This is a pale brassy-burgundy colored rosé with a light nose of lavender and plum. On the palate crisp unripe plum acidity and notes of peach. Very refreshing, simple rosé.
In February 2011 for the first time ever I chose to buy a Pezsgő (Hungarian sparkling wine), it was entirely my decision without being suggested by my wife, a big fan of Champagne. It started some years ago with our New Eve sparkling breakfasts, then one thing led to another and I can state that I now enjoy sparkling wines as much as I enjoy any other wine. The breakthrough came with a Laurent-Perrier Brut 1993 few weeks ago with its delightfully structured style, smoothly integrated palate and mature harmony only found in vintage wines.
Hungarian sparkling wines (or at least those made using traditional method, which I buy) are, of course, modest compared to the Champagnes. But I enjoy some of the rosés and I found this Chateau Vincent Evolution Rosé, 2005 particularily delightful.
It is made of 100% Pinot Noir which makes it look onion peel colored with some brassy reflections. It smells of yeast and toasted bread but it’s more aromatic and fruity on the palate with a bit of residual sugar (20g/L) which I find rather pleasant in this wine (in many white wines in fact), supported by firm apple flavoured acidity. Realtively fleshy mouthfil with aromas of chalky strawberry jam and toasted bread flowing into a very long yeasty finish with hints of pistache.
This is a very good effort, perhaps the best I have seen in its category and it confirms Garamvári Szőlőbirtok (best known as Ch. Vincent) as one of my two favorite Pezsgő makers of the regrettably short list of Pezsgő makers.
Note : pictures have been missing lately because my DSLR had broken and I couldn’t fix it yet so this and the last few pictures were taken with a budget mobile phone camera.
There are more people out there who are recently more interested in Ráspi’s new restaurant about to open in Budapest than his wines. I’m now inclined to be one of them. When I first visited him in Fertőrákos a new wave of cool restaurants started to emerge in Hungary which are now well established trendy places. So now Ráspi’s no longer so unique although the high-end restaurant business was hit hard by the recession (I just went to Onyx the other day and we had the whole place for us only for an entire hour), and Lou Lou’s closure for instance must be painful for many of us. Anyway, Ráspi’s performance in the kitchen has been less volatile than in the cellar so I’ll definitely be there (maybe I’ll still be able to afford a tasting menu, unlike his Máté cuvée for instance).
I reviewed this rosé already when it was still a young, fresh rosé and I iked it. And I still do. It still has a fresh, mineral character with a brassy color and many many mineral notes. And some unusual notes too, not so unusual from Ráspi though: something it feels closest to a refinery’s smell and the taste of a detergent. And it tastes a bit of a raw turkey breast too (don’t ask me how do I know how that tastes). Firm structure and crisp acidity. As you see, it’s a good wine.
I noticed that lately I hardly miss the chance to taste one winemaker’s rosé as opposed to only a year ago. Have I become a converted fan of rosé wines or I just like them more because they’re mostly rich in red berry fruits flavors and warm aromas, they’re mostly bigger-bodied than their fellow white wines from the same price category but in the same time they drink extremely well in hot spring and summer days? And in most cases they’re better balanced than reds/whites from the same price category. Moreover,while most Hungarian red wines are still overpriced in international comparison, rosés tend to be competitive in international perspective. So no wonder that I didn’t resist Figula’s only rosé wine, the Kékfrankos rosé 2008.
Medium-deep pink color with light brassy reflections. This Kékfrankos has a friendly, warm nose full of raspberry with a strawberry accent. Small-medium bodied and well balanced, this Kékfrankos is firm and well integrated on the palate with the help of a hint of saltiness to rebalance the hint of sweetness. There’s some gas smell element on the nose too which I find rather interesting.
Rosé wines are extremely favorable from cash-flow point of view. Take this Kékfrankos for instance. The grapes were harvested in early October and by the second week of November you could fully enjoy the wines. It’s a pity that by November most wine lovers turn to something more enjoyable at higher temperature.
Három (I I I), 2007 is a blend of 25% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. The wine has spent 5-6 months in Barrique. It has a nice purplish-ruby color with a rosé pink rim.
Surprisingly elegant on the nose, fairly dense but light in the same time releasing fresh forest berry fruit aromas. Medium acidic with slightly unripe but pleasant tannin. Medium-bodied, firm with a hint of warm sweetness. This wine will improve over the next two years but it’s already a pleasant cuvée.
Score: 5+ (/6-)
I like the Szekszárd rosé wines which are, at least those I’ve tasted so far were, relatively dense and fruity but refreshing. Ferenczi is another winery which is not listed on Google’s first 20 or so pages so I can’t tell you more about them just now.
This Rosé Cuvée 2007 has a pink color with brassy reflections. Creamy strabwerry on the nose, dense and sweet but light. I guessed Merlot and Pinot Noir from it but I didn’t suspect Zweigelt in this blend of three. Now that I know it I think there’s more of it than of Pinot Noir actually. The wine delivers the very same character on the palate with the same intensity. Fairly round with a hint of sweetness which is perfectly balanced by fresh and lovely acidity supported by some chalky and salty notes. Medium-bodied but refreshing (at the right temperature of course). I like rosé wines as in Provence: chilled to around 5 Celsius and drink it as a refreshing soda. But this wine offers more than that. With enough fruitiness and that mineral twist adding depth to the wine makes it above average and more than just a summer mid-day refresher. It’s firm enough with its elegant acidity and it has a relatively long finish with punch and clove aromas. And it’s nicely textured.
If Debreczeni’s marriage with Ferenczi is as good as of these three varieties’ than they’re a happy couple.
Price: HUF 1 400 Of course it’s a best buy!
I could have shared with you all my notes from a visit at Ráspi restaurant in Fertőrákos but as I wrote in one of my previous posts, I considered them quite unreliable and decided not to publish them like that. Instead I tasted some of them again later at home, like these two wines a few days ago and I’ll share here with you my notes as I keep re-tasting them all.
Ráspi Leányka, 2007
Salty-Stony-mineral bouquet mingled with banana notes on the and with a tiny bit of a disturbing element (something like being corked not not quite). Interesting, in spite of this, not a common nose, but very Ráspi.
On the palate the first thing coming into my mind is how little it gives back from the fruity nose. The salty-minerality’s there and I appreciate it, as always. Besides minerality, the wine has a bitter acidity character with some residual sugar, but the structure is flimsy. The short finish leaves mostly an unpleasant impression, supported by Mediterranean spices and a fruity element.
It’s an interesting wine with a major fault.
Very bright, lively rosé color with onion shell reflections.
It has a lively move too in the glass, releasing an interesting meat bouquet. On the palate it shows a bit robust body for a rosé, with dominant strawberry and raspberry notes and sweetness of residual sugar supported by enough acidity. But the wine could have a better structure. And there’s the compulsory salty minerality, especially in the long and pleasant finish.
Arriving late in the evening at the Bodri Pincészet I couldn’t visit the vineyards spread on 11 hectares around their cellar at Szekszárd-Faluhely (they have another 14 elsewhere) but from what I could see I’m suspecting that the valley must be beautiful in the daylight. Visitors can also appreciate the spacious cellar built recently using 100-years old bricks. And István Bodri is fun to listen to, but prepare to get an overflow of information very quickly. No bullshit though.
The Bodris are very proud of the technology they use and its proofs are everywhere. They’re producing more white wines than their fellow Szekszárd winemakers which I appreciated. They’re very well known locally but not so much elsewhere.
We started with a white Kadarka from 2007. It couldn’t be more interesting.
It has medium-bright color between rose and onion peel. Quite unusual and nice.
The floral nose (acacia) makes is desirable too. Fresh, round acidity with some sour underpinning but it’s OK. Medium body, well balanced.
I like this experimental approach and this proves that Kadarka is suitable for this tentative. Well done.
Score: 4 points
The Sauvignon Blanc Szelekció (Selection) from 2007 has 13.7% alcohol. Szekszárd wines often have high alcohol but I don’t mind it when it comes with a nice body and a right level of acidity.
It’s almost totally translucent. The nose is wet grass, gooseberry and a good deal of bad egg. According to the winemaker, it was aged in new oak but that’s not obvious. It has a small body and long, a bit bitter finish with pineapple, pear and grapefruit elements.
Bodri Olaszrizling 2007 has a very pale bright color and a not very intense palate despite a larger body than the previous ones. It could have more acidity.
Rozi, the rosé has one of the best nose I had a chance to find in a Hungarian rosé, if not the best. Intense, but still light-weight strawberry and strawberry jam, elegant, perfume-y. And it’s definitely Kékfrankos. On the palate it’s more stewed cherry-like.
I forgot to give it a score then, now I would say at least 5-, 5.