Dinner last night was with Agnes Herczeg and Gaia Gaja at Zona in Budapest. It’s a new restaurant that’s only been open four months, and it’s based around the idea of small plates. The name Zona refers to the portions. In communist times, apparently, if you weren’t very well off you could go late to [...]
I’m in Budapest for the VinCE wine conference, where this morning I am giving a talk and conducting a tasting on biodynamic wines.
I arrived yesterday afternoon, and spent a good bit of time focusing on the wines of a special Hungarian terroir, Somlo, guided by Omar Honigh-Csizmadia of Royal Somlo (www.royalsomlo.com). In particular, I was [...]
A big dinner last night at home with friends. For me, this was the stand-out wine. It’s truly wonderful. Expensive, but one of the world’s great sweet wines.
Királyudvar Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2002 Hungary
10.2% alcohol. Exotic, powerful nose of spice, raisins, apricot and peach. Lovely purity. The palate is spicy, honeyed, rich and taut with [...]
Not much chat, just a quick note on an utterly brilliant sweet wine. Sold in a handy 25 cl bottle which makes this world class wine relatively affordable at around £11.
Royal Tokaji 5 Puttonyos 2005 Hungary
10.5% alcohol. Lively, intense aromas of marmalade, apricot, spice and citrus. The palate is concentrated with lots of sweetness but [...]
Hot on the heels of the fabulous Szentesi, I’ve been lucky enough to bump into another brilliant Hungarian Kadarka, this time from Orsolya. This is such an interesting variety, I’ll be looking out for more.
Orsolya Kadarka 2009 Egri Borvidek, Hungary
12.5% alcohol. Pale cherry red colour. Lovely sweet cherry fruit aromatics with some fine, spicy, herby [...]
Now this, dear readers, is a brilliant wine. It’s a Hungarian red made from the Kadarka variety, which is a new discovery for me. From my limited experience, I reckon this is a really interesting grape, making elegant wines a bit reminiscent of Pinot Noir.
It’s made by József Szentesi, whose mission has been to work [...]
Really enjoyed this over the last two nights. It’s a Syrah made by an Austrian in the Sopron region of Hungary. Thrilling stuff.
Weninger Syrah 2009 Sopron, Hungary
13.5% alcohol. really fresh, peppery nose showing black pepper, black cherry and spice notes, as well as a hint of clove. The palate is fresh with pepper and spice [...]
The last day of my Hungarian visit. I was in Budapest for the awards ceremony for the Pannon Wine Challenge.
I spent the morning catching up with Agnes Herczeg, CEO of Grof Buttler winery and MW student, and then it was off to the Gerbeaud, for a very grand awards ceremony and lunch. I had [...]
Tara Q Thomas and Wojciech Boknowski taking snaps of winning bottles
It is a measure, perhaps, of how good some of the wines in the Pannon Wine Challenge were that when the winners were unveiled at the end of tasting, the judges all crowded round with cameras and iPhones in order to photograph the winning [...]
Another full day of judging Hungarian wines. We spent the morning finishing tasting all 300 in our groups of three and then in the afternoon joined together, to retaste all the wines that had got through the cut.
It’s a great way of judging because we all get to taste all the good wines. [...]