A remarkable Hungarian Kadarka

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 with old indigenous Hungarian varieties, of which Kadarka is one. He also has a reputation for eccentricity, it seems, and makes some of his wines in very small quantities. It’s perhaps for this reason that this particular one comes in a 500 ml bottle: presumably there isn’t a lot of it to go around.

When I opened this wine I knew nothing about it. Immediately I was captivated by its elegance and haunting perfume, with the fruit framed by just a subtle green note. Fabulous stuff.

Szentesi Kadarka 2009 Etyek-Buda, Hungary
14% alcohol. Lovely fresh, peppery lift to the pure red cherry fruit nose, with subtle herbal, hedgerow hints and some floral characters. The palate is superbly elegant with sleek cherry fruit, some fresh peppery notes and admirable purity. It’s ripe but so pure and elegant with a fine, mineral finish. 94/100

Find this wine with wine-searcher.com

 

3 comments to A remarkable Hungarian Kadarka

  • europai

    Looking forward to it next month. It’s been a while since I encountered a good Kadarka from Hungary. I do understand your comparison to Pinot but I always felt that Kadarka, at least for me is closer to a good, ripe Grenache.

  • S.M.

    Hi Mr. Goode I stumbled across your blog a couple of months ago and have found it interesting, informative and user friendly.

    I especially appreciate that you pay attention to Hungarian grapes/wine as that’s a region of Europe that is grossly unknown and misunderstood by most wine drinkers/connoisseurs.

    I greatly enjoyed your coverage of the Pannon Wine Challenge 2012, as it’s good to see Hungary getting some good press coverage for a change.

    May I suggest that you try some Lake Balaton Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris) its incredible stuff, as its very different from Alsatian Pinot Gris or Italian Pinot Grigio. There is a mineral element to it and it’s quite smooth and balanced.

    Anyways looking forward to more of your blog postings and articles.

    Cheers!

    S.M.

  • Ken Howes

    I love Kadarka, but I haven’t seen it in years. When I lived in Germany, I used to see it all the time, usually from Hungary, Bulgaria or Romania. I got back to America and didn’t see it at all. There was a small Massachusetts winery, Commonwealth Winery, which made a “Harvest Red”, which, if it wasn’t a Kadarka, tasted exactly like one.

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