April+ Selection

There’s a kind of simplicity in wine to which one can always return. There are winemakers who keep that informality when they work in the cellar. They skip a few steps compared to what’s written in the textbooks and instead they make decisions based on impressions. They have a great knowledge of their place of growth, seek good flavours and fall back on old, tried and tested methods. Their timeless style is independent of ideology.

For our April+ selection we picked one wine from each of six such winemakers, which especially fit the topic. The only exception is Philippe Pacalet again: from him, we selected not one but three wines, and we randomly put one from those into each case.

 

Dr. Illyés Miklós Cabernet Sauvignon 2019

Dr. Miklós Illyés cultivates three hectares of grapes in Szekszárd’s Porkoláb Valley. Plant protection has been organic since the beginning, harvesting is by hand, and the vines are in the close vicinity of the house. The harvest is usually followed by fermentation on the skins and long maceration, then the whole quantity is aged in 13 used Mecsek oak barrels. Lately, we again tasted at the winery a year after the harvest, which is when we marked the nr.3 Cabernet barrel, which was bottled for us one-by-one straight from the barrel. Juicy, deep flavours, spicy aromas, rich barrel flavours.

 

 

Descendientes De J. Palacios Pétalos 2019

It comes from the northwest corner of Spain, from an ancient wine region, from steep slopes, from Bierzo. The key local variety is Mencía, and Alvaro Palacios and his nephew, Ricardo Perez, work only with this variety on the estate. They select the raw material for the warm and ripe, yet not at all heavy Pétalos, from their 60-100-year-old bush vines. Spices and flowers on the nose, then richly detailed, long and memorable on the palate. A modern Spanish red from an iconic producer.

 

 

Bott Frigyes Muzsla 2019

A new entrant to the range, of which a little was already made at the winery in 2018 and ran out in just a few weeks. More barrels were made of it from 2019, as a village wine – it gives the next level after the winery’s Just Enjoy entry-level wines, whereby the same enjoyment meets with place of growth character. A sophisticated and refined natural white wine with a touch of lees and mineral flavours, which was bottled without filtering or fining. The best of the whole-bunch pressed and macerated base wines of the three varieties (Riesling, Pinot Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc) were blended in the best proportion.

 

 

Weninger Fehérburgundi 2018

The presumed Pinot Noir vines of the Frettner vineyard turned out to be Pinot Blanc in the virgin vintage. Therefore, the winery got the only other white variety besides Furmint almost by accident, but by now it has a sure place and a rich, layered wine is made from it year after year. Slate mixed with forest soil, biodynamic cultivation, with cover crops between the rows. Following the hand harvest, selection and processing, it was spontaneously fermented in barrels, where it was also aged for half a year. Lively stuff with vigorous flavours, a cloudy appearance and bottled unfiltered. 

 

 

Sagmeister Kanias Furmint 2017

Ernő Sagmeister cultivates grapes on Tarcal Hill in Szerémség (Syrmia, in Serbia), altogether on two hectares from 2020. Until the Turkish occupation, it was the Hungarian Kingdom’s primary wine region and according to many, the wine culture of the Carpathian Basin and the Furmint grape variety originate from here. The latter had not been grown on the hill for ages, until 2009 when Ernő and his then partner replanted it. His three vineyards, including the Kanias, are located in the close vicinity of the Fruska Gora National Park and partly because of this, but also from the “spiritual need from the beginning”, cultivation is entirely organic and chemical-free. Pressing from whole bunches, spontaneous fermentation, ageing for two years in used barrels, bottling without filtering or fining. wine with good drinkability that ages slowly, thus it can be aged for a long time. 

 

 

Philippe Pacalet Chambolle Musigny 2013 / Gevrey-Chambertin 2013 / Nuits St. Georges 2013

Philippe Pacalet was born in Beaujolais, to the south of Burgundy, where he grew up among the iconic winemakers of the wine region (Marcel Lapierre and Jules Chauvet). He arrived in Burgundy with such a foundation, where he made the wines of the similarly significant Prieuré Roch estate for many years, then in 2007, he started his own winery in Beaune. That’s where we visited him 10 years ago, and since then we’ve selected from his best wines every vintage. Due to the limited batches available now, we’ve put one out of three of his famous village wines randomly into the cases of our selection. Chambolle Musigny is about soft flavours and delicate structure; Gevrey Chambertin about deeper, thicker flavours; and the Nuits St. Georges with its slightly rustic structure and hedonistic, rich flavours is somewhere between the two.