Fuxli: the Szekszárd Siller

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.

The Heimanns’ Fuxli created a style in Szekszárd: while in 2011 six wines were selected for the Fuxli category based on the tastings of the strictly judging panel of winemakers, in 2012 the number grew to nine and in 2013 to 13. 

Let’s start with the Heimanns as the story also started with them:

 

Heimann Fuxli 2013

In 2013, the Heimanns once again put the emphasis on tradition – Kadarka. Beside the 80% Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Merlot make this pale red, joyful, round and spicy Siller with a sweet touch, all the more colourful.

Sebestyén Fuxli 2013

Csaba Sebestyén has made Fuxli for the third time; half of it is from Kadarka, while the other half is from Kékfrankos. The grapes that were grown for Siller were harvested at a low degree of must sugar for a lower alcohol wine with lively acidity. It spent three months in barrel and has a paler, more rosé-like colour. It’s light and lies more on the rosé side of the spectrum. Flavoursome and proper.

Pósta Borház

50% Kékfrankos, 35% Kadarka and 15% Merlot, soaked on the skins for two days, fermented spontaneously. Vibrant acidity, more towards red wine in character.

Neiner Pince 2013

The bigger share comes from Kadarka, along with Kékfrankos, Merlot and Zweigelt, soaked on the skins for a day, with a cooled, spontaneous fermentation. The majority of it was aged in tanks until bottling. Purplish, violet colour, sour palate with red fruit, red wine character, low alcohol.

Mészáros Borház

The first Fuxli from the Mészáros family; half of it is Kadarka, the other half is Kékfrankos, from a late-October harvest, with two days of soaking on the skins. Surprisingly dark, purplish-bluish coloured Siller with a generous nose and pleasant acidity. Clearly detectable varietal character.

Merfelsz Fuxli 2013

Built on a Kékfrankos backbone harvested at complete ripeness, along with the racy excitement of the Kadarka and the mellowness of the Merlot. Soaked for a day, bottled quickly without ageing. Pale red wine colour, spicy, Kadarka nose, full-bodied, in a red wine direction with a delicately sweet touch on the palate that characterises Merfelsz. Fiery, spicy, red wine-like.

Márkvárt János Fuxli 2013

The classic red Fuxli: very fruity, sour cherry soda nose and the rich flavours of red fruit. The larger part is Kékfrankos, spiced up with 30% Zweigelt to maintain the grapey aromas. Made with controlled fermentation, 2 days of soaking on the skins and tank ageing. Happy as the Jani.

Herr Márton Fuxli 2013

Márton Herr’s first bottled wine is the 13th Fuxli: 60% Kékfrankos, 20% Kadarka, 20% Cabernet Sauvignon soaked on the skins for a day and a half. Pale, bluish-purplish colour, lively, refreshing and lean wine – that calls for a stew (pörkölt). Sour cherry and freshness.

As cunning as a fox.

Hetényi Fuxli 2013

Exciting wine, with its sour cherry colour, floral, fruity nose, clean and spicy palate and unique, honest character. The Hetényis’ second Fuxli has a Kadarka base spiced up with some Kékfrankos. Red wine character, for a good talk.

Göndöcs Lajos Fuxli 2013

The young winemaker’s first Siller: 40% Kékfrankos, 20% Zweigelt, 15% Kadarka and 15% Cabernet Sauvignon. Controlled fermentation with cultured yeast, then soaked on the skins for 2 days, at a low temperature. Perfumed nose, purplish colour, young, fresh, fruity character. Strawberry, primary notes, rosé-like, full of life.

Eszterbauer Fuxli 2013

100% Kadarka soaked on the skins for 3 days, aged reductively. After the restrained opening come sour cherry and cherry aromas, followed by the delicious sourness of fresh fruit.

Takler Fuxli 2013

The trio’s first Fuxli; very dark colour, purplish shade, intense. 100 % Kadarka in the more tannic, red wine-like direction. Full-bodied, with good acidity, an exciting nose, true Kadarka character with herbs and rosemary. Fermented in tank, soaked on the skins for 2 days.

Tringa Fuxli 2013

One of the darkest in colour, more pronounced in acidity and very much towards the fruity end of the Fuxli firmament. Purple colour, dense and masculine. Dynamic, lively but a somewhat polarising wine: when it strikes, it strikes hard.

 

We tasted 13 Fuxlis in all. For devoted fans we can heartily recommend them in a unique, 13-bottle selection, as they paint a very colourful picture: from the pale and fruity rosé-like to the fuller bodied and red wine-like. However, we also selected (utterly subjectively) six of our favourites and made a selection out of them, which can be purchased as a case of six while stocks last.