Beer from Tokaj barrels
2017 November 2, Thursday

“The first Hungarian interdisciplinary barrel ageing cooperation”

István Balassa and László Szilágyi, two Tokaj winemakers who have been spending their free time not just sitting by wine but also next to beer for years. This year, Antal Németh, the brewer of Monyó Sörfőzde, who in his diverse quest in barrel ageing experiments got as far as looking for aszú barrels for his Egypt-inspired Anubis brew. 

Délvidék Part II.
2017 November 2, Thursday

International, Balkan and Hungarian. The Zvonko Bogdan winery from Vojvodina.

We’re only a few kilometres from the Hungarian border, but we’re dropping in on another world; the taste and the atmosphere are completely different. In Subotica (Szabadka in Hungarian), the cafes and restaurants are full of people chatting and smoking, even in the early afternoon on a Tuesday.

The three of us with three bottles of wine – Spontaneously…
2017 November 2, Thursday

…we sat down to talk on the upper level of the Lánchíd shop. Three winemakers, Zoltán Heimann Jnr, Attila Gábor Németh and Attila Tálos with three bottles of wine. Well, originally with six, but at the end, three remained and it also became late in the evening. 

Délvidék Part 1.
2017 October 4, Wednesday

Winemakers of the distant south: Ernő Sagmeister and Oszkár Maurer

In the first part of our writing about the wines of the exciting sounding Délvidék (lit. Southern territories), we’re now introducing two winemakers from Szerémség (Syrmia), and next time a South Csongrád winery.

The Kreinbachers and still wine
2017 October 4, Wednesday

Everything is a question of time

The first thing that springs to mind when hearing the Kreinbacher name is traditional method sparkling wine, although everything started with still wine back in 2003, and even today they bottle and sell more still wine than sparkling wine...

It’s harvest time – 9 wines in 6 steps
2017 September 19, Tuesday

It happens at a similar time in similar ways every year, or so you might think. The truth is there are as many methods and ideas as winemakers, and sometimes even a certain amount of eccentricity is attached to the harvest. Now, concentrating on these, we’re going to look at the most important steps of the harvest, introducing nine such exciting wines, whereby the making of which saw certain steps of the harvest activities differ a bit (or a lot) from the usual ways.

Grade A in white, B in red – Burgundy 2014
2017 September 14, Thursday

Let’s start with the good news – 2014 is an outstanding vintage. The aromas and flavours are intense, the colours are lively, the contours are sharp and the wines have all the freshness and lightness of touch we love Burgundy so much for. What’s more, they bring a great experience even at this young age.

Káli Kövek’s three new village wines
2017 August 2, Wednesday

“Grapes are like business cards, they say a lot about someone”

Káli Kövek winemaker Gyula Szabó started making village wine in a totally pioneering manner in the region, and apart from his peers in Tokaj, he was also among the first winemakers to do so in the country a few years back. This year, he’s got six wines out, three of which are village wines (Monostorapáti, Szentbékkálla, Szentantalfa). Three new wines (Furmint, Chardonnay, Riesling) have also been made. We talked to Gyula in connection with the new wines at his Köveskál base and in the Öreghegy vineyard in Monostorapáti.

The new single-vineyard Sauvignon Blanc from Ottó Légli
2017 August 2, Wednesday

“As my father says: some people write dramas, others do reviews” 

We went to the János-hegy vineyard in Szőlőskislak for Ottó Légli’s new Sauvignon Blanc but the hill was so beautiful, we didn’t even want to come back.

Going easy in the summer – wines of under 11% alcohol
2017 July 18, Tuesday

One of the TOP 3 questions posed to us in our wine shops – mainly from spring till the autumn – is whether we can recommend something with low alcohol. Luckily, we can. But when exactly can we say that a light, summer white wine has low alcohol?

Gourmet corner – Summer edition
2017 July 18, Tuesday

It goes without saying that we still favour dealing with wine the most, but – especially in the summer – we enjoy a good look around, whether it’s about grilling, making salads or doing a picnic. Of course, we haven’t forgotten about beer either...

“To minimalise everything that standardises” – Frigyes Bott 2016
2017 July 18, Tuesday

When we arrived in the Garam Valley, a tea made from field horsetail and nettle was simmering in a huge pot next to the grapevines. They spray some 300-400 litres of it on the vines on a weekly basis. Alongside the horsetail and nettle, they also add anise, mugwort and osier to it. Different green and medicinal herbs grow between the rows of vines, and the orchard on Muzsla’s Öreghegy exudes friendly tranquillity and joviality, the same way as its owner Frigyes Bott does.

Vineyard Tales – There’s a story behind every vineyard
2017 July 11, Tuesday

We’ve talked about wine from many angles, but we recently heard a good story about the origins of the Babszökő vineyard and we realised that we hadn’t approached wine from the perspective of vineyards. Of course we knew that there’s a vineyard (or rather more than one vineyard) behind every successful wine and winemaker. Then, when we started approaching it from the direction of vineyards, we also realised that there’s a story behind every single vineyard. The interesting vineyard names even kick-start the imagination and mystical legends behind them can be conjured up...

Tasting in Prosecco – Bortolomiol, Sorelle-Bronca and Valdellövo
2017 July 11, Tuesday

“We’ve gone to Prosecco,” we said incorrectly when we left to check out the who, where and how of Italy’s and the world’s most popular tank-made wine. As a matter of fact, we didn’t actually go to Prosecco...

Our own wine, by our own hands
2017 July 11, Tuesday

We taste wine, see it, buy it – but somehow there has always been something missing as we wondered how we would do it if it was ours. This year, we finally had a go at making it: we are going to have our own wine. We wanted a light, fruity, contemporary red of the lovable kind. Our aim is also to create it in the most natural way, with minimum intervention.

Porto Tónico – Portugal’s answer to Gin & Tonic
2017 July 11, Tuesday

Gergő Sámson, our colleague in Pécs who reported on Porto Tónico straight from Porto, isn’t just a regularly returning visitor to the city but he also lived there for a while. During university – as a meteorology student – he became interested in the Portuguese language (alongside his knowledge of German, Italian and English), which is how he arrived in Portugal in August 2009 on an Erasmus scholarship. 

“The leaven has a lot of tasks”
2017 July 11, Tuesday

József Vajda (Pékműhely)

The pairing of bread and wine sounds pretty much commonplace but what can we do if we really like bread? At the Borsuli wine school, we offer it freshly baked alongside the wines for those participating in the tastings, and we also keep an eye on the newly opening bakeries where truly delicious bakery products are sold and we also know that the secret of good bread is leaven. But what’s the secret of good leaven? 

Olaszrizling Part 2 – The experimental, the instinctive wine and the priests’ share
2017 June 23, Friday

In June we talked to five winemakers from the hilly northern side of Lake Balaton about Olaszrizling. We said farewell by saying that we would continue because there are so many great Rizlings (a derivative form of Olaszrizling) that we wish to introduce from Hungary and from over the border. Now, we’re going to talk about some special wines...

Olaszrizling –It helps to keep us optimistic
2017 June 15, Thursday

It was two years ago when we first noticed that we’d started to look at Olaszrizling in a different light. Like in the case of an old, faithful friend we’ve known for years, who we thought we could rely on – but it suddenly turns out that we didn’t really know that person so well. He or she comes up one or two surprises, like writing a successful novel, which is actually rather good as well. Maybe it’s so good that it could even win the Nobel Prize. 

The seventh seven – Sauska Cuvée 7 Siklós and Villány 2013
2017 June 10, Saturday

The 2013 vintage of the Sauskas’ two flagship wines first arrived last autumn: following a tasting held together with the winery and an extremely successful pre-order period, another few months of bottle ageing followed from the middle of October...

Summer is here: even more gin and two tonic waters
2017 June 8, Thursday

The gin is extremely colourful: the base distillate is vodka in all cases but the number of spices, herbs and fruits used in its making are limitless. The way of consuming it is totally up to us: whether by itself, with spices or in cocktails, while the most popular way is of course as a gin and tonic. 

Sauvignon Blancs from Chile to South Africa
2017 May 4, Thursday

Novelties, classics and a sparkler

In wine circles, Sauvignon Blanc is like the first ray of spring sunshine. It charges us up, energises us and turns us into addicts until the final autumn evenings. One of the world’s most recognisable varieties, it’s the provider of instant ecstasy to inexperienced tasters. For the more experienced, it’s a must have on warmer days. It may well not be by accident that Sauvignon Blancs have been the most popular wines in our selection for years. 

The French job – I moved in at Pascal Jolivet’s
2017 May 4, Thursday

Ádám Wágner has been our colleague for years in the Lánchíd utca shop. Last year, for a couple of months, he lived and worked at Pascal Jolivet, one of the most famous winemakers of the Loire Valley from whom we’ve been getting wines for almost a decade. Ádám spotted the ad on Facebook, whereby they sought workers for the harvest. Following several rounds of interviews, he was chosen for the job from among applicants from all around the world. Now, we’re introducing the region, the winery and their wines through his account.

A winery for two – We were at the Györgykovács’s
2017 April 3, Monday

We know the road well but anyone who comes here for the first time would be looking for the Györgykovács sign in vain, as they don't like being disturbed while they’re working. And they work constantly. The first minutes after our arrival are spent with Imre excusing himself: a couple of weeks earlier our colleague, Gábor Csorba, who was around called them and said that he would drop by to say hi, but Imre and his wife were busy with racking and then it’s not good when visitors mess about. There is no fooling around when it comes to work.

South Africa – Old World in the New World
2017 April 3, Monday

With a wine glass in hand, we tend to forget that the Old World-New World distinction didn’t spring out of Robert Parker’s head but from Amerigo Vespucci’s and the way we use it today differs greatly from the original meaning. 

Infographics 2017
2017 March 10, Friday

We've once again collected the most exciting data of last year – we counted, schemed and drew, and now we're sharing it with everyone: from grape varieties through wine regions to the big screw cap dilemma: this is what 2016 looked like in numbers.

Have you got hills? – Skizo Hegyeink 2015
2017 March 6, Monday

On the Balaton-felvidék (the northern uplands of Balaton) and almost everywhere else in Hungary where the grapes traditionally grow on hills, the hill is used as a synonym for vineyard. The hegybíró (lit. hill judge) is in fact responsible for the grapes, and anyone who goes to or into [as is also used] the hill, goes to the vineyard...

Being on the road is happiness – Dániel ‘Kerouac’ Konyári
2017 March 1, Wednesday

February felt horribly long, and then one day we went to Balatonlelle where the temperature was 16 degrees Celcius. There was snow in Pest, but there we found snowdrops growing. We talked to Dani Konyári on the terrace about Kékfrankos, travelling and family. No big stories or far-fetched ideologies. Just Kékfrankos, Malbec, Syrah and Páva. 

The complete story – Our own wine by our own hands
2017 March 1, Wednesday

While making our own wine, we've been thinking and working together with Gábor Kiss in Villány and we've been reporting back about the work month after month. We experienced that despite all the goodwill and endeavor, it’s nature that dictates when creating wine...

Something different
2017 February 1, Wednesday

There are endless possibilities in winemaking. Varieties, wine regions and methods, with the last one able to be influenced by the winemaker by the most. There could be adventurous blending, whole-bunch pressing, fermenting, skin contact for white grapes, or using amphoras instead of barrels...

With the Weningers
2017 February 1, Wednesday

We had time to talk on the long journey to Balf. We argued about biodynamics, lunar phases and natural wines. It soon became clear that it’s one of those subjects that’s like football: everybody has an opinion about it. Then, in Balf and in Horitschon, we chatted and tasted with Petra and Franz until late in the evening about their experiences with biodynamics as a winemaking family that stretches back several generations.

Pike-perch, bejgli, goose liver
2016 December 5, Monday

There are certain staples on every table at Christmas: wine, fish, meat, cakes… We can always talk a lot about wine, but this time we asked three friends of ours what has changed over the last 10-15 years, what the new favourites are and what the classics are. Anna Niszkács from Gerbeaud, fishmonger István Nusszer and butcher József Károly talked about their perspectives on the holidays. 

This also makes it festive for us
2016 December 5, Monday

Year after year, we ask our colleagues what wines those who spend the greater part of their lives among wine like to drink during the festive season or what they would offer to their favourite customers. This year, we tweaked the tradition a bit and put three questions to a few winemakers: what, why that one and when?   

With Robert Gilvesy on Szent György Hill
2016 November 3, Thursday

When we reached Gilvesy’s cellar on the hill, we could only smile at Robert’s idea: “Let’s march up to the top of the hill and have a picnic as it’s wonderful up there at this time. We can taste the ’15 Mogyorós Sauvignon and the Tarányi Riesling there,” he said. 

Set, subset
2016 November 3, Thursday

4 Argentinean Malbec, a Bordeaux vintner is Argentina, Bordeaux

Bestillo – Boldog. Kő. Vár.
2016 October 4, Tuesday

Móni, Gábor, Klári and Zsolt. Two married couples, four good friends. Three of them are from Boldogkőváralja, while Klári is from the Balaton area. Always together at school, then at weekends in the picturesque castle. 

Gourmet corner
2016 October 4, Tuesday

CHABO
Hot, loud, unique

The three of us from Szekszárd - Kadarka, SXRD and Barbár
2016 October 4, Tuesday

Frankly, we’re having a strange year. After the beginning of the warm autumn spell over the last few weeks, 35mm of rain fell unexpectedly in Szekszárd. We’re walking among the Kadarka rows with the Heimanns as they discuss which clones should be picked and when. Ági and the two Zolis argue and loudly, too! We are treading in the mud and tasting the berries. Eventually, the younger Zoli makes the decision: “We’ll start tomorrow with the 111 and 113 clones.” The decision is accepted by everyone and we sit down to taste on the terrace. While Zoli calls some people, Ági starts the story. 

Tokaj 2015 Vintage Report
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“I cannot imagine another engine at the front of this train than Tokaj. We can only get back on the world map like this.” – Zoltán Demeter, winemaker

Zoltán Demeter – Tokaj
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“The wine doesn’t make itself”

Sauska - Tokaj
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“We enjoy the fact that we can spend time on details” – Gábor Rakaczki

Homonna Szőlőbirtok - Erdőbénye
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“My 2015 wines stand like trees” – Attila Homonna 

Bardon - Erdőbénye
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“When I work my mind is always set on whites” – Ádám Molnár

István Balassa - Tokaj
2016 October 4, Tuesday

"Only 2013 was even better than this”

Gizella Pince - Tokaj
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“We had to put everything on one card, because we were pushed too far in 2014” – László Szilágyi

Kikelet Pince - Tarcal
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“The grapes were with us” – Stéphanie Berecz and Zsolt

Tokaj Nobilis - Bodrogkeresztúr
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“2015 was about organic cultivation for me” – Sarolta Bárdos 

István Szepsy - Mád
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“We’ve got to win the championship”

Tállyabor - Tállya
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“We are not looking for the easier way” – István Hudák 

Oremus - Tolcsva
2016 October 4, Tuesday

 “Winemaking without barrels? I simply can’t imagine that” – András Bacsó

Gróf Degenfeld - Tarcal
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“If necessary there should be less, but that should be really good”

Samuel Tinon - Olaszliszka
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“Everything depended on the timing”

Kaláka Pince - Tállya
2016 October 4, Tuesday

“The keyword is naturalness” – László Alkonyi 


 

New discoveries from Tokaj
2016 October 4, Tuesday

An annual vintage report could never be complete if we only returned to the same places every year. Each year we intend to provide the opportunity to small, upcoming wineries, although we have no idea for how long we will have enough room on the Tokaj shelves. In connection with 2015, we tasted the wines of more than a dozen wineries, and it’s apparent that Tokaj is unstoppable in producing new talents...

Local heroes
2016 September 6, Tuesday

If anyone entered a pub or a restaurant in Hungary a couple of decades ago and ordered a glass of Ezerjó, they most likely would have got one. This is because the grape could easily have been among the three most widespread varieties in Hungary in the 1970s. Indeed, hardly anyone had heard about Cserszegi Fűszeres at that time in Hungary. If we go back further in time, we encounter completely bizarre varieties, like Csókaszőlő, which practically reigned single-handedly as the country’s red variety. Where are such grapes now? 

Orange wine – The wine that has actually never seen an orange
2016 August 9, Tuesday

We’ll be honest: we don’t understand this whole orange wine thing. We have tasted orange wine several times here in Hungary, in Austria and in Germany, and from amphoras, concrete eggs, barrels and tanks. It’s an exciting undertaking for winemakers; a journey of exploration to discover the direction towards traditional maceration or whole bunch fermentation. However, the outcome is usually more ‘interesting’ than truly enjoyable. 

Vineyard tour
2016 July 5, Tuesday

We’re not entirely sure whether the expression ‘vineyard tour’ actually exists but it sounds so scientific that it’s even appeared as a name of a wine in our portfolio (Dűlőtúra). In fact, it’s all about us enjoying our visits to the wineries we work with. There are many kilometres behind us; travelling by car, in the back of pick-up trucks or clinging onto trailers...

Craft beers
2016 July 5, Tuesday

We initially only had two or three different beers in our shops during the summer months and at the end of the year, but last year we stepped it up and 13 different kinds of beer graced our shelves. By the spring, all the beer was gone, and since then, the question keeps popping up on a daily basis: “When will you have beer again?” It was obvious to us that we should offer at least as many as that for the summer, but during the year and at our tastings we found so many exciting beers that eventually the sum doubled to 26. It’s an almost industrial amount but only includes craft beers.

Paralel universes
2016 July 5, Tuesday

Harvest, ageing, tasting, blends, peppery or citrus tones, terroir or points achieved in international competitions… Within Bortársaság’s walls there would be no question that we’re talking about wines. Yet, we aren’t.  Indeed, the world of olive oils has a lot in common with that of wines. We might say they exist in parallel universes.   

“Let’s concentrate on less, but let’s do that well”
2016 June 2, Thursday

The winemaking philosophy of Lower Austria

2015 is the vintage of the decade. While most of the more serious 2015 wines haven’t even hit the market yet, winemakers and experts unanimously agree that it is the most outstanding vintage of the last 10 years. What surprised us during our tastings was that even though it was an especially hot summer, the wines are remarkably fresh with intense aromas, and we haven’t experienced any signs that would imply overripeness or botrytis. The wines are dense without being heavy, fruity without forcing the spiciness and minerality into the background. As is typical with stellar vintages, all this is true with the entry-level wines. 

Ruppert Winery – Beyond the rabbit
2016 June 2, Thursday

Re-planning. That’s the first thing that sprang to mind when we stood on the Diósviszló hilltop next to the smiling Kata, Ákos and Andris, plus the new GAZ tractor arrival. Perhaps subconsciously, because we’d heard the word ‘re-planning’ so many times from the Sat Nav before we arrived in the westernmost corner of the Villány wine region, but more likely – even though we’ve been working with them for years – it seemed like we were at a new winery. 

“This is our heritage” – An interview with Roland Velich
2016 May 3, Tuesday

At the beginning of April, one of the most renowned Austrian winemakers, Roland Velich, was our guest at the Borsuli. Between two ‘Winemaker in the House’ tastings, he talked to us about past and present, the birth of Moric, and Blaufränkish.

Balázs Káli – Szentbékálla
2016 May 3, Tuesday

Patent. We came out of the cellar with this word. In Hungarian it means that it’s small yet everything still fits into it. You can make a virtue out of your limitations. The wines are really okay, too. We are introducing three now, then we will have a think about the packaging of two with Kriszta, our graphic designer, and those will arrive at the beginning of the summer, too. 

Bori and Emil – the Késa Estate
2016 May 3, Tuesday

János Konyári’s younger daughter came up with the initially unusual sounding name of Késa. The tiny, fledgling family winery was named after Bori’s daughter and Szent István’s wife: Késa, which is an ancient diminutive form of Gizella.

Gourmet-sarok
2016 May 3, Tuesday

Szőlőlé - Sauvignon blanc, syrah

Kaláka Winery – László Alkonyi
2016 May 3, Tuesday

“Elegance ahead of intensity: in addition to a wine having good drinkability, it can be harder to recognise richness when it comes along with rustic and overly direct notes. However, one should seek elegance as joy is more important in wine than seeking intensity.”

Strong personality
2016 May 3, Tuesday

Here are some extremely delicious and immensely distinctive Sauvignon Blancs from our selection.

Peach blossom and razor sharp – Riesling
2016 April 5, Tuesday

Some winemakers emphasize that grapes have to suffer in order to be able to produce fine wine. According to others, the suffering of the grapes does not have any beneficial effect on the outcome of the wine, in the same way that it isn’t any good for winemakers to be stressed. Tokaj winemaker István Szepsy has an apt response to put the whole question in its right place: “struggle makes it noble, but suffering makes it crippled.”  

Baden
2016 April 5, Tuesday

‘A warm and sunny climate’ – is what we can read about it, which in the case of Germany, definitely raises one’s interest...

Mosel
2016 April 5, Tuesday

With respect to Riesling, the Mosel (its complete name is Mosel-Saar-Ruwer) is the most important region along the sharply winding River Mosel.

Pfalz
2016 April 5, Tuesday

The second largest wine region in Germany, which stretches for 80 kilometres between Rheinhessen and Baden.

Rheingau
2016 April 5, Tuesday

Despite its considerable size, Rheinghau actually belongs to the smaller German regions, yet globally it’s the most widely known wine region in Germany, besides the Mosel. 

Infographics 2016
2016 March 2, Wednesday

Wines, wine regions, trends.

How the ratios have changed over the last five years?

Burgundy for the fourth time – the 2013 vintage has arrived
2016 March 1, Tuesday

This is our fourth vintage overview.
Although the vintage was almost a write-off, we sat down to taste the wines and we were not disappointed. 

What’s on your mind?
2016 March 1, Tuesday

We always spend the first few months of the year making plans. We ask ourselves which wines, regions and varieties we ought to explore in more depth. We work out what should happen in our wine shops, as well as the subjects that are exciting for ourselves, our customers and which ones we should therefore focus on. Among these topics there is one that especially occupies us: how is a wine made from pruning through to bottling. Our winemakers make their plans in a similar way, although the next year starts slightly earlier for them – right after the harvest in fact. 

Kreuzberg Pinot Noir 2014
2016 March 1, Tuesday

German Pinot = Spätburgunder

The Nagyon (Very) series continues
2016 March 1, Tuesday

Nagyon BIO Muskotály and Rizling

Tokaj 2014 Vintage Report
2015 December 2, Wednesday

We hit the road to Tokaj once again. Although we knew there was little wine made in the vintage – or that some winemakers didn’t even make any – we felt that Tokaj deserved as much for us to check out the wines of such an adverse vintage. 2014 will remain in our memory as a difficult vintage, although we can’t emphasize enough that this doesn’t automatically mean bad wine. It was a challenge for the grape growers and winemakers, but for us it sometimes brings surprises.

István Szepsy - Mád
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“Development requires a medium, as well as walls that have seen something similar”

Sauska - Tokaj
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“A lighter vintage with more intricate wines”

Gizella Pince - Tokaj
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“Looser than in previous years”

Oremus - Tolcsva
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“I couldn’t give up on the barrels” 

Samuel Tinon - Olaszliszka
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“The idea came at 5 a.m. on New Year’s Day”

Tállyabor - Tállya
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“Tállya needs more ageing”

Kikelet Pince - Tarcal
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“I can see Zsolt smiling again”

Tokaj Nobilis - Bodrogkeresztúr
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“We were able to catch the ripe acidity”

Bardon - Erdőbénye
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“Freshness is the goal in sweet wines as well” 

Homonna Szőlőbirtok - Erdőbénye
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“I was really pleased with the Hárs”

Gróf Degenfeld - Tarcal
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“A bit of residual sugar is necessary for elegance”

Zoltán Demeter - Tokaj
2015 December 2, Wednesday

“The most important measurement is the second glass”

More beer
2015 December 2, Wednesday

Are we chatting or playing cards? – as the Székely joke goes – when one of the shepherds, who has been playing cards in complete silence for weeks, accidentally utters a word...

Beaujolais is back!
2015 November 19, Thursday

As is the case all over the world, the most popular new French wines will arrive in our wine shops on Thursday, in limited number. We have to admit we couldn’t wait to get them and tasted all four: the Louis Jadot, the Pierre-Marie Chermette, and the Beaujolais Nouveau of two organic winemakers from Terroirs-Originels – Jean-Michel Dupre and Lucien Lardy – who are new in our selection.

November - New wines
2015 November 4, Wednesday

November always brings tons of new arrivals and we don’t just mean the new wines of the current vintage. For years, it has been the month when most new things arrive: lots of fuller, barrel-aged white and red wines. There are so many new wines that we can hardly get our heads around them but we want to categorise them, and we’ve picked out a few of them for that very reason. 

New 2015 wines
2015 November 4, Wednesday

We’ve just got home from an exciting, three-day trip. We visited 14 of our wineries, and we mainly inquired about the 2014 wines. “It was a rainy, difficult year,” the winemakers said, “yet lots of great wines were born. But, the 2015s have just fermented! Now, they’re amazing!” We tasted them from the tank, in Etyek, Villány, Szekszárd and Pannonhalma. We all agreed: November is going to be exciting.

Barrels Part II // Red wine
2015 October 1, Thursday

When we started dealing with barrels and whites made in barrels last month, we knew that this story was going to have several parts. That’s not just because we obtained a huge amount of information from the coopers but also because when we think of barrels, it’s more of a serious, full red wine that springs to mind.

The signature of every winemaker: the barrel
2015 September 2, Wednesday

In the ‘90s, the whole wine world was buzzing about barrique. It was a cool thing to be able to recognise the barrel in the wine, which essentially came from the toasting that suppressed all the other flavours. Today, the trend is quite the opposite: wine should be fruity, fresh and should only see a barrel in the other corner of the cellar. Nevertheless, barrel making has developed so much that by today several hundred kinds of barrels can impart influences which do not hinder but rather emphasize and enrich the wine.

Wines, Restaurants, Recipes
2015 July 8, Wednesday

10+1 chefs’ easy summer recipes served with salad and paired with 12 good wines

 

We selected a dozen wines that we enjoy tasting regularly; wines which we often take a bottle home of or show to our friends. Then, the idea of how great it would be to find matching recipes for them popped into our heads. We sought recipes that are fairly straightforward and can even be prepared in the garden in summer.  

Rizling or riesling
2015 July 8, Wednesday

We got underway last month with Dr. Bürklin-Wolf’s entry level Riesling. Now, here’s the next instalment of the great unknowns from the best places of growth. Great, because according to many, German Riesling is the only rival of Burgundian Chardonnay for the title of the world’s greatest white wine, and now it’s Riesling which seems to be winning...

It's Summer, Wine and Hake - Fish after the labels from Andrej Tóth
2015 July 8, Wednesday

We met Andrej a good few years ago. He designed a label for us, for Gellavilla’s 2006 Málnás, and he has since designed the labels for two of our summer sparkling rosés (for the Nagyon nyár and the Nagyon pezseg) and also for János Márkvárt’s great Kékfrankos-Merlot blend, the Ezerötös. He constantly works on creative graphic designs, for example he has been preparing the materials of A38 from the beginning and has an exhibition on the boat every two years.

Irsai and the rest - Aromatic whites for summer evenings
2015 June 10, Wednesday

There are white wines that can be tasted and analysed for hours as they keep on revealing new flavours and aromas, since they are complex and have weight. Then there are whites that we don't even feel the need to talk about; they just feel nice to drink and if tasting can be measured in terms of hours, then most likely we won't still be stuck on the first bottle.

The Bussay Girls - Onwards on the Csörnyeföld
2015 June 10, Wednesday

We had an eventful Tuesday afternoon tasting and after Bussay’s Esküvé came around, it was then the turn of their Tramini. Only one question subsequently remained: when could we visit László’s wife and daughters? In fact, we were already there by Thursday: driving through Tormafölde, Szentmargitfalva, Kányavár and Csörnyeföld; such are the fairytale names they give to the villages over there.

Underground resistance - Three beers for the hot days
2015 June 10, Wednesday

Members of the underground resistance from among our team, who are also beer enthusiasts, have been meeting up sub rosa once every six months over the last few years in the office of our Lánchíd shop. We understand each other by half words and we communicate with secret beer expressions...

Sauska Cuvée 7 2012 - Siklós’ elegance and Villány’s power
2015 May 6, Wednesday

In connection with the 2012 vintage, we recalled the history of Cuvée “seven” together with the Sauska team, sitting out on their Villány terrace in the spring sunshine. The first 7s from 2006 were bottled after two years. They were concentrated, heavy, Bordeaux style wines, partly owing to the vintage and also because all the cellar’s barrels were new at the time. The style has since been refined. 

There is always cause for celebration
2015 May 6, Wednesday

We spoke to György Lőrincz Jr. in the St. Andrea Wine Bar in the basement of the freshly renovated Eiffel Palace. The subject was Borünnep (Wine Celebration) as there is always cause for celebration. Now, it’s because the 2013 Boldogságos and the 2011 Merengő have arrived along with young György Lőrincz’s own first wine, Kedves (“Kind”). It is only offered in a gourmet case, offered by the two György Lőrinczs under the name Borünnep.

May, Sauvignon Blanc
2015 May 6, Wednesday

It’s a bit of a cliché talking about Sauvignon Blanc in May. Sure, we also do the same every year...

Ottó Légli - 20 years
2015 May 6, Wednesday

It’s now 20 years since Ottó Légli’s wine first made it into the Bortársaság selection. The wine in question was the 1994 Pinot Blanc. To mark the occasion, we sipped wine with Ottó and Bogi and tasted the two latest releases of the winery.

Mineral, savoury – A bit of spice for the wine
2015 May 6, Wednesday

Everybody uses it on a daily basis; it’s essential for the human body and a must-have in the kitchen, yet we know very little about it. When we first came up with the idea of learning and writing about salt, we feared there might not be enough in it. Then we realised this topic is just as manifold and rich as writing about wine. 

Vis Vitalis – Mineral water from Pannonhalma
2015 May 6, Wednesday

Benedictine monks have been drinking water from the well that’s known by the locals as the Well of King Béla for centuries. This pristinely pure water has a healing effect and it was decided five years ago that they would bottle it. It is going to take decades before the investment pays off but that’s not the primary aim. As with the winery, they planned for the long run with Vis Vitalis as well.

Wine + Berlin = Borstore Berlin
2015 May 6, Wednesday

One current and one former Lánchíd colleague of ours, Gábor Csorba and Máté Szedlacskó respectively, came up with an idea and recently launched Borstore Berlin, a Germany-based start-up company selling Hungarian wines.

Sauska Cuvée 11 2012
2015 April 8, Wednesday

"Climate change is seemingly reaching us too. 2012 was an exciting year full of menacing twist and turns, the end of the world seemed upon us, like a proper Scandinavian crime story. ”

László Latorczai, wine maker

Somló - Innovation, tradition and age-worthy wines - Imre Györgykovács
2015 April 8, Wednesday

The last time we visited Imre Györgykovács in Somló was a year ago. Before we left for Somló this time around, we hoped that nothing had changed at Imre’s. On the other hand, we knew that there had been major development and redesign going on at the Kreinbacher estate. The size of the two wineries, their technologies and experiences are radically different. Yet, both work in the name of making high quality wines with great ageing potential in Somló. 

Somló - Innovation, tradition and age-worthy wines – Kreinbacher
2015 April 8, Wednesday

A Kreinbacher Birtoké a legnagyobb és leglátványosabb beruházás egész Somlón. Az épületek egy lávafolyamot mintázva egységes képet adnak, mégis más-más funkciókkal bírnak. a borok és pezsgők külön helyszíneken születnek. Még Várszegi György, a pincészet borásza is úgy fogalmaz: teljesen át kell állítani az ember agyát. pezsgő vagy bor – választani kell, és az épület ebben is segít!

More than just one glass... Bistro reds
2015 March 5, Thursday

We wanted to find out whether there really is a group of reds that can be labelled “bistro” reds. We sampled a few reds offering good drinkability in four bistros we like going to. Then, we got together and tasted another two dozen of them. 

Burgundy 2012 – the Houdini vintage
2015 February 24, Tuesday

Burgundy wines have been appearing on our shelves for a good few years now. Pinot Noir is hardly a straightforward phenomenon since at times it can be truly discreet, secretive, fragile, yet colourful and exciting. We fell in love with it when we set off for the Côte d’Or with a small team in the autumn of 2011 and visited a few winemakers...

Tokaj 2013 Vintage Overview
2015 February 9, Monday

We compiled our first Tokaj roundup in 2012, which covered the 2011 vintage, with the aim of introducing the newly arriving wines, saying a few words about our meetings with the winemakers and providing a general overview of the wine region. Since then, every time we’ve visited Tokaj, there have been so many changes that we feel the necessity to provide an update every year...

Oremus - Tolcsva
2015 February 9, Monday

“Small details change, everything becomes more refined” 

Bardon - Erdőbénye
2015 February 9, Monday

“We are making lighter, fresher wines.”

Gizella Pince - Tokaj
2015 February 9, Monday

“2013 tired me out completely.”

István Balassa - Tokaj
2015 February 9, Monday

“I’m planning things in a more bohemian way. I look at the stones and conjure up the wine within ten minutes”

Zoltán Demeter - Tokaj
2015 February 9, Monday

“2013 placed another serious opportunity into our hands” 

Sauska - Tokaj
2015 February 9, Monday

“We wanted lower alcohol, playful, lighter wines with good drinkability.”

Kikelet Pince - Tarcal
2015 February 9, Monday

“2013 was a big change in the life of Kikelet.”

Tokaj Nobilis - Bodrogkeresztúr
2015 February 9, Monday

“For us it’s almost the dream vintage”

Szepsy István - Mád
2015 February 9, Monday

“Fullness and serious composition, high acidity.”

Homonna Szőlőbirtok - Erdőbénye
2015 February 9, Monday

“I took the risk of higher acidity.”

Previously featured in the Tokaj roundup
2015 February 8, Sunday

The wines of the 2011 and 2012 vintages - re-tasted

Sauska Rosé Pezsgő Extra Brut
2014 December 9, Tuesday

A traditionally aged, non-vintage sparkling rosé from Tokaj. A blend of 63% Furmint, 23% Chardonnay, 9% Hárslevelű and 5% Pinot Noir made by the traditional method and aged on the lees for nine months. 

Where we had wine – 2014
2014 December 3, Wednesday

This year we once again visited several great winemakers and even though we can’t give an account of all our journeys, we’d like to share the best memories with you.  

Gourmet Corner
2014 December 3, Wednesday

“A few years ago, I was in Shenzhen with my friend, Péter, and we were having some tea with Mr. He (pronounced approx: her). The first top up was astounding. “Chill out,” said Péter, “have a few more cups and then feel the full effect…”

2 X GYÖRGY LŐRINCZ = ST. ANDREA - Truly worthy
2014 November 5, Wednesday

György Lőrincz. 23-years-old. He originally wanted to be a professional football player. He became a winemaker and a Greek Catholic lector. György Lőrincz. 47-years-old. He originally wanted to be a professional water polo player. He became a winemaker and a Greek Catholic catechist. We talked to them at the end of October in Egerszalók about wine, Eger, family and malolactic fermentation, accompanied by a bottle of Örökké and one of Valóban Méltó.

Kreinbacher – Traditional method sparkling wines and a new chapter in Somló
2014 November 5, Wednesday

Somló and Furmint. A widely-travelled, cosmopolitan Swabian who brought life to the hill. A cellar master from Champagne who tried his knowledge out on a completely new field; traditional method, bottle aged sparkling wines; and a team with which one can only win… 

1758 and Instagram
2014 October 1, Wednesday

Zoltán Heimann Jnr. and the reinterpreted tradition 

We are standing in the Baranya-völgy with Zoltán Heimann Jnr., on the beautiful plateau of red clay and loess terraces, and everybody is speaking in superlatives. And then what does Zoli, who has been travelling around the world for nine years working around and learning about wine, then go and say? ...

Mid-term break in Pannonhalma
2014 October 1, Wednesday

Dani! Stop caressing the grapes!

We are standing in the Tavaszó vineyard, above the Ravazd on the hill with Pannonhalmi winemaker Zsolt Liptai and Attila Drozdik, the viticulturist cum chemistry teacher. The students are harvesting the grapes, slowly and noisily, but selecting them nicely. Someone manages to out-shout them, however...

Ákos Ruppert - The wine, the horses, the family
2014 September 3, Wednesday

Ours is a Swabian family from Pécs and even though my father used to work in the building industry, the history of our family has always been linked with farming, to the soil. At first, Babarcszőlős only meant a holiday to us. Then the hill, the climate and the rich soil had such an impact on us that we started planting grapes...

Gábor Kiss - “Waking up in the vineyard”
2014 September 3, Wednesday

When did you first deliver wine to Bortársaság? 

In 2013, but we’ve knew each other well before that. You have tasted my wines several times, and I was a regular customer at the Lánchíd shop. I used to go and buy good cheese next door, and at Bortársaság I mainly bought foreign wines and a lot of them at that, so that me and my friend, Miki Rácz, could learn about them and learn from them. 

János Márkvárt Jnr. - The 1500 lad
2014 September 3, Wednesday

The truth is that ever since meeting him last year, we put Jani into a box. For us, he has been about the Kadarka, the Kékfrankos and the blue Lada 1500. Every time we think or talk about him, Jani Márkvárt is associated with that...

Levente Kvassay - “I swapped studs for wellies”
2014 September 3, Wednesday

Small producer or artisanal winemaker? What would you call yourself?

I’m a second generation Villány winemaker from the 1986 vintage with a small, barely six and a half hectare plot. 

Miklós Tamás Rácz - “Being from Diósviszló is an already existing thing in wine”
2014 September 3, Wednesday

There are some people who make great wine in Diósviszló, in the south-western outpost of the Villány wine region, at the gate of Orámság. (Among them is Ruppert whose vineyard is partly located in the village). The first one we met here was Miklós Tamás Rácz. He is a nice, hard working chap making good wines...

Péter Bakonyi - “We love the leading wind”
2014 September 3, Wednesday

"Time flies with us. Or do we fly with it? We synergised energies: the music teacher’s and the grape grower, namely those of Josef Kerl from Weisenburg and Péter Bakonyi from Nagyatád. We already have a cellar in Villány and a so-called “modern winery” as well..."

Summer 2014 – For me it’s rosé
2014 July 7, Monday

Péter Rack, Bortársaság – Parlament
Finally, it’s truly hot. As far as I’m concerned, ice-chilled rosé tastes even better now, whether by itself or as a frocks (spritzer), the latter along with the football World Cup. Crispy, fresh and thirst-quenching, and that’s just fine...

Summer 2014 – Bistro Reds
2014 July 7, Monday

Áron Németh, Tábor wine bar
In May, we put up a camp (thus the name “tábor”) at Millenáris. Together with the team from Hello Wood, we built up our first winery in the Budai Zöld, where we can be found all summer in the company of the artisan beer minibus, as well as the Italian pasta and gourmet bus restaurant, among others...

Summer 2014 – Wine, Balaton, Lavender
2014 July 7, Monday

Dani Gyana, Balatonfüred
Summer has three truly important ingredients: swimming trunks, Balaton and good Balaton wines. The lake doesn’t only equal deep-fried bream, peddalos, swimming and having fun, but it’s also one of our most exciting wine regions as well...

Summer 2014 – Limited availability wines
2014 July 7, Monday

András Kelemen, Rózsakert
Undoubtedly, the most exciting area for wine lovers is the world of limited release wines. However insignificant in quantity, these wines are often outstanding in terms of quality and distinctiveness, among them wines from the so-called artisanal wineries, small producers or the limited series of the bigger cellars...

Summer 2014 – Sparkling, bubbling, fizzing
2014 July 7, Monday

Brigitta Kristófand János Gavallér, Debrecen:

Sultry nights, BBQs on the terrace, chilling out on the beach: it’s summer. If wine is too much by itself but you’re already bored by spritzer, then it’s time for a sparkle...

Summer 2014 – Exceptional wines
2014 July 7, Monday

Gábor Csorba, Lánchíd
We taste a lot, more than 30 wines a week and sometimes a hundred. Always something else, always something new, usually good ones, at times not so good ones. We taste them, we evaluate and discuss them, leaving enough time for each wine...

Summer 2014 - In the eyes of a graphic designer
2014 July 7, Monday

Krisztina Tóth, graphic designer

What makes a wine look good? Sometimes it’s due to the precise design work, at other times, it’s down to a spontaneous idea. Sometimes I like something because it’s so clear-cut, other times, because it’s complex and one can get lost in it.

Summer 2014 – Sauvignon Blanc
2014 July 7, Monday

Csaba Reszler, Árkád
It can sometimes be engaging and intense like a tropical fruit cocktail or the Chilean football team, at other times it appears differently: accompanied by minerals and green herbs dressed up with French elegance...

Summer 2014 – Spontaneous wines
2014 July 7, Monday

Ripka Gergely, Árkád:

A spontán erjesztett borokat azért szeretjük, mert van bennük valami ősi természetesség, valami hagyományos. Régen nyilván nem volt fajélesztő és hűthető acéltartály, mégis örömmel boroztak az emberek. 

Summer 2014 – Beer after wine
2014 July 7, Monday

Gábor Kálmán, MOM Park, Hegyvidék
It almost goes without saying that a beer revolution has been taking place in Hungary over the last few years. If it’s true (and indeed it is) then now we can start preparing for the beer consolidation.

Telmo Rodriguez
2014 July 7, Monday

Fresh vintages of Telmo Rodriguez's natural wines have arrived from Spain from rediscovered regions, from hard to cultivate plots that have been avoided by the big wineries, from local grape varieties organically cultivated, mainly from bush vines, winemaking without intervention, spontaneous fermentation, a modern attitude but in accordance with local traditions.

The Tomato is Ripening
2014 July 7, Monday

We got to know the tomato in Hungary in 1649. Back then, the new word “pomodoro” – lit. “golden apple” in Italian – was known as the “apple of paradise” here and mainly used as an ornamental plant, then later as a herb. Its Spanish name, tomate, originates from its original birthplace of Mexico, and comes from the Aztec word xitomati. It has as many different varieties as the multiple possibilities for its use. Indeed, wherever it grows, we can find it in most national dishes.

The first seven from Ambrus Bakó's 14 limited availability wines
2014 June 3, Tuesday

"2013 was a remarkable year for white wine but it was also a very extreme vintage. Due to the cold, long and wet spring, I faced the latest bud break ever at the end of April. Then the heat in July evoked that of 2012. Following August 20, not only the holidaymakers but also the sun disappeared from the Balaton. ..."

Béla és Bandi
2014 June 3, Tuesday

Bandi says he’s got two siblings and they are both about the same age: himself, Béla and the tractor. Nevertheless, one of the brothers will be replaced by a new one: by the American John Deere. He’s going to be green, since according to Bandi, a tractor should be green and American. Actually, there are four of them: most people also know Béla’s wife, Éva Mentovics, for the books she has written for children and adults, but only those who have not tasted her pea soup.

Moric – without borders
2014 June 3, Tuesday

It’s a unique experience to meet Roland Velich. He is self-assured, convincing, calm and open. He speaks firmly in the knowledge of the security of the concept elaborated in every detail that has met with considerable success in practice...

Sauvignon Blanc - Diving into the gooseberry bush
2014 May 6, Tuesday

The name card of Sauvignon Blanc is neon green and it’s on buzzing mode. If Chardonnay is the silk tie wearing dandy then Sauvignon Blanc is a skateboarder in a baseball cap. It’s the super kid of the single varietals, as well as the world’s most easily recognisable variety: its freshly cut grass, gooseberry, elderberry, crispy acidity and explosive fruitiness make it non-confusable, even for beginners. 

Pálffy Szőlőbirtok és pince, Köveskál
2014 April 1, Tuesday

We travelled again, visited Köveskál and walked around the early-blossoming almond trees and closed restaurants waiting for the season to start. Coming in from Balatonfüred on the left hand side, we stopped at the last house of the village. Stone built walls, racka sheep and their lambs grazing on the meadow next to the house, and the ubiquitous almond trees...

Fuxli: the Szekszárd Siller
2014 March 25, Tuesday

At the beginning of the 20th century, the majority of the Hungarian red wine grape plantings were made up of Kadarka. A paler coloured wine could be made from its thin-skinned berries, so therefore, a day or two after the harvest winemakers often drained off some liquid from the fermenting must. Thus, with more skins coming into contact with a smaller amount of liquid, the wine would come out darker. This raw material that is redder than a rosé but more rosé-like than a red brought about Siller; the wine referred to among Szekszárd winemakers as “fuxli” (a small fox) or “fixli” due to its fox red colour. It was reawakened from its Sleeping Beauty slumber by the Heimanns.

Imre Györgykovács
2014 March 4, Tuesday

The good thing about Imre’s wines is that ever since 1992, they’ve come from the same nicely looked after micro-parcels and are made at the same place, in the same way, and more or less in the same immaculately clean, old barrels...

Telmo Rodriguez 2012, La Liga – the Spanish League
2014 March 4, Tuesday

Telmo Rodriguez is a cool guy. He’s a long-haired, handsome Spaniard who even at the time of our first encounter enchants us with his straightforward, natural way of thinking, his attitude towards the local varieties and to forgotten wine regions...

Villa Tolnay - Vissza a jövőbe
2014 March 4, Tuesday

We first met Philipp Oser many years ago at what was possibly the first wine bar in the country, Vörös és Fehér (lit. Red and White), which today is Klassz. Oser had just started making wine in the Csobánc, in the former villa of the famous Hungarian actress Klári Tolnay, which was turned into a cellar 10 years ago...

Burgundy '09, '10 and '11
2014 February 14, Friday

The secret to the recipe of a good Burgundy is not to add even more meat, or extra salt and spice. On top of that, it appears that in order to evaluate fine Burgundies not just good Burgundies are necessary, but also an experienced, composed recipient with sensitivity for more delicate tones.

Tokaj 2012 Vintage Overview
2013 December 4, Wednesday

Back in Tokaj 

It is only worth starting an annual overview if we continue with it. The feedback provided by our own team and friends has also greatly helped and told us that we’re heading in the right direction. Therefore, it was kind of natural that we should proceed with an update. Before we actually hit the Hegyalja, we retasted what was still available from the 2011 series, and the experience also confirmed to us that Tokaj is indeed important. 

István Balassa - Tokaj
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“I could say it’s a cellar, but it’s really just a wood turner’s workshop”

Zoltán Demeter - Tokaj
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“The aim is simple: to make wines that are good to drink. For pure pleasure.”

Gizella Winery - Tokaj
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“2012 was a clear-cut year. Sugar up, acid down, and we tried to catch the balance.”

Homonna Szőlőbirtok - Erdőbénye
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“We channel the alcohol from below and the acidity from above”

Kikelet Winery - Tarcal
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“We’ve been learning until now and we’ll be learning from now on as well. Otherwise we’d get bored.”

Oremus - Tolcsva
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“Tokaj for me can’t be about anything else other than diversity”

István Szepsy - Mád
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“What looks more now, may not be more later”

Sauska - Tokaj
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“With less oak, tuned to be crispier”

Tokaj Nobilis - Bodrogkeresztúr
2013 December 4, Wednesday

“Life is beautiful, the work is a lot”

Beaujolais - Something there is actually two of
2013 December 3, Tuesday

There are in fact two Beaujolais. One is THE famous and less valuable, the other is relatively unknown and valuable. The famous one is the new wine – the Nouveau or Beaujolais Nouveau AOC, which arrived on November 21 and has almost run out by now. The other is the Cru Beaujolais, which takes up two-thirds of the region’s complete yield, and is a noble wine with long ageing potential. Since we couldn’t initially provide a complete picture of the wine region, we’re now introducing a few beautiful wines from three winemakers based on the recommendations we received. Next year, we’ll go there, taste and bring over whatever we like the most.

“Only experience can create tradition”
2013 December 3, Tuesday

We learnt this expression from Gyuri Lőrincz, and we use it regularly: only experience can create tradition. That’s how it became a tradition of ours that we ask our colleagues about their greatest experiences during our tastings and travels over the last 12 months. We are sharing ten of these again this year.

Beaujolais Nouveau - Arrivé le 21 Novembre!
2013 November 20, Wednesday

This year, four Beaujolais Nouveau wines have arrived the southern part of Burgundy. Until now we ordered one village level Beaujolais Nouveau from the esteemed Maison Louis Jadot, while consciously avoiding the mass producing wineries of the region. This time we also sought the recommendations of our friends in Burgundy. Based on their opinions, on top of the couple of hundred Jadot Primeur we’re already familiar with, we’ve brought over new wines from three small local wineries. 

Sauska – We have numerous stories to tell
2013 November 8, Friday

Starting up a large new winery in Villány at the beginning of the 2000s sounded like a crazy idea at the time, especially given the fact that the majority of the founding team isn’t even from there...

Sauska Cuvée 7: a prime pair
2013 November 8, Friday

The individual character of the two Cuvée 7s from the exceptional 2011 vintage is defined by two factors: the marked difference between the two terroirs and the proportion of the grape varieties that produced the most stunning wines from the particular vineyards. In this vintage, the two Bordeaux-style blends also differ in their composition...

Burgundy 2011 – Early joy
2013 November 5, Tuesday

The problem with big wines is not just that they are expensive, but also that it’s always too early to drink them. In the home of really big and very expensive wines, in Burgundy, customers are regularly disappointed by being told that they should forget about any current vintage for at least a decade. Basically, anybody who reaches for a corkscrew before that will never know what kind of treasure they wasted. However, it seems as if times are changing, even in Burgundy...

Bestillo Quince Pálinka – Step by step in Boldogkőváralja
2013 November 5, Tuesday

Take a village with a location and a name that could fit easily into a fairy tale, plus a fairytale castle on its outskirts. Then take three kids who, already at the age of six, spent the summer among the Gönc apricot trees of the village and who, by the time they grew up, between them became an economist in Budapest, an artisan baker in New Zealand and a building engineer. Add a young woman from Balatonalmádi, loads of hand picked and selected fruit, a hint of positive craziness, a top quality distillery and piles of work. Then wait for the pálinka to come out of it...

New Wines 2013
2013 October 31, Thursday

Most of them will be here by St. Martin’s day, while on the third Thursday of November four Beaujolais will arrive. If you’d like to be up-to-date about the new wines, keep an eye on the internet or visit our shops as we’re going to be tasting the freshest new arrivals throughout November and December. Then, by the end of the year everyone can decide what 2013 was like. 

Every week on Tuesday
2013 October 22, Tuesday

We are often asked by friends, customers and winemakers on what basis we decide on the wines that make it into our selection and who makes the decisions.

2009
2013 October 7, Monday

Stunning reds from 2011 keep arriving and since this category was for the most part absent in Hungary in the 2010 vintage, the ripe 2009s will soon disappear from the shelves. Therefore, we tasted the 2009 reds and selected the nicest ones. Twelve plus one – without trying to make a comprehensive list. These are thirteen pieces of evidence that prove 2009 was indeed a special vintage, in which balanced, rich and full-bodied wines with long ageing potential were bottled. For those who’d like to obtain a more complete picture of this vintage, or would like to lay down 2009 wines, we’ve compiled two selections. 

Gourmet corner
2013 October 7, Monday

Even though we remain faithful to wine, especially since that’s what we are best at, we would like to introduce a delicacy month by month.

Riesling 2012
2013 October 7, Monday

People who say that Pinot Noir makes the most sophisticated red wines usually hand that accolade to Riesling when it comes to whites. Big Rieslings are like a perfectly smoothed diamond: transparent, yet sparklingly colourful.

Kékfrankos: convertible currency
2013 September 4, Wednesday

When the whole wine world is buzzing with the fever of diversity and originality, then we can count our lucky stars that we are blessed with a red grape that makes a unique and elegant wine, with long ageing potential, and one which practically only grows in the Carpathian Basin.

Czider: the Hungarian cider
2013 August 5, Monday

Even though the apple season is just about to start, we managed to get yet one more small batch (600 bottles dry and 600 bottles semi-sweet) of cider from the Vértesboglár “Czider girls”. 

Olaszrizling the Hungarian Volkswein
2013 July 18, Thursday

If we were handed the task of summing up Hungarian wine in three words; then possibly the trio of fröccs (spritzer), Bikavér and aszú would be the smartest choice. Being translated into grape varieties, it would be Olaszrizling, Kékfrankos and Furmint. Aszú, which is known as “the Wine of Kings” is more a source national pride than an everyday staple.

The Balaton Overview: featuring 27 winemakers
2013 July 5, Friday

On the one hand: summer, kecskeköröm (shellfish fossils), sabre carp, lángos, Boglár, campfire, blue ribbons, night swimming, the ferry, trains tooting, childhood, golden bridge, pedalos, “Balaton” hake, Füred, etc. On the other hand: Olaszrizling, Köveskál, basalt, loess, Béla and Bandi, bush vines, Kéknyelű. In other words, a definitive wine region where several hundred, smaller and larger, grape growers make their best wines.

Answering our call for Balaton wines
2013 July 5, Friday

Summer is here. We let the genie out of the bottle and we posted on on Facebook that we would like to taste Balaton wines. Out of the seventy samples that arrived, we selected six for the summer to make the Balaton picture even more colourful. 

The Gilvesy Winery on Szent György Hill
2013 July 5, Friday

The 13 hectare Szent György Hill estate is a real lovechild. After moving back from Canada in 1993, Robert Gilvesy fell in love at first sight with the view from the terrace of the ruined Eszterházi press house. The winery dreamt up way back then has become reality by today, after the listed house and the modern winery were renovated and completed on the picturesque hillside and the first three wines made it into bottle.

Ambrus Bakó – From Ambrus
2013 July 5, Friday

“This was the warmest growing season since 2003 and on top of that it was preceded by the hot 2011 when the soil lost all its moisture. Subsequently the vines suffered from early spring onwards. You could frequently see it with the Riesling that next to the tiny shoots, the vines were bearing even bigger bunches than the shoots. In the drought the Olaszrizling and the Riesling concentrated on the bunch, in the fruit. On the contrary, the crop wasn’t the first thing for the Kéknyelű, which sought to save itself...

Káli Kövek – 2012
2013 July 5, Friday

“I started off in Budapest, now I'm making wines in the village of my grandparents. We make village vines here from the grapes of the Káli Basin,” says Gyula Szabó, winemaker of Káli Kövek (lit. Káli Stones). “Over the last few years, I’ve spent half of my time visiting the surrounding villages and vineyards looking for the nicest locations and promising grape growers.

Ottó Légli – two dozen years and counting
2013 July 5, Friday

“The estate will be 25-years-old next year, but we have something to celebrate even now: the must of the 2012 vintage was fermented in our new processing facility, then aged there in 500-litre barrels and tanks, and turned into wine. Riesling, Olaszrizling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc: my four most important varieties here in the loess, always in a different order..."

The Pavarotti of Grüner Veltliner
2013 June 19, Wednesday

Ten years ago it was still major news that Jancis Robinson MW had confessed her love for Grüner Veltliner. Today, it’s one of the most happening varieties; it appears on the wine lists of every serious restaurant around the world, and you can’t get hold of the top Grüners of the Wachau superstars for under 50 euros a bottle, even at the cellar door.

Etyeki Kúria: Step by Step
2013 June 4, Tuesday

“It’s a big thing that has been built at our place in Etyek; not only architecturally but also in terms of the winemaking and grape growing. The key behind it is that Sándor and myself work together in utmost harmony. We discuss how the market is changing, what the customers are looking for, what they like, what they prefer here at the winery and at the merchants. He puts his heart and soul into the wines and I do the same with the winery. To create something together is the greatest gift..."

Janos Márkvárt Jnr.
2013 June 4, Tuesday

“I’m from Szekszárd, I’m a winemaker, grape grower and a farmer. I make good, enjoyable wines.”

Weninger 2011: Natural diversity
2013 June 4, Tuesday

“Since the only ingredients in our wines are the grapes themselves, it is logical that they taste different every year. This is a fascinating and great thing. I can only react to the climate with my work in the vineyard. While pruning I try to predict the year ahead and my intuition helps me as I’ve been doing this for over 13 years now..."

The Oremus Mandolás
2013 May 17, Friday

Oremus was founded in 1993, which is exactly 20 years ago and also the same time Bortársaság came into being. If you count back 190 years from this date, you’ll arrive at the time of the vineyard classification of Szirmay (1803). This date is important since, according to this old and scientific classification, all the holdings of the Oremus winery are ranked under the first class category.

Miklós Tamás Rácz and Gábor Kiss
2013 May 3, Friday

“What would an artisan winemaker do if he had money? He would develop the technology.”

That’s how our conversation with Miklós Rácz and Gábor Kiss started in front of the theatre in Pécs...

Tokaj teaches patience more than anything
2013 May 3, Friday

To complete our 2011 vintage overview, we talked to Krisztián Sauska and winemaker Gábor Rakaczki about the dry wines of Sauska-Tokaj.

Montes and Kaiken wines from the two sides of the Andes
2013 April 18, Thursday

We don’t know how jokes start in Chile but a big chunk of them are likely to be about the Argentines. On the other hand, some Argentinians think that Chile is not a country but a long beach. These are two giant countries divided by the third longest border between two countries in the world, which runs along the 6,000-7,000 metre high spine of the Andes.

Kadarka 2011
2013 April 3, Wednesday

While in the former "Greater Hungary" half of all grapes grown, and two-thirds of red grapes, were known as Kadarka, its share today is only approaching one per cent of overall plantings. So why are we still talking about it you may ask? We are pursuing our curiosity since over the last few years we have encountered flashes of brilliance with the “Hungarian Pinot Noir” that put it firmly back in focus. That's why we followed it up, tasted it, and asked for the opinion of a few winemakers.

Burgundy
2013 March 20, Wednesday

“Burgundy has never, ever, been in better shape, and my advice is to buy ‘while stocks last’,” exclaimed Steven Spurrier about the 2010 vintage.

Konyári: “I trust the Szerecsen”
2013 March 1, Friday

We tasted the new Konyári wines: the 2012 Szerecsen, the new Jánoshegy Kékfrankos and the Syrah, at the beginning of February. János is in South Africa with the grandkids, Dani and his two colleagues are fining the wines in the cellar while outside winter is still in full throttle on Kishegy. No wonder the dog wants to come in, but Dani doesn’t let him. Things are getting serious in Balatonlelle, from every aspect.

Somló: Imre Györgykovács 2010 and 2011
2013 March 1, Friday

In his mind our photographer had conjured up a cellar on the side of Somló hill, an underground labyrinth with a press house above it and an ageing chamber with barrels and bottles.

Ambrus Bakó - There's only one of his wines remaining
2013 February 7, Thursday

We tasted the Olaszrizling, from Róza, or actually from Ambrus. We were curious to know how the wines of the Badacsony biologist have changed in a year. Then it turned out there was only one of his wines left on the shelf.

The year from our perspective
2012 December 6, Thursday

Heti rendszerességgel, évente körülbelül 1000-1200 bort kóstol a csapat. Ebből talán már leszűrhető néhány tanulság, stílusok, áramlatok, felbukkanó és eltűnő divathullámok, trendek. Megkérdeztük kollégáinkat, mi volt számukra a legérdekesebb 2012-ben. Hadd osszunk meg néhányat ezek közül, a teljesség igénye nélkül.

Preface
2012 November 19, Monday

The Bortársaság team paid a visit to Tokaj on observing that we’ve increasingly been tasting dry Tokaji. The story of our four days there is a first impression of the incredible changes that are going on there. Not only were we enchanted by the dry wines of Tokaj-Hegyalja from 2011, but also by our hosts; with their enthusiasm, dedication and modesty.

István Balassa
2012 November 19, Monday

„Five hectares is the limit for me. That’s the upper ceiling of quantity and quality that one can control. For me, that point comes at five hectares. The character of a vineyard shows itself the most if we wander around it incessantly; if we live together with the parcel and nature. We experience, learn and improve year after year. Something that worked in 2010 had to be redefined in 2011. In such a dominant and warm year, the differences between the vineyards appear more slowly."

Zoltán Demeter
2012 November 19, Monday

„Maybe this special vintage was necessary so that after 13 years myself and Bortársaság could get to know each other again. The vintage made it obvious that something is happening in the world that both nature and winemaker should adapt to. The starlings knew what their task was: they arrived a month early, and we started the harvest at the beginning of September, instead of the usual end of October."

Gizella Winery
2012 November 19, Monday

„The 2011 wines were created via 16 small harvests and through heaps of experimenting, although they were always made in a conscientious manner. This was our seventh harvest in the small cellar that was named after my grandmother. It was a special experience, the end of a year of learning, in which we’ve been lucky that every detail could be the work of our hands. What gave us the greatest joy and the most work was our latest discovery: ..."

Homonna Winery
2012 November 19, Monday

„I’ve been running a simple estate since 1999, making two wines per year. I blend estate wines solely from hand-cultivated grapes from small parcels with extremely low yields. In 2011, I hoed more than I’d ever done before in my life. We broke up the cover crops between the grape rows and I deep ploughed so that every single drop of rain could be utilised. I was worried about the warmth and the tannins resulting from the thicker skins."

Kikelet winery
2012 November 19, Monday

„We are on the road of learning in Tokaj. As the base of the sweet wines are the dry ones, we firstly have to become acquainted with the character of a good dry wine, then the next step will be the realisation of the vineyard character in sweet wines. 2011 was the best vintage for dry wines from loess soil. We experimented in small batches from September to the end of November with grapes of different levels of ripeness, without noble rot, for choosing the perfect..."

Oremus
2012 November 19, Monday

„2011 was the opportunity to make the ideal dry white wine. The grapes were so healthy that they were smiling at you. This is the 13th vintage of our dry estate wine, yet we learn something new from nature every year. The most important thing we’ve experienced in the past ten years was balance. The precise timing of the harvest, but even more giving..."

Sauska Tokaj
2012 November 19, Monday

„The road we started out on in 2009 with the dry blends has been far more exciting than I ever expected. We are still just at the beginning and remain in the learning stage. We taste a lot, we constantly look deep into the eyes of every wine and we’re often amazed by their beauty. And if we don’t make mistakes, the whole thing is as pure as a matrix. If we stick to mathematics, the wines that should make it into the bottle..."

István Szepsy
2012 November 19, Monday

„I’ve been saying for 20 years that we’d stop adding new areas. However, we just can’t stop ourselves! Now it’s the andesite soil of Tállya and its five first-class vineyards that excite me. Once it accounted for most of the grapes in the wine region. My wife’s hairdresser has even asked me why I go there so often. We discover 800-year-old vineyard names and each parcel hides a surprise."

Tokaj Nobilis
2012 November 19, Monday

„In 1999, while I worked as a winemaker at Degenfeld, I thought that I wanted to try myself out at home as well. Me and my husband, Péter, started at my grandpa’s family vineyards and by today we cultivate six hectares. The showing of our vineyards is at the centre of winemaking. Where there appears to be a difference in the soil, we divide our vineyards into sub-vineyards, like with Susogó in Csirke-mál."

Frigyes Bott 2011
2012 October 3, Wednesday

Frigyes Bott and his family live next door and we sometimes drop in to visit them. We only have to drive to the other side, over the green Mária Valéria bridge at Esztergom, then turn right at the first hill. Anyone who does it once will long to go back. “Gentle hills, honest people, beautiful rivers, and in a dry year ‘may green’ grapes even when October is approaching.

Losonci and Szecskő - Pirates of the Pannonian Sea
2012 October 2, Tuesday

We went to Gyöngyöspata to visit two bright-eyed friends who think in a way that’s very similar to the way we do about wines, life and – about what is also very important to us and them – terroir. They believe in a wine region, they see its beauty and also bear its hardships with love. We talked to Tamás Szecskő and Bálint Losonci in their favourite vineyard, the Gereg, on the Monday...

Toro - The Spanish Bull
2012 October 2, Tuesday

Toro, which means “bull” in spanish is a wine region of unique character, located in the zamora province in the north-west of spain, which is famous for its robust, full-bodied reds. Toro has 8,000 hectares of vines with two-thirds of them coming from the highest DO (denominación de origen) classified area in the river duero valley