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Fekete Pince, Somlói JuhfarkSomló, Hungary 2015 (750mL)  |  FREE Shipping on any 6 bottles!

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Fekete Pince, Somlói Juhfark Somló, Hungary 2015 (750mL)

Fruit
Earth
Body
Tannin
Acid
Alcohol
Known as “The Grand Old Man of Somló” since the ‘70s, Fekete Béla is an elderly wine magician who spun grapes from an otherworldly volcanic hillside into thought-provoking bottles with endless depth. Every enchanting wine he’s crafted over the decades (they age for decades, too) speaks to the mysticism swirling about the microscopic Hungarian appellation that is Somló. But as of the 2015 vintage, this 90+-year-old legend has retired and passed the torch to the new generation. He’s hardly stepped away though—you’ll still find him still assisting, tasting, and offering up his invaluable wisdom in the cellar! So, you can bet we were just as eager to get our hands on Fekete’s 2015 Juhfark—the region’s most famous and sparsely planted indigenous grape. Here’s the only entry you’ll find about Juhfark on Jancis Robinson’s website: “Very rare Hungarian vine associated with Somló.” The wine itself, however, deserves pages of devotion and praise. 

What stands out about Fekete’s Juhfark is its savage energy and fierce mineral intensity; a raw, untamed taste like no other. And yet, they have a certain profundity on par with the world’s most lauded labels, all while retaining the unique identity of Somló—a microscopic lava-based, basalt-rich terroir jutting directly out of the plains. Today’s 2015 is Fekete’s current release: the wine spent one year in ancient Hungarian barrels, two in stainless steel, and one more in bottle. All this time, it remains untouched, allowing nature to run its course on this high-intensity grape. The result is spectacular, even a bit shocking—like a blast of ice-cold water to the face—but it’s an experience that cannot be ignored. You’ll geek out over this, guaranteed! 

Prior to earning the “The Grand Old Man” moniker, Fekete Béla would make annual treks to Somló to purchase grapes for his micro-batch ‘garage’ wines. But one year in the early 1970s, however, changed everything: A farmer on this fabled hillside asked Fekete if he would be interested in purchasing a couple of hectares. He accepted, and for the next 30+ years, he built up his holdings to four modest hectares and crafted the region’s greatest expressions of wine. He retired at a very ripe age in 2014, selling the estate to younger wine minds and close friends Ákos Dölle, György Emmert, Gábor Riesz, all of whom call him “uncle.” We are pleased to announce all of them are determined to preserve the traditions and unique style Béla was known for—as evidenced by today’s stunning 2015!

Because the privatization of wine didn’t occur until after 1989, when the Soviet’s communist regime ended, many contemporary consumers assume Hungary is a new winemaking frontier. That couldn’t be further from the truth, especially in Somló: Wine documentation, as well a crumbling remains of a castle at the summit of the hill, dates back nearly 1,000 years here. Even kings and queens of yore revered Somlói wines, and they took them seriously too. From their importer: “In 1752, local laws stated that if you were found adding water to wine, expect 25 lashings as the minimum punishment. If you were found to be labeling wine as Somló but using other fruit sources, you would be banned from making wine permanently and might even have your property confiscated.” The acclaim (but not the punishments) for these wines continued up until the Second World War, where vineyards were appropriated by the state and redistributed under communism. Obviously, tumultuous times followed—until the arrival of Fekete Béla. 

Somló is Hungary’s smallest and consists of a lone volcanic hill that rises abruptly near Hungary’s border with Austria. The soils are rich in basalt and most of the vines sit at high altitudes with expositions to the southeast. Fekete’s 3.5 hectares are farmed without any “manicuring,” irrigation, or chemicals, and are sorted/harvested by hand. In the winery, today’s 2015 Juhfark saw two hours of skin contact before a spontaneous fermentation in 1,000-liter Hungarian oak casks and 12 months of aging. The wine was then transferred into stainless steel, where it aged 24 additional months. Finally, after three years total, the wine was bottled—but wasn’t released to the public until the following year!

At five years old, this wine’s life is just beginning! Even their importer—Eric Danch, one of my favorite people in the industry—endorsed its aging potential, saying he’s had decade-old bottlings that were just zipping with energy. And while today’s 2015 is still a baby, there’s a great deal of pleasure and exoticism to be had already. This is high-intensity wine, filled with rip-roaring acidity, searing volcanic minerality, and a menacingly full body. That said, there just enough ripe, exotic fruit to keep this from being “punishing” or “uninviting.” Dip your nose in and it’ll excite you right away with quince, apricot, yellow apple peel, Kaffir lime, lemon zest, underripe mango peel, smoke, crushed rock, volcanic ash, and various European spices. The winemaker himself says “minerals above all rule this wine in all dimensions.” Hard to define this wine any better than that. It’s incredibly powerful, richly textured, and radiating with acid and crushed minerals. Enjoy now, in five years, or 25 years. Whenever you do pull the cork, buckle up—it’s a wild ride. Cheers!



Fekete Pince, Somlói Juhfark Somló, Hungary 2015 - SommSelect

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  • CountryHungary
  • RegionSomló
  • SoilVolcanic Basalt
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendJuhfark 100%
  • Alcohol14%
  • OakOld 1000L Hungarian Casks
  • Service Temp.50-55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose White
  • DrinkNow-2035+
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingPaprikash

  • CountryHungary
  • RegionSomló
  • SoilVolcanic Basalt
  • FarmingSustainable
  • BlendJuhfark 100%
  • Alcohol14%
  • OakOld 1000L Hungarian Casks
  • Temp.Serve at 50-55° F
  • GlasswareAll-Purpose White
  • DrinkingNow-2035+
  • Decanting30 Minutes
  • PairingPaprikash

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