To put it mildly, anyone who cares about maximizing their wine dollar needs to be plugged into Hungary’s fast-evolving wine scene. This crimson-colored beauty (“Karmazsin” in Hungarian) summons memories of everything from Fleurie to Chinon to, of course, Austrian renditions of Blaufränkisch. It’s a silky and easy-drinking mix of tangy red berries, crushed rocks, wild herbs, and peppery spice, at once beguilingly foreign and strangely familiar.
For this bottling, hand-harvested and hand-sorted grapes are fermented on ambient yeasts in 225- and 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels, from mostly free-run juice. Maceration on skins lasts a few weeks, and aging is carried out in those same barrels and lasts from six to nine months. The fruit comes from the volcanic basalt and tuff soils of the Dörgicse vineyard in the Balatonfured-Csopak region along the northern shore of Lake Balaton. The wine is brisk, aromatic, and mouthwatering, and benefits from a rough decant and about 30 minutes to blossom: Serve it cool, say 50-55 degrees, in Burgundy stems and pair it with grilled salmon, roast chicken, grilled sausages, and plenty else besides—this is a food wine extraordinaire, with lots of savory spice balancing the bright, juicy fruit.
Heard It Through The Grapevine
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