Youthful charm – Balassa Tokaj Furmint 2018

Where Szilágyi goes, Balassa goes, or vice versa. I don’t really know anything about the dynamics of their friendship, however the bond is quite obvious and this wine seems to be the counterpart of Gizella’s Dry Furmint offering similar balance and quality. And it’s 25% cheaper.

By old Borbarát standards mentioning price is a blasphemy but for mere mortals – who by the way finance the higher arts of winemakers – it’s a stark reality and often an epistemological barrier. So, please let me rejoice in the fact that one can afford to buy a bottle of the entry level wine of one of the leading lights of modern Tokaj without breaking the bank.

And it’s a fine effort too. It’s not smothered in oak like the Balassas of yesteryear, and it’s far removed from the coarse and cumbersome Tokaj Furmints of a decade ago.

There is a cool quality to its wood, more nutmeg than cloves or cinnamon and it’s not overdone. Besides the oak notes you get citrus, ginger and pears on the nose – it’s a suave and inviting package. The finely balanced palate is polished, lively, well structured and juicy with delicate fruit and spice aromas. There is some grip on the fairly long finish. It’s not a particularly complex wine, but with being so quaffable and refreshing, I doubt that too many would consider giving it time to develop further layers.

5-6 points and it’s fairly good value by Tokaj standards.