Farewell Symphony – Györgykovács Imre Nagy-Somlói Olaszrizling 2017

Papa Haydn was the Buster Keaton of Viennese Classicism. Of all the examples of his deadpan humor none is more cheeky than his Symphony no. 45 in F♯ minor: as the final movement progresses towards its conclusion the musicians snuff out their candles on the music stands and leave the stage one by one until just two violinists are left to quietly repeat the closing motif. After a protracted season at Nicolaus Esterházy’s summer palace the musicians longing to return to their families asked Haydn to intervene who then decided to convey their wish through music (luckily the Prince got the message).

If based on the symphony’s nickname you’re expecting something valedictory, or having learnt about the story of its gestation you assume that it’s 25 minutes of workmanlike noisemaking to deliver a single punchline, then you’re in for a surprise: Symphony no. 45 is an imaginative and highly dynamic piece belonging to Haydn’s Sturm und Drang period.

There is nothing elegiac in Imre Györgykovács’s farewell either, at least not in the wines. Actually, there is quite a bit of “storm and drive” in this Olaszrizling.

Honey, lemon balm, chamomile, white pepper mingle with a strong mineral streak on the nose. The palate is savoury, saline, not unlike water from a well and it’s crackling with tension. It’s structured and dense with quite a bit of grip. The finish is really long with saline, bitter and floral notes. With the exception of rieslings the quality and complexity of its acidity would make any other white variety proud. A terroir bomb.

7 points and 19 euros.