Pretty skeleton in the cupboard – Oremus Pinot Noir 2016

Should you have a fixation with pricier Hungarian pinot noirs then this is not a bad choice to indulge in your obsession. It ticks more boxes than you pay for: a once in a lifetime chance to grab a limited edition Tokaj red with an intriguing background story and a mysterious label. The wine itself is actually perfectly servicable, and it even shows some Burgundy character which is more than one could say about most Hungarian pinot noirs.

It would be worthwhile to explore – and analyze with the help of a shrink – why so many winemakers in Tokaj secretly cultivate red varieties in their backyards and then ferment the grapes in their garage. The list of commercially available bottlings expands by the year – Dobogó, Vayi Pince, Pendits, Sauska Tokaj are some of the names that come to mind – and now one of the largest Tokaj estates, Oremus has joined the trend.

My first impression was that the outlines are correct but this is as unevolved as a barrel sample. On day 2 it started to reveal some details nonetheless I still believe it’s bordering on the criminal to uncork it now and was definitely unscrupulous to release it so early.

It shows some signs of being picked before full ripeness but then many believe that this is the way to pinot perfection. The green notes and the quality of the tannins made me think that the grapes were not destemmed. The nose is fairly individual and displays pencil shavings, game, blueberries and tobacco. The balance cannot be faulted, if one failed to guess the variety by the nose, then the palate would surely steer you in the right direction. It’s lively with a firm backbone, the finish is long and overall this is a wine with real character. I wouldn’t rule out that in a couple of years’ time it may reach new heights.

5-6 points and at 15 euros it’s not overpriced for what it is.