Render unto Caesar – Gere Kopar 2016

Whether in its two decade career there has ever been a vintage when Kopár/Kopar could be called “red wine of the year” I couldn’t tell, but I am in no doubt that none of its rivals could match its consistency. Not by a mile. Unfortunately, its bright career is also littered by less than glorious moments like the reluctant revelation that the grapes only partially come from the Kopár vineyard and years later the half-hearted name change, the steep increase in production etc. But striving for objectivity, or at least impartiality is something I would never give up on and I’d rather go silent than falsify my experience to make it conform to my theories or biases. Good wine is a minor miracle, let’s not look aside when it reveals itself.

I know for sure that 2016 was not a great vintage in Szekszárd but I have no idea whether the same is true about Villány. The 2016 Kopar seems to offer the benefits of a vintage with no heat stress. In terms of character it sits somewhere between a Cru Bourgeois Bordeaux and a Rioja Reserva. It’s international in style and quality too. A word of warning though: this is not a crowd-pleaser, there is nothing showy or hedonistic about it.

The nose is intense with good depth with aromas tending towards the darker end of the spectrum: balsamic vinegar, black olives, pencil shavings, blackberry and bluberries. There is no oak overkill, it’s not fuit forward, nor sweet or too alcoholic. The palate is classy, elegant, savoury, spicy with smooth textures, good balance and concentration. Though fairly lively, it’s not the last word in vigour. A fair amount of tannins but of good quality. During the three days of tasting it showed continuous improvement; so it might well be on its way to become one of the better Kopars.

7 points (€25).