November - New wines

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 wineries >>>

New single vineyard wines >>>

New wines, first in our selection >>>

New big wines >>>

New kékfrankos wines >>>

New Zealand >>>

New wineries

 

We’ve never added up how much we travel around the wine regions throughout the year. And sometimes we even get a bit further: this time towards the south. For example, Magyarkanizsa (Kanjiža), in Serbia, is only a half an hour drive from our wine shop in Szeged – supposing that one gets into the right lane on the border. But once we arrive after the long journey, we can meet such honest, profound people with twinkling eyes, such as Ernő Sagmeister and his wife, Laura. Pike spiced up with bacon from the Tisza, and later bathing in the same river. Furmint, or Szigeti as they call it here, and Kadarka. Small-scale, natural grape growing and winemaking on the magma, serpentine soil of Ürögd’s and Nyárád’s best vineyards. Our friend, Robert Smyth, went even further this September: he found a great wine in Bulgaria made from a local grape. Orbelus – just like an ancient word for a snow-capped mountain – and Melnik, which is not just a grape variety but also the name of a town and a hotel in the region. All the three wines were really exciting for us. 

 

 

New single vineyard wines

 

Why does a winemaker make a single vineyard wine? It’s simply because there are some parcels and vines that are above average. Their crop is especially nice and tasty, and reflects the character of the place of growth and the raw material goes through several rounds of selection which usually guarantees the quality. However, an outstanding single vineyard wine requires a winemaker who knows what qualities of any given vineyard they would like to bring out in the wine. The Szent Tamás in Tokaj and the Kopár in Villány have already become classics and now the winemakers around the Balaton have started discovering the power of vineyards. We were given two Rieslings and a very rich Sauvignon Blanc from Szent György-hegy and Köveskál. 

 

 

New wines, first in our selection

 

Three red wines have also arrived, which are new in our selection in one way or another. The Heimann Stílusgyakorlat has been made for the first time by Zoltán Heimann Jnr, from 100% Tannat. It’s also the first time Ottó Légli bottled pure Merlot, and we could only taste Sauska’s Pinot Noir from Villány until recently, but now the Tokaj one has arrived too. Three extraordinary and exciting examples with completely different character, from three different regions: Szekszárd, South Balaton and Tokaj. 

 

 

New big wines

 

Three red wines have arrived, which by themselves are flagships of their wineries. 100% Merlot, 100% Tempranillo and a Bordeaux blend. Three greatly differing styles but all of them are rich, full-bodied reds – now their time has come. 

 

 

New Kékfrankos wines

 

The Austrians, with their Blaufränkisch, turned the grape into a global sensation, and the very same Kékfrankos variety is also getting increasing attention here in Hungary over the last couple of years. We’ve learnt that it need not only be made in a Bordeaux style, but also in a Burgundy style, and that instead of the powerful body it can also be about elegance and harmony. We’ve brought in Kékfrankos from three wine regions, made in three different styles, but all of them have been exciting for us recently. Orsolya’s is honest and deep, Csaba Sebestyén aimed in the Burgundy direction and Sauska’s is contemporary and modern. 

  

   

New Zealand

 

If we’re talking about New Zealand, then we’ve got to bring up Sauvignon Blanc. Also, Pinot Noir has been in focus for several years now. At Bortársaság, Cloudy Bay was the first Sauvignon and now whenever we feel like an explosive, minty, cut-grass Sauvignon, we can assuredly reach out for a New Zealand bottle on the shelves. The first Matua we brought was from 2013; we started with the Sauvignon Blanc, then the Pinot Noir followed. That’s when we learnt that Matua was the first to plant Sauvignon Blanc in New Zealand. Appealing labels and a straightforward message. Now, we’re continuing with the Land & Legend range, which were made from the winery’s best plots and from selected grapes. Even more flavours, even nicer structure and great excitement. In the meantime, the new vintage of Mount Nelson Sauvignon Blanc has also arrived. Its 2013 predecessor showed its nicest face in the summer, it ran out within seconds and at the same time, it also showed that we don’t necessarily have to go for the freshest vintages with Sauvignon Blanc either.