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What’s been going on with Tibor Gál lately? - Bortársaság magazine

What’s been going on with Tibor Gál lately?

Titi became Tibor: calmness, wisdom and consideration pervade the Eger winery.

 

Both he and the winery have changed a lot in recent years: he cultivates 25 hectares and is transitioning towards organic cultivation. The vinification will be transferred to the city centre from the 2025 harvest at the latest. Their zest is still undiminished, they are full of big plans, the previously mentioned new building would fill an entire newsletter by itself: we are walking around a 6,000 square metre cellar system, full of labyrinths, with an archdiocese history, under the apartment building, in the centre, where Tibor tells us about their future. The atmosphere and the concept evoke the producers of Champagne and Burgundy.

However, the most important thing for him is the preservation of traditions. Not in a stale way, though, but transplanted into a form that’s fresh, simple enough to understand and can be consumed with great ease. The selection is clean-cut, the main role is given to Bikavér, and the emphasis is on underlining the vineyards – they are so different here that they override the varieties. 

Of the total of 71 vineyards in Eger, five are considered outstanding: Nagy-Eged, Nagy-Eged-hegy, Síkhegy, Pajados and Mészhegy. Four of Tibor's five plots belong to these.

With its deep clay soil and stable water retention, Síkhegy is balanced in every vintage. It is also one of the best vineyards of the Eger wine region. Many people list it right after the Nagy-Eged vineyards in the order of quality. The style of Bikavèr produced from Síkhegy is easy to grasp – the wines are denser and more concentrated than the usual. The Pajados gives more modern, straighter, more tannic wines. The red wines are hand-harvested, destemmed and spontaneously fermented, and the Bikavér is blended after fermentation, so that the flavours and the varieties come together during the 10-12 months of ageing.

Tibor tries to take most of the variables out of the equation. He uses only one type of barrel – now, it’s Trust – aged from one to six years, mixed. The red wines are always made and bottled unfined and lightly filtered. He also makes one or two single varietal wines, he has a Kadarka blended from Síkhegy and Pajados, which is important to Tibor because of tradition. This variety played a significant role in the regionin the middle of the 1800s, the Bikavérs were almost exclusively made from blends of different Kadarka clones. Pinot Noir also appears in the range, mostly out of respect for his father, but he only grows it on Síkhegy, because according to him, the variety has lost its best qualities and has become much more tannic.

Relating to this, Tibor also shared a nice story with us: he graduated from university as a winemaker in 2009. At that time, the viticulture and oenology majors were separate. He wrote his thesis on Pinot Noir, for which he also wanted to collect material, so he asked a professor in the viticulture department to be a consultant as well. When he went to see him, the consultant only said: “There’s no written documentation about the variety here at the department, I recommend that you turn to Tibor Gál’s winery in this matter.”  

The whole picture, the harmony, is completed by the family: three small children and his wife Gréta, who grew up in the countryside of the Zala forests. In 2019, by chance, Tibor was able to buy a 0.4-hectare plot of Kékfrankos in the Nagy-Eged vineyard, which he gave to Gréta as a gift for their wedding anniversary – thus helping her feel Eger as her new home. It seems that it worked, since now Gréta not only plays a full part in Tibor's life, but also in that of the winery. She takes part in marketing and with her good sense of style, use of colour and furniture, brightens up spaces, such as the Fúzió wine bar.  

 Egri Csillag 2023

A lively wine with great drinkability, taut acids, citrusy and fruity flavours, which linger on the palate for a long time.

 Kadarka 2022

A real summer red with lowish alcohol content, made with white wine vinification. Refrigerate it well (8-10 °C), and it will be really refreshing on a hot summer evening.

Egri Bikavér Superior 2021

The iconic and most important wine of Tibor's oeuvre. It’s truly expressive, distinctive and at the same time velvety textured, with delicious spices and fruits.

Pajados Bikavér Grand Superior 2021

A single-vineyard Bikavér. A modern concept, in which the value of the place of growth is shown in the blend. Blackberries, blueberries and plums spiced with cinnamon.

Síkhegy Bikavér Grand Superior 2017

The partner of Pajados. Similarly sophisticated, the difference between them is perhaps a bit like in the case of coffee. If Pajados is a light roast, then Síkhegy is definitely dark. Plums, blueberries, sour cherries, cloves and pink pepper.

Gál Tibor

GÁL TIBOR Egri Csillag 2023

GÁL TIBOREgri Csillag 2023

HUF 3 150
Bottle priceHUF 3 150
Member price
HUF 2 992
GÁL TIBOR Kadarka 2022

GÁL TIBORKadarka 2022

HUF 3 600
Bottle priceHUF 3 600
Member price
HUF 3 420
GÁL TIBOR Egri Bikavér Superior 2021

GÁL TIBOREgri Bikavér Superior 2021

HUF 3 900
Bottle priceHUF 3 900
Member price
HUF 3 705
GÁL TIBOR Pajados Egri Bikavér Grand Superior 2021

GÁL TIBORPajados Egri Bikavér Grand Superior 2021

HUF 6 800
Bottle priceHUF 6 800
Member price
HUF 6 460
GÁL TIBOR Síkhegy Bikavér Grand Superior 2017

GÁL TIBORSíkhegy Bikavér Grand Superior 2017

HUF 12 500
Bottle priceHUF 12 500
Member price
HUF 11 875

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