A good Villány wine
Neat houses, orderly front yards, colourful porch doors – Villány, as we know it today, was built by the hands of hard-working and efficient Swabian people like Ádám Wéber and his friends, who are shown drinking wine in the photo.
Grapes and wine have been present in this region since the Celts. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Rascians had a greater impact on the region with their refined red wine production and their favourite variety – Kadarka. The Danube Swabians inhabited the villages and vineyards of the area from the second half of the 18th century.
Few people know that Zsigmond Teleki, a key figure in restarting European viticulture after phylloxera, also lived and worked here. The planting of French varieties began during his time, but it was not until 2014 that Villány Franc, as the brand of the wine region, was born.
A good Villány wine warms you up
Villány is our southernmost wine region, with the most sunshine hours and winemakers who were the first to wake up after the transition, whose status is unquestionable even today. Most of the full-bodied Hungarian reds are made in their family cellars, but in an unconventional way, we’ve been searching for the pleasures of wines for everyday enjoyment, instead of big reds. We tasted the core of our current selection – the middle category – and finally narrowed things down to nine wines, to nine really good recommendations.
GERE ORGANIC PORTUGIESER & FEKETE JÁRDOVÁNY
Two mavericks from the selection of the legendary estate – the vigorous and juicy Portugieser made from organic grapes, with short maceration and brief ageing; and the rare, spicy Hungarian variety, which is grown on a total of 0.8 hectares in the wine region, all of which are on the Gere estate.
RUPPERT KANDÚR & SZÍV KIRÁLYNŐ
Two striking blends from the Ruppert winery, located in the quiet western part of the wine region, on the border of Babarcszőlős and Diósviszló – the former is the estate’s bestseller, which every year is a harmonious and soft blend of Kékfrankos and Bordeaux, while the most important ingredient of Szív Királynő (i.e. the Queen of Hearts) has been Syrah since the beginning.
A Bordeaux-style blend that fits the theme, from one of the greatest fans of the famous Villány vineyard. In addition to the Merlot-base, Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon have smaller proportions in the current vintage of the well-known wine of the Günzer family. It has classic Villány notes, plus oak, ripeness and familiar flavours.
VYLYAN VÖRÖS VARIÁCIÓ (RED VARIATIONS)
We brought in the latest wine of our selection from Vylyan, one of Villány's best-known estates. Since the appearance of the young generation and the new winemaker, the usual selection has been supplemented with rarities such as Vörös Variáció (Red Variations) from 2021. Alternative ageing methods, rare varieties, amphora, the Cabernet Franc and Csókaszőlő varieties. New and spicy flavours.
KISS GÁBOR CABERNET FRANC 2021
A small estate with a large fan base. In 2020, Gábor decided that between his successful entry-level 364 Rouge, and his iconic premium selections, such as the Enigma and Code, whenever the year is good for it, he’d make a lighter version of his varietal wines with shorter ageing. So, here it is.
SAUSKA CUVÉE 11
Rich, round and pure flavours, from the Makár, Konkoly, Kopár and Ördögárok vineyards, characteristic of reds from the New World. From the beginning, Sauska's Cuvée 11 has represented the value that this newsletter is about – that is, the joy of drinking wine every day. A Merlot-based blend with Kékfrankos and the two Cabernets, fermented in tanks and aged in French barrels for 15 months.
SAUSKA CABERNET FRANC
The great encounter of place and variety – Cabernet Franc from Siklós’ Csukma and Makár vineyards. The manual harvest was followed by optical sorting, then four weeks of fermentation on the skins. After pressing, it was aged for 17 months in new and second-fill French barrels. Thickness, zest, lively colours, violet, white pepper, a round and subtle palate. Although it goes beyond the ‘everyday category’, we just couldn’t leave it out. One of the best experiences of late from Villány. A shining wine that we are closing the flight with.