Summer 2014 – Spontaneous 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.

Ripka Gergely

Gergely Ripka, Árkád

The reason we love spontaneously fermented wine is that there is ancient naturalness and something traditional in them. Earlier, there weren’t any cultured yeasts or temperature controlled tanks, yet people still enjoyed drinking wine. Wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation has almost become a cliché, a serial ingredient in the linguistic toolset of winemakers calling themselves artisanal (we call them small producers because we couldn’t come up with anything better). It’s also important to note that cultured yeast, which aids fermentation, is not the chemistry of the devil, so why are we still talking about this so often?
It’s because the dialogue of terroir, winemaker, grape variety and vintage appears naturally. Something unique is born, often coming into being more slowly, sometimes with residual sugar and sometimes without it. Could a wine be any more natural than a wine that ferments the yeast which is there as part of the place of growth?  

 

- Bott Frigyes Zöldveltelini 2013: The wines of our favourite Muzsla winemaker are built on tradition and cleanliness. Outstanding Veltelini (Grüner Veltliner), the forerunner of the vintage with a new label and the usual professionalism.
- Kikelet Kassai Hárslevelű 2012: The Hárslevelű of this year’s Winemakers Winemaker is always slender, happy, lively, natural. The Kassai has been the same for years.

- Tokaj Nobilis Susogó Furmint 2012: The second vintage of Sarolta Bárdos’ Furmint. It didn’t spend a moment in barrel and is a good example for showing that spontaneous fermentation leaves room for the terroir’s characteristics to show through with this variety.

- Moric Blaufränkisch Reserve 2009: JWe visited them in June, and the story has been exciting so far: every Moric Blaufrankish is the unique and novel manifestation of the terroir, as well as that of naturalness and the personality of the variety and the winemaker.

- Weninger Merlot 2011: Possibly the most convincing ambassador of the Hungarian biodynamic scene presented us with several memorable wines in 2011. The Merlot has been my favourite ever since.

- Pascal Jolivet Pouilly Fumé 2013: For me, Pouilly Fumé is still the home of the most elegant Sauvignons where the variety captures everything about itself and the terroir without cultured yeast, elderberry, nettle and other clichés.

- St. Andrea Hangács Bikavér Superior 2011: The new vintage of Hangács has started finding its real self in the bottle. Having tasted it at György Lőrincz’s along with the main course of lunch was an unforgettable experience during our visit in May.

- Thibault Liger-Belair Hautes-Côtes de Nuits „Clos du Prieuré ” 2011: The estate is possibly the most outstanding member of our Burgundy selection. Burgundy is the proof that even the most serious wines of the world do not require intervention, they have to be born by themselves.