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ELŐD SZIJJÁRTÓ – NEW VINTAGE, NEW IMAGE - Bortársaság magazine

ELŐD SZIJJÁRTÓ – NEW VINTAGE, NEW IMAGE

Sauvignon Blanc 2023 // Chardonnay 2022 // Pinot Noir 2022


We met up with Előd Szijjártó to see the first designs of the new image during the first days of October. By that time, the wines he debuted with us at the end of the summer were almost sold out, and he had been harvesting continuously for four weeks. “With the exception of two  Saturday afternoons, we haven't stopped since 26th August,” he said, a little sleep-deprived but still full of vigour. Last year, 13 hectares of harvested grapes were already vinified at the Etyek winery with its New World atmosphere. Most of them went to sparkling wine. Now, the time of the still wines has arrived: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Here is the fresh vintage of all three.

These are the three varieties that drew Előd to Etyek in the first place. As a first-generation winemaker, there was no need to take over or reform – he started with a clean sheet. He wanted to make wines with an explosive palate and a local feel from the three international varieties, so Etyek was an obvious choice, where the sparkling winemaking past brought the two Burgundy varieties, while the first known Hungarian Sauvignon Blanc also came from here, from Öreg-hegy.

We loved this straight-forward selection and the practical, human-scale cellar right from the start. The sight of the barrels on the stands, the yellow forklift truck zipping across the shiny concrete floor and the trampled ankle boots always reminds us of New World wineries. This is what greeted us when Előd pulled open the iron door of his cellar in Etyek. A dozen barrels, nearly as many mobile tanks, sparkling cleanliness and natural light-lit spaces. It is only a half-hour drive from Budapest, but standing in the winery, it feels like you’re in New Zealand or California. This parallel is no accident – Előd went all the way to the Napa Valley after his viticulturist degree, where he got a job at the legendary Harlan Estate as an intern. Here, he learned how carefully a thousand-dollar Bordeaux-style blend is made, and in January 2019, with this basis experience, he started building his own estate in Etyek. Since then, five vintages have been made in this spirit.

The processing is rapid, and the technology is minimal, but there is a place for every step: the goal is to preserve as much as possible of the explosive flavours of the vintage. The exhilarating Sauvignon is fermented in temperature-controlled tanks and is aged briefly. The broader, subtly creamy Chardonnay goes into Burgundy barrels as must, and is fermented with wild yeast, and is then aged for a year on the lees. The only red in the range is a Pinot Noir. For it, some of the hand-picked bunches are fermented without destemming, with the stems, in open wooden vats, and after ageing, it is bottled unfiltered from the used barrels.

Sauvignon Blanc 2023

We tasted the Sauvignon for the first time in October, just a few weeks after the harvest, and it was already developed and pure, with a lively palate. With a good sense of proportion, Előd harvested 75% of the grapes with zesty acidity in September, and a quarter of them when they were riper and had higher sugar content, in October. After destemming, the grapes went immediately into the press, followed by fermentation in temperature-controlled tanks. While subtle mineral and yeasty notes appear on the nose, the palate and texture of the variety are more dominant, with New World flavours of gooseberry, blood orange and herbs. The lively acidity on the palate simply blows you away.

According to Előd, it is “the most difficult variety in terms of winemaking”, yet, it is what they produce the most of. More parcels, more harvest times, careful fermentation. Bottling after barely three months of ageing in January, locally at the cellar.

Complete batch: 10,150 bottles / Bortársaság batch: 9,000 bottles

Chardonnay 2022

Citrus, honey, roasted nuts, butter and salt – these flavours come to mind in the fresh vintage of this Chardonnay, which at the moment is also the favourite wine of the range. In it the textbook characteristics of the variety meet the precise style of the winemaker. The grapes were harvested at full ripeness from several parcels, then pressed freshly from whole bunches. After resting overnight, the clarified must was put into used Burgundy barrels, where fermentation began with wild yeast. The fact that Előd returned to the barrels every week during the 11 months and stirred the lees added a lot to the final creamy structure. It’s a classic, enjoyable wine with a lingering palate, and is a great experience. Bottling: September 2023.

total batch: 1,500 bottles / Bortársaság batch: 1,300 

Pinot Noir 2022

Előd knows how to handle this variety, which so few outside of Burgundy understand. Pinot Noir is his real favourite, the variety was one of the reasons he started building an estate in Etyek. A sparkling winemaking tradition, thin-skinned clones, chalky soil, lean reds and lively, acidic traditional method base wines all point in the same direction. The fresh vintage is once again hovering on the hard to grasp border of a weightless, yet substantial red. Cherry juice, delicately tea-like, herbal aromas on the nose, strawberries, redcurrants, fruitiness on the pristinely pure finish. As with the other varieties, here too, it is a real game of patience to wait for full ripeness, which Előd Szijjártó and the pickers did not miss in 2022. The entire crop was brought to the cellar in one day, the most beautiful bunches were left intact (20% of the total quantity) and fermentation began in the custom-made wooden vat. After the whole three weeks of macerating and gentle punching down, the fresh wine was put into used Burgundy barrels and aged for 10 months. In terms of style, the fruit bomb is halfway between the New World and the multi-layered, subtly earthy, mushroom-character of the Old World benchmark examples.

Bottling September 2023.

total batch: 960 bottles / Bortársaság batch: 800 bottles

ÚJ ÉVJÁRATOK, ÚJ ARCULAT

SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐD Sauvignon Blanc 2023

SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐDSauvignon Blanc 2023

HUF 3 950
Bottle priceHUF 3 950
Member price
HUF 3 753
SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐD Chardonnay 2022

SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐDChardonnay 2022

HUF 6 300
Bottle priceHUF 6 300
Member price
HUF 5 985
The product is currently out of stock.
SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐD Pinot Noir 2022

SZIJJÁRTÓ ELŐDPinot Noir 2022

HUF 6 900
Bottle priceHUF 6 900
Member price
HUF 6 555

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