We went on a lazy sunny Sunday afternoon walk with my wife and we eventually landed in Városliget. This time I wasn’t just wandering intuitively but I was focusing on wines I heard of from others or read about (albertgazda might sound familiar to some) instead.
I found Gedeon Rajnai Rizling 2008 a bit dull after the eye-opening tasting last week of German Rieslings but to tell the truth the cheapest was about twice or three times as expensive as this Gedeon Rajnai Rizling. This is a decent wine from a winery I heard about for the first time here, with a pale hue with greenish reflections. What really disappointed was the lack of acidity and body. With ripe continental fruits (a bit tutti-frutti-like) on the nose and a sweet sensation on the palate this was a bit disturbing indeed. Soft texture with a medium-short finish supported by a slightly bitter underpinning. Score: 4-/4 points
Gedeon – Órajnai Rizling 2006 – now this one has more style. With grapes harvested in early December, this is a bright golden yellow wine with clear marzipan nose (maybe not entirely as a consequence of new oak) . It’s gentle, also on the palate with the same marzipan character, not too firm but glycerin sweet with greenish-grassy accents. Score: 5 points (at least)
I like Tornai wines very much ever since last year’s Somló Tavasz festival. Even the cheap entry-level wines are more than acceptable and of good value for the money. Their premium range took them to the next level, becoming one of my top 3 pics from Somló (if you look at the entire sortiment). Aranyhegyi Olaszrizling 2007 is a Pannnon Bormustra “csúcsbor”. It has an appealing vibrant ripe corn color and a lovely, dense nose of sage in melted butter. This character continues into a similar palate of similar intensity and loveliness, with quite a lot of substance supported by very subtle acidity, flowing into a soft and seemingly endless finish. Score: 6+/7- points
Béres Lőcsei Furmint 2007 has a bit flinty nose. On the palate a slightly sparkling minerality sliding on butter mingled with tutti-frutti. Actually what this palate most reminds me of is “robbanócukorka” (blasting candy) from my childhood which were sweet tiny rocks blowing when in contact with the saliva (its discovery was a major milestone in my life). This along with a mineral character make this an interesting, although not exactly huge wine. Relatively thick. Score: 5 points
Kovács Nimród Winery Chardonnay Battonage 2006 was a great wine reasonably priced. Chardonnay Battonage 2007 seems a bit lighter already in the glass. Very gentle nose with melted butter mingled with papaya and banana. Medium-bodied, grip but silky-soft with very subtle acidity. Very long butter finish with a hint of minerality. Classy. Score: 6+/7- points
I was a bit surprised how similarly three wines of different grape from different wine regions were structured and had similar character (Sauska Chardonnay, KN Chardonnay and Tornai Olaszrizling). Critics will say that these wines show nothing at all of the terroir and where they come from. If you ask me, they show little of the grape either (except maybe Tornai’s). But these three were by far the most outstanding wines I tasted (which didn’t include most wines on offer, of course).
Impressions about the festival: almost all the wines were served at close to proper temperature. I also noted that about 10% of visitors were foreigners which means hundreds of them (dear organisers, for gods sake, put some english/german speaking staff to the entrances at least). The location is very beautiful and although I wished some people stayed at home (including those on the stage) most people behaved in a civilised way and the nature suffered only minor damages as far as I could tell. And on my way out I bought organic nettle and walnut marmalade which are simply delicious.