Summer 2014 – Exceptional wines

We asked ten of our wine shop assistants what they’re drinking this summer. They arrived at the theme and compiled their lists accordingly and thus it’s all very subjective. A personal top list, stemming from mutual experiences: originating from our weekly tastings, professional trips, indeed often from customers’ feedback. While it may be somewhat subjective, we’re also convinced it’s sufficiently professional.

Csorba Gábor

Gábor Csorba, Lánchíd

We taste a lot, more than 30 wines a week and sometimes a hundred. Always something else, always something new, usually good ones, at times not so good ones. We taste them, we evaluate and discuss them, leaving enough time for each wine. We work with diligence, open minds, responsibility and mainly with a clear head in this weekly alcohol-filled circle. And sometimes a wine arrives to this periodical cycle that breaks the usual speed and mood in the tasting room. Even at the time of the so-called “silent” round, the part when everybody takes notes for themselves, following the pouring of the wine into the glasses, one can feel that this wine is different from the rest, and all the others have noticed it too. Sitting up straighter in their chairs, long exhaling after the smelling, closed eyes, several-line descriptions scribbled into their notebooks, or maybe a quite “hmmm”… All this indicates that a big wine made it into our glasses. An exceptional wine for me can be a lot of different things. It can be dense, ethereal, varietally pure, or it can be atypical, it can come from a professional winemaker of a big winery or from a small producer. It can be spontaneously fermented or fermented with cultured yeast… one thing is for certain: it has to be balanced, complex, special and always a big experience. My list is strongly subjective.

 

- Montes Folly 2011: Coming from the top of a perilously steep, 45-degree slope of the Apalta valley, the small berries of the Syrah grape and the tiny yield give amazing concentration to this wine that is regarded as ultra-premium, even by the winery itself. A mesmerizing, dynamic wine from every aspect.

- Kiss Gábor Code 2012: Cabernet Franc, which is still youthful, but already accomplished. Full and rich base material, good structure and very good drinkability. Long and fresh, cayenne pepper, barrel spices, with a dry finish. 

- Sauska Kadarka 2012: It might be considered unusual to place a Kadarka in the premium category, but this wine sweeps me off my feet every time. Its ruby red colour is a shade darker than the average Kadarka and slightly opaque. Appealingly spicy nose, clove, rose pepper with explosive fruitiness, sour cherry, cherry on the palate. Round and juicy. Due to the part barrel fermentation and resting on fine lees, it has delicious bitterness on the finish. 

- Heimann Barbár 2011: The superb 2009 vintage raised the bar for the new Barbár, but in my book, it met the challenge. There is a touch of the Tannat grape in it once again, giving true identity to the wine. Deep ruby colour with a purple rim, then oozing, tickling aromas with sour cherry and cherry on the nose and playful acidity on the palate.

- St. Andrea Merengő 2009: Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Kékfrankos in equal proportions. Deep, warm aromas, a touch of aniseed and mint, velvety, embracing texture. Not extremely heavy but flavoursome and loveable. Full palate, Egri Bikavér Superior.

- Konyári Alfa és Omega 2009: There is startling power in it, a true Rock ‘n’ Roll wine. A black colour implying above average concentration, discreet volatile acidity coming from the barrel and of course the more New World like coconut and punch. Blackcurrant, dense, thick wine for a serious steak.