Orange Carnival – Bott Frigyes Olaszrizling Unfiltered 2017

Now this is a proper orange wine. It can proudly stand up to competition from anywhere in the world. It’s buzzing with electricity but it is still balanced and elegant.

Frigyes Bott’s conversion to organic and then biodynamic viticulture and to minimal intervention and minimal sulphites in the cellar was a bumpy one. At least I wasn’t particularly thrilled by his wines in the last 2 or 3 vintages. However this new range – labelled “Amphora” and “Unfiltered”, coming in Burgundy bottles and with wax capsules – has been a revelation so far (this is the second wine I have tasted, to see Kadarka click here).

The nose offers rosehips, ginger, candied orange zest and quince. The yeasty and craft beer-like notes that often dominate orange (and natural) wines are held in check. The palate is electric, gripping with all types of acidities and layers and textures adding to the excitement. But it’s not chaotic just colourful and interesting. Whether it says anything about the variety or the terroir that’s a question for another time (actually an important question with all orange wines and one that all of us who enjoy orange wines need to ponder over).

Tentative 7 points (I’m just not sure there is a well-established assessment system for this type of wines). At 22 euros, it’s quite expensive but orange wines are never cheap. (It’s available both at Bortársaság and Terroir Club.)