly transparent on the edges and it does have some legs but not too many. (alcohol 14%)
The nose is absolutely fantastic!
Dominated by black fruit : blackberries and blueberries and a hint of cranberry. On top of that is a good kick of barnyard and liquorice.
I also have a soft minerality and a strange note I cannot describe well, but it reminds me of the peel of a red apple. (probably the cab franc saying hello)
Very fruit driven in the mouth, dried black fruit for sure.
A bit softer then I expected, the tannins do not grip the way I want them to.
Could it be that this wine is just a bit over the top? Because it feels very light to me. It might take me some time to get used to the tenderness of it. I expected more of a kick, but this wine is delicate and floral, everything is completely integrated and unique in its own way.
Think black again: olives, black pepper, liquorice and a hint of leather. But all very aromatic, not heavy.
After reading the wine had cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc in the blend, I expected a heavy wine, but I have to say I am delighted with the end result. I am looking forward to try the next wine, a 100% Kadarka, to see if it has the same tenderness.
Anyways, a light wine, very special and very easy to drink yet complicated and massively interesting.
The of the month - HUNGARY - November 2011
Hi again, I am right on time!
1st of November to announce a new theme : HUNGARY.
Since I’ve been tasting along, I always seem to have a certain affection with wines from Eastern Europe. And when I came across some white wines at a tasting, I knew I was going to make this my new theme.
When you look at a wine map from Hungary, you can see that there are many regions:
1 Sopron, 2 Nagy-Somló, 3 Zala, 4 Balatonfelvidék, 5 Badacsony, 6 Balatonfüred-Csopak, 7 Balatonboglár, 8 Pannonhalma, 9 Mór, 10 Etyek-Buda, 11 Ászár-Neszmély, 12 Tolna, 13 Szekszárd, 14 Pécs, 15 Villány, 16 Hajós-Baja, 17 Kunság, 18 Csongrád, 19 Mátra, 20 Eger, 21 Bükk, 22 Tokaj-Hegyalja
The regions that I’ve heard of in my very short period in the wineworld are Nagy-Somlo for their white wines, Villany and Eger for their red wines and Tokaj-Hegyalja for dessert wines. I’ve already had 2 Tokaj’s and my lord, I love it.
Luckily those names are easy to remember, but the name of the Hungarian grapes are not. So I am not going to copy them all into this introduction, but I hope you will learn along with me as I will review these wines:
I’ve selected 2 white wines and 2 red wines:
KREINBACHER-SZENT-ILONA - Furmint 2009 (€8,40)
KREINBACHER-SZENT-ILONA - Nagy-Somlo 2009 (€9,50)
TAKLER - Kadarka 2008 (€14,00)
THUMMERER - Egri Bikavér 2006 (€11,20)
I am curious what I will learn from this selection. I guess it will be a lot more than just ‘good’ wine.
(I shopped at Vinikus&Lazarus and MigsWorldWines )