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The wines of Vylyan Vineyards, Villány, Hungary
7821 Kisharsany, Fekete-hegy, 092, Hrsz Hungary
Tel: +36 72 579 701

There's no reason why Hungary shouldn't be producing world class wines, but at the moment its reputation for fine wine rests squarely on the shoulders of just one area -- Tokaji. But if the efforts of Vylyan are anything to go by, the perception of Hungarian wines abroad could soon be about to change. This ambitious premium-level producer is located in the Villány region in the extreme south of the country, on the border with Croatia. The 130 ha estate has 55 ha under vine, and a range of native and 'international' grape varieties have been put to good effect to produce a very stylish line-up of wines. I was particularly struck by the complex, Burgundian Pinot Noir, and the impressive renditions of local red varieties Kekoporto and Zwiegelt. Currently, Vylyan are still looking for a UK agent and I don't know their proposed retail prices.

Chardonnay 2000
This is a light, fresh wine with some spiciness on the palate, and a lean, savoury character. Well balanced. Very good

Kekoporto 1999
A very attractive brightly fruited red wine. The nose shows cherry fruit with a distinctive herby edge. The palate is herby and cheesy, with a lovely savoury character. Interesting stuff from this indigenous variety. Very good+

Pinot Noir 1999
A lovely Burgundian style Pinot Noir (I know it's a cliché to say this, but it really is true in this case). The varietally true nose shows smoky, herby cherry fruit with a cheesy edge. The palate shows good concentration and wonderful savoury complexity. Very good/excellent

Zweigelt 1999
Distinctive bright red purple colour. The slightly muted nose has a spicy undertone, and the palate shows soft, rich fruit with a peppery edge. There's good concentration and a bit of tannin lurking underneath the soft fruit. Very good+

Merlot 1999
Very dense purple/red colour. This is a classy interpretation of Merlot but suffers a little from being a bit 'international' and anonymous. It's thick, lush and concentrated with some tannic structure and a bit of spiciness from the wood ageing. Very good+

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