Kikelet Pince - Tarcal

Tokaj 2015 vintage report

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

2015?

Once again, it wasn’t an easy year. From May till the end of August there was a huge drought, days of serious heat followed one another and the grapes had to develop with little water. We got a bit worried when, at the beginning of August, the leaves of some vines started to turn yellow in some vineyards. There was great stress that resulted in a fairly early harvest, but the grapes were with us: they stopped the vegetative development significantly earlier than usual and the ripening process was speeded up. In the Váti vineyard, we harvested the Furmint on September 4, three weeks ahead of usual, and the Hárslevelű a week later. We had tasty, nice clusters, although little in terms of weight and quantity. The grapes on the thicker loess of the Lónyai and Kassai hillside stress less, and the grapes developed more slowly, although the harvest came earlier there, too.

 

What kind of plots have you got?

All our plots are south or southwest facing. The Farkas and the Váti has a looser structure, loess with volcanic dacite underneath. The Lónyai and the Kassai grow on a lot thicker loess. 

 

Despite the cover of soft loess, the style of your wines is pronouncedly fresh, cool and mineral. How is that possible?

I’d like to dispel two misconceptions. Firstly, that loess is not mineral – on the contrary! Loess is a fine dust eroded from ice age rock and is full of colourful minerals. Secondly, that wine originating from loess has modest acidity. For me, it shows subtle citrus flavours, which make our wines elegant and unique. What’s surprising is that the acids remain lively even in warm vintages, in fact they even become more intense in the heat. Choosing the harvest date is also an important question – Hárslevelű is a lot more sensitive to this, one shouldn’t leave it to its own devices, while in the case of Furmint over-ripening has no negative effect on acid structure. I’d say Furmint is easier to deal with but it’s also cheekier than Hárslevelű but this suits it very well.