June+ Selection

Once again, we dived in, and tasted such wines that for a long time we reckoned would be worth writing more about. Of course, we opened a lot more than six bottles, and in the end, we selected the best ones. This is how – also having June in mind – we put together the Plus selection, comprising lighter, cooler wines, including the recently arrived vintage of Tihany rosé, Pascal Jolivet's hedonistic entry-level wine, and one of the Best Bikavérs we’ve tasted from the Lőrinczs.

 

 

Kikelet Birtok Hárslevelű 2019

 

When we talk about Hárslevelű, Stéphanie Berecz comes to mind first. That’s possibly because she mentions it the most, or because we’ve tasted the most memorable examples of it in the last 10 years at hers. In 2019, she blended the estate Hárslevelű from the Kassai, Lónyai and Váti vineyards, in the best proportions. The grapes harvested from 45-year-old vines were spontaneously fermented and the wine was bottled after 5 months of barrel ageing. Besides the delicious ripeness, it has pollen and honey on the nose with freshly picked yellow-fleshed fruit, and is both round and has a taut texture on the palate. It’s an honest and authentic wine made in the spirit of an easier to understand Tokaj character.

 

 

Ott Fass 4 2020

 

Regardless of vineyard selection, experiments and innovative wines, Fass 4 has always been a point of reference both on the estate and in the wine region. Although fermentation and ageing are carried out mainly in tanks here, with this wine, Bernhard Ott commemorates his father’s classic Grüner Veltliner aged in large barrels. The common point is the long ageing on fine lees, but the loess soil of Wagram, the old Grüner Veltliner vines and the biodynamic growing are all needed to make this wine so balanced and long year after year. An ice-cold bottle and a lean wine glass are recommended.

 

 

Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc 2020

 

We first got to know Pascal Jolivet’s Sauvignon through the stony, mineral wines of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé. Attitude, which instead of the place of growth and grape variety shows the style of the winery more, came only later. The variety’s explosive flavours appear in a more restrained form here, while the palate is full, concentrated, streamlined and extremely enjoyable. It’s a pleasing tank-made, spontaneously fermented wine and also a business card from Pascal Jolivet.

 

 

Tihany Rosé 2020

 

The third vintage of Attila Tálos and Dávid Bökő’s joint wine, in which the basic idea still belongs to Attila, while the implementation is completed fully by Dávid: it is made from his own vineyards in Tihany and in his cellar in Füred. In the new vintage, it’s made from 100% Kékfrankos, blended from a livelier, paler coloured wine and a deeper, heavier one, in favour of the former. The most important steps in vinification have remained the same since the first vintage: ripe grapes, whole bunch pressing, spontaneous fermentation, and a long time spent on fine lees. And the character known from last year became even deeper, as the Tihany got slightly broader and more layered in 2020, while remaining an easy-drinkability and thirst-quenching rosé.

 

 

Telmo Rodriguez Dehesa Gago 2019

 

Telmo Rodriguez is one of the leading drivers behind the rediscovery of forgotten Spanish regions – he has visited the entire peninsula, restored plots of old vines and put the names of long-overlooked ancient wine regions on labels. One of the most important among these regions is Toro, where Dehesa Gago is also made from the old, bush-vine trained grapes of local producers. Fermentation happens spontaneously with local yeast, followed by half a year of ageing in concrete vats and tanks. And what brings the warm, spicy flavours into the wine is the local Tinta de Toro variety.

 

 

St. Andrea Nagy-Eged Bikavér 2017

 

The most highly-regarded Eger vineyard is Nagy-Eged-hegy, which differs from the others. Here the soil is not made up by the usual volcanic rhyolite tuff, but pure limestone, which appears only here in the wine region. Its peak (called Nagy-Eged Hill) is the hardest to cultivate, the vines here hardly produce anything, and the little wine that is made from here is extremely concentrated and easily recognisable. The higher yielding foot of the limestone block, on the other hand, is known for its easy to drink, intricate wines. That’s where the Nagy-Eged vineyard is, from where the Lőrinczs’ Bikavér (Bull's blood) became one of our favourite wines in May. The Kékfrankos, Merlot and the two Cabernet varieties were fermented in vats, then aged in 500-litre barrels for a year and a half. It’s elegant, warm in character and smooth.