By Zoltan Szabo | @zoltanszabo
Note: This is a new wine made in Hungary by CityBites’ own John Szabo. The other Szabo, Zoltan, recently traveled there and tasted the wine, and this is his tasting note. The wine is represented in Ontario by Trialto. It sells for $24/bottle.
This wine from J&J Wine Co. is made of 100 percent Kékfrankos sourced from a single vineyard located on the hill slope of Mount Eged, one of the most spectacular sites in the northeast of Hungary, if not in the whole country. Nestled between the two volcanic mountain ranges of Bükk and Mátra, the mighty Mount Eged stands guard overlooking the ancient town of Eger and its medieval castle. Here, the vineyard is protected against the cold north winds, with calcareous clay soils, southeasterly exposure and 530 meters of altitude above sea.
This lovely red wine got a serious dose of Hungarian charm. Wild berry, smoked paprika spice, dried walnut and blood orange emulsion aromas aside, there’s a smell of the air on a sunny midsummer morning standing by the statue of Mary, The Virgin, atop of Eged. It’s a mysterious yet intriguing nuance that’s hard to explain. Medium-plus body and ripe with similar flavour notes as the bouquet, with lively freshness and gentle, chalky-dusty tannins. Evidence of wood is not so obvious—old barrels of different sizes have been used. A lingering grape skin-vinous finish. This wine will pair perfectly with classic Hungarian stews, roasted duck, or rare venison. And gypsy music. It makes a wonderful and exciting by-the-glass option on any savvy restaurant’s list.
What is Kékfrankos?
Those of you geeks may also want to do a little research into the grape itself. Kékfrankos is Hungary’s elite variety and among the world’s most fascinating, in my humble view. Here are a few of the synonyms this fine grape goes by:
Blanc doux, Blau Fränkisch, Blau Fränkische, Blauer Limberger (Germany), Blaufränkische, Blaufranchis, Blaufranchisch, Blue French, Borgonja (Croatia), Burgund Mare (Romania), Cerne Skalicke, Cerne Starosvetske, Cerny Muskatel, Chirokolistny, Cierny Zierfandler, Crna Frankovka (Croatia), Crna Moravka, Fernon, Fränkische, Fränkische schwarz, Franconia (Italy), Franconia near (Itay), Franconia nero, Franconien bleu, Franconien noir, Frankinja, Frankinja modra, Frankovka (Croatia, Serbia, Czech Republic), Frankovka cerna, Frankovka crna (Slovenia), Frankovka modra (Slovakia), Imbergher, Jubiläumsrebe, Gamay noire, Gamé (Bulgaria), Karmazin, Kék Frankos, Kékfrank, Kékfrankos (Hungary), Lampart, Lemberger (Germany and United States), Limberg, Limberger (Germany), Limberger blauer, Limberger noir, Limburske, Maehrische, Modra Frankija, Modra Frankinja, Modry hyblink, Moravka, Moravske, Muskateller schwarz, Nagy burgundi, Nagyburgundi (Hungary), Neskorak, Neskore, Neskore cierne, Noir de Franconie, Oporto (Slovakia), Orna Frankovka, Portugais lerouse, Portugais rouge, Portugieser rother, Pozdni, Pozdni skalicke cerne, Schwarz Limberger, Schwarze Fraenkische, Schwarzer Burgunder, Schwarzgrobe, Serina, Shirokolistnyi, Sirokolidtnyj, Sirokolstnii, Skalicke cerne, Starovetsky hrozen, Sura Liscina (Serbia), Szeleslevelü, Teltfürtü Kékfrankos, Vaghyburgundi, Velke bugundske and Vojvodin