My attempts at finding out how long I’ve been smitten by Sabar wines came to nothing more than the realization I’m a senile, sentimental, old fool. Five years worth of our archives are inaccessable and this is not just an annoying search dead end, but also a sore reminder of failure that hurts more than I’m willing to admit. All I can remember is that my first encounters were less than convincing with the early Sabar wines offering more oaky aromas than the grapes could accommodate. The breakthrough came with the 2015 Kőmagas Kéknyelű which made it abundantly clear that this winery was destined for more than just holding promise.
The style introduced by the 2016 Olaszrizling is now fully fledged. If someone turned to me saying she wanted to learn to love olaszrizling, then I would direct her to the junction of Sabar & Jásdi. Sabar is the easier to access – think of a carefully crafted, catchy show tune in a heartfelt rendition like this Rodgers and Hart song sung by Ella Fitzgerald.
In less than a month I have tasted this wine three times and on each occasion I thought to myself „this is better than any previous vintage”. It might even be the prettiest olaszrizling I have ever come across. The third bottle was opened next to some German Rieslings and an excellent Picpoul de Pinet and even in this elevated company it more than held its own.
Olaszrizling is not an aromatic variety but this is a wine with a rich, lifted and expressive nose offering hints of chamomile, gooseberries, peach, celery stalk and tropical fruit. The intensity of the nose is carried on to a palate with splendid balance, juicy and fresh displaying the most beguiling peach compote aromas. Textbook acidity provides drive and verve. The finish is once again rich and juicy with a bit of tannic grip. The winemaker, Bálint Földi should definitely be nominated for the „Young Winemaker of the Year” award.
6-7 points and for 8 euros it is great value.
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