Hawkeye in the Land of the Blind – Folly Arborétum Boróka 2018

A few weeks ago I received a 2 liter crown capped bottle of Ödön Nyári’s Olaszrizling from my parents. Some years ago I had great fun with this Badacsony bulk wine and this time was no different. On the one hand, it’s ridiculously cheap (5 euros ex cellar), on the other hand it’s a prime example of pure, unadorned olaszrizling. Emboldened by the experience I bought a mishmash collection of relatively cheap Hungarian wines. My hope was that if Ödön Nyári can offer a classy white for 2 euros/0.75 bottle, then it can’t be beyond well-established names to produce something similar for 3 times more.

How wrong I was. Most of the wines were discomfortingly green and/or untidy. My notes rarely exceeded two words, so this is just a list of the miserable bunch. The ones to avoid: Szeleshát Nemes Rizling 2018, Bussay Mura 2018, Szászi Olaszrizling Badacsony 2018, Böjt Egri Csillag 2018, Heimann SXRD 2017, Pálffy Olaszrizling 2018. Decent proposals: Kislaki Bormanufaktúra Jánoshegyi Kékfrankos 2017 and Káli Balázs Tramini 2018. And finally the one that provided the silver lining: Folly Arborétum Boróka 2018.

This is a very confident wine punching well above its price (and of course a towering presence in the company of the above listed bunch). Not only is it technologically assured but also blended with immaculate skill from not exactly haute couture varieties (olaszrizling, muscat ottonel and pinot gris). The nose is intense with notes of green peach, candied lemon zest and levanders, the palate is full of flavours and it strikes the right balance between tension, juiciness and structure. The acidity coupled with a savoury, slightly tart character lends it a nervous elegance. Not unlike a South Tyrol white. It’s a compact, modern, delicious and refreshing wine.

6 points and at 7 euros it’s worthy of the best buy badge.