The year from our perspective

Tasting on a weekly basis, our team samples between 1,000 and 1,200 wines a year. Therefore, certain conclusions can be drawn about styles and fashion, as well as new and vanishing trends. We asked our colleagues what the most interesting aspects regarding 2012 were for them, and we’d like to share some of them with you.

Az étel, amit eszem Egymásra találtunk a Balatonnal Nyerges Márton és Borsi Detti Közelebb kerültem A Merengőt említeném A térképen rövid, az erdőn át hosszú Különösen fehéret

Life is more beautiful with them
Zsófi Entz from the Lánchíd shop

Lots and lots of wine made it into my glass in the little bit more than a year I’ve been working at Bortársaság. However, my new and formative experience for the long run is that I discovered the world of Prosecco. I had the opportunity to get to know several styles of this northern Italian sparkling wine, from the bone dry “brut” category to the sweeter side of dry. I realised what a nice feeling it is to have a glass of Prosecco after a hard day, whether it’s hot or cold outside. Life is more beautiful with them.

It slowly goes back to balance
Gábor Csorba from the Lánchíd shop

For a long time big wine experience meant serious concentration for me. I appreciated wines with analytical values that reached to the sky: full-bodied with loads of flavours, high tannins, high alcohol and never ending notes on the palate. Encounters with some special “wine people” and some unique wine experiences brought a complete change to my value system in 2012. I feel the same way on the wine front as when the two sides of the scales slowly go back to balance. The primary thing is balance; the harmony in wine even if it isn’t matched with concentration. The sensitivity of the winemaker is also important, as are the nuances in wine created by careful hands, as well as the understanding of the landscape surrounding it. I look for these kind of wines and I’m very happy when I find them.

Tokaj inside-out
Csongor Csűrös from the Lánchíd shop

It was a great experience for me when our team returned from Tokaj and in November we tried the 2011 vintage together. I always thought that I knew Tokaj inside out, yet it was a very pleasant surprise for me to see how many good, knowledgeable and enthusiastic winemakers, as well as wines, that there are. The biggest hits were the Szepsy Birsalmás and the Demeter Szerelmi Hárs, although I could make a very long list of my great wine experiences.

We found each other with Balaton
Zoltán Palotai, team captain

When we opened the Balaton shop, it was important that many local winemakers should appear in our selection. Just as doing in Rome what the Romans do, Balaton should be about the people from Balaton, and that we and our customers could choose from local wines. To compile a diverse selection from one region is usually a difficult task, but the grape growing areas of Balaton are multi-faceted, while the grape varieties are varied and the philosophies of the winemakers differ. Also, since my wine consuming habits cannot be described with one single wine or a style, we’ve found each other with Balaton.

I had sparkling wine in the heat: Szászi Gyöngyös, Konyári Lolipop.

A well-chilled Figula Sauvignon Blanc turned on the volume.

I chatted along with a Pálffy Olaszrizling.

I had Másfél white for a fröccs.

I had Légli Rosé for dinner.

I dropped a bottle of Béla és Bandi Pinot Gris.

I’ve spent on Káli Kövek Rizling, on Folly Pinot Gris.

Now that it’s cold I like the Loliense red.

The food that I eat
Andrea Furják from the Parlament shop

People’s taste changes and it was the same with me and wine. Earlier I was into buttery, creamy whites and full-bodied, robust reds. Then it was only sparkling wines that I drank or tasted with real pleasure. Now it’s naturalness that interests me; to know and possibly feel where the food that I eat or the wine that I drink is from and what exactly it’s made from. We can call it organic, biodynamic or natural, but that’s not the point. It feels good if I sense that they didn’t pester the grapes too much, didn’t use chemicals or a lot of sulphur. That’s why I tasted Franz Weninger’s wines with great enthusiasm. They are pure, but with full, fruity, and complex flavours. They are delightfully delicious.

I got closer
Lajos Pászthy from Árkád

So many things have happened to me in 2012, and there was always some wine involved along the way. At the beginning of April we left to visit Frigyes Bott, and on the way there I was appointed shop manager. Thus Frigyes’ wines have become even more precious to me. At the end of April we moved to Árkád, we opened a Fuxli, and I have since been taking it from the shelf with even more pleasure. In the middle of the summer we went on a trip to St Andrea – on the very same day that Áldás and Hangács were named top wines at the Pannon Wine Challenge. Thus, Gyuri’s wines became closer to me as well. At the Gourmet festival we started the morning with a glass of sparkling wine with Ottó Légli – strictly due to the heat of course. I loved it immediately. At the Wine Festival I drank wine with Dani Konyári, the Heimanns, and the Sauskas. These were unforgettable nights. What I can feel is that I got closer to wine by a year.

Especially whites
András Kelemen from Rózsakert

This year for me was about dynamism, renewal and enduring values. It was about wine regions that started flourishing, self-assured winemakers (like Zoltán Demeter and Stéphanie Berecz who we just got to know), pristinely pure and delicious wines (Szerelmi Hárs, Kikelet Birtok Hárs). Today, in 2012, it’s great to drink wine. Especially whites. Today I’d happily have a good wine from Eger, Badacsony, Tokaj or from next to the Garam – anywhere, at any time with anyone. They are natural, unique and by all means carry something personal, something that shines through beyond themselves. I’ve found in these winemakers and their wines something that makes it worthwhile to go to work everyday. For me 2012 was about them.

Easier to convey
Detti Borsi from Budagyöngye

I was given two nice sprigs of lavender at the beginning of April. As I smelt them, one of our wineries came into my mind – which was Pannonhalma. A friend of mine works there as a winemaker alongside Zsolt Liptay in the cellar, and the very next week we were tasting Prior straight from the tank. It was a nice feeling to think that I was the first one from the Bortársaság team who could taste this special Riesling. We drank Hemina according to the different components. The winemaker showed me 55 different barrels of Pinot Noir from which a Pinot selection would later be made and which were all different. We often taste at Budagyöngye and with our colleagues in the office. However, to talk about a winery where I can personally see how the wines are made is a definitive experience which is even easier to convey.

I’d mention Merengő
Ignác Tóth, gastro representative

This year’s shocking (used freely after Gyuri Lőrincz) and happy experience for me is that I’ve been encountering more and more wineries that have developed a highly pronounced, well-recognisable style over the last few years. If I have to highlight one tasting experience then I would mention Merengő, which I had the opportunity to meet with a few times in 2012. It was a striking experience. A wine that is at a “respectful” age in Hungarian terms, yet still very fresh, lively and vibrant, with not the slightest sign of ageing in sight.

Thibault Liger-Belair in particular
Márton Nyerges from Budagyöngye

For me 2012 was about white wines, and of course about Pinot Noir. It has become important for me that a wine should not just deliver a major experience during tasting but also after a few glasses. A good wine should not fill me up, but it should remain zesty, possess many layers and ought to show something different and more traits in the glass as time passes. I seek lightness and purity in wines, and the 2010 Weninger Pinot Noir as well as all the Burgundy Pinot Noirs, especially the wines of Thibault Liger, brought this experience.

Short on the map, a long way through the forest
Gergely Kovács who edited this

For me the greatest discoveries and the most pleasure in 2012 were provided by the enthusiastic, small wineries. Healthy, clean-thinking people with clean and healthy wines. They brought a lot of new colour, not just to our selection but also to our everyday lives. One day with Imre Györgykovács and Miklós Rácz. A summer encounter on the Balaton-felvidék with the Folly girls, Ambrus Bakó or with the always cheerful Skizó guys. Our autumn trip to Tokaj on the trail of the 2011 vintage via nine winemakers. The road that is short on the map, but a long way through the forest from the pumpkinseed harvest of Frigyes Bott along the Garam, to Bálint Losonczi and Tamás Szecskő in the Mátraalja. Defining experiences both in wine and people. Varietas delectat.