Unhappy end – Csopaki Kódex 2018

2018 on paper looked anything but promising for great whites. A rather short growing season coupled with sustained summer heat is usually a recipe for disaster, resulting in flabby, bland, sometimes tart wines. However, the handful of 2018s I have tasted so far seemed charming and inviting. So, I approached the 2018 Csopak Kódex wines with a cautiously optimistic mindset. With the moderate alcohol stipulated in the Kódex regulations heavy and heady were out of the question but that still left the door open to dullness.   Continue reading “Unhappy end – Csopaki Kódex 2018”

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). Continue reading “Farewell Symphony – Györgykovács Imre Nagy-Somlói Olaszrizling 2017”

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. Continue reading “Hawkeye in the Land of the Blind – Folly Arborétum Boróka 2018”

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. Continue reading “Render unto Caesar – Gere Kopar 2016”

Wait till you see her – Sabar Olaszrizling “Estate Wine” 2018

My attempts at finding out how long I’ve been smitten by Sabar wines came to nothing more than the realization I’m a senile, sentimental, old fool. Five years worth of our archives are inaccessable and this is not just an annoying search dead end, but also a sore reminder of failure that hurts more than I’m willing to admit. All I can remember is that my first encounters were less than convincing with the early Sabar wines offering more oaky aromas than the grapes could accommodate. The breakthrough came with the 2015 Kőmagas Kéknyelű which made it abundantly clear that this winery was destined for more than just holding promise. Continue reading “Wait till you see her – Sabar Olaszrizling “Estate Wine” 2018″

Universal Basic Cabernet – Günzer Zoltán Cabernet Sauvignon 2017

An unexpected job – wine list for a small restaurant aimed at foreign guests – forced me to pop my bubble. It’s no fun leaving your comfort zone but I was handsomely rewarded by the experience. I admit it’s a sily prejudice but my bubble is a cabernet-free zone. So I had to go out on a limb when making my recommendation for the budget Villány category. I think of Zoltán Günzer as a technically reliable winemaker with reasonable prices and as 2017 was a hot year there was every chance that even cabernet sauvignon would reach optimal levels of ripeness. Pouring this wine to our quality control group I was wary that my bluff was about to be called. But I got lucky.    Continue reading “Universal Basic Cabernet – Günzer Zoltán Cabernet Sauvignon 2017”