An unexpected gift. On the one hand Lake Balaton has never been high on my search list when looking for a great bottle of kékfrankos, on the other hand had it not been on sale at half price (clearance before the new vintage hit the shelves) I would never have given it a thought. As it happened, I bought a bottle, tasted it the same day and returned the next day for the remaining stock (3 bottles in all).
I suspect that the oak must have been rather marked when it was launched. However today, like all the other components, it has been seamlessly integrated. At 4 years old there is nothing in this wine that is out of place or marches to its own beat. It may not reach the dizzy heights of the 2003 Ráspis but it still belongs to the best kékfrankoses of the last decade. A welcome reminder that after all achieving greatness with the variety is not just a pipe dream.
Actually it’s not all that different from a rosso di montalcino of similar age (I’ve long been of the opinion that the varieties kékfrankos resembles the most are sangiovese and syrah). The nose is elegant and classy: cherries, plums, tobacco, dark chocolate and cumin – none of them easily discernible, it’s more like shades of the same colour. A mid-weight, smooth palate with good attack but without any excessive fervour. There is a distinct saline aspect to its flavours which I particularly liked. Fine-grained tannins and a long, dry, satisfying finish. (This goes to show that Attila Homonna is much more than the enfant terrible of the Hungarian wine scene.)
7 points (nla; the current vintage sells for 13 euros.)