Text Size:-+
06.23.2012

Hungarian Wine: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. My Notes From the 2012 Pannon Wine Challenge.

pannonhalma.jpgAs some of my readers know, I spent four days in May as a judge at the Pannon Wine Challenge, a national competition for Hungarian wine. While this competition is not the sole national proving ground for Hungarian wines, it is perhaps the best known. Along with eight other judges, three of whom were Hungarian, I spent many hours tasting hundreds of wines and passing judgement.

In the interest of my more intrepid readers, and anyone in Hungary who cares (perhaps a bit more than my average US reader), I've decided to post all my tasting notes from the competition here publicly. I do so for the purpose of transparency and accountability, as well as for whatever small educational value they may have to interested parties.

I was quite pleased to be asked to judge in this competition, despite my general dislike of wine competitions. For me, the process of tasting several hundred wines from a country in a very short period of time provides an enormous education for my palate, and an unparalleled opportunity to get a sense of an unfamiliar wine region (and often unfamiliar grape varieties) in a very short period of time.

In that respect, the Pannon Wine Challenge, did not disappoint. I learned a lot about and have shared some of my impressions of Hungarian wine already.

This competition was very well run, and quite pleasant to judge at. The logistics of storing, pouring, and serving the wines were impeccable, and the electronic data collection, via a custom web application, for our judging notes worked flawlessly. Only thanks to the latter am I able to present you the tasting note I wrote for every single wine I tasted in the competition.

The tastings were conducted fully blind, other than a separation of value-priced wines into their own category, and the availability of grape variety information about each wine if we wanted it (I did).

In looking at my tasting notes and scores below, it will be important for my readers to understand some additional considerations when it comes to notes made during the judging of a wine competition.

Firstly, despite being tasted blind, which certainly adds a good measure of objectivity and impartiality, competitions are a pretty lousy format for tasting wine. Even though this particular competition was not rushed in any way, we judges don't get a lot of time to spend with each wine. Also despite the very best, valiant efforts of those who put on such competitions, the wines are not always tasted at exactly the ideal temperature or in world-class stemware. The wines don't get the benefit of decanting which, though leveling the playing field a bit, certainly means some wines don't show as well as they might with some additional air, and for economies of space, we use somewhat narrow tasting glasses instead of generous stems.

In my experience, tasting a lot of wines serially also tends to accentuate those wines that have unusual characteristics. Most of the time, these characteristics aren't to the wine's benefit anyway, but in a competition setting, a surfeit of oak, or a touch of VA tend to leap out more prominently.

All of which is to say that more so than normal, these notes and scores should be taken with a grain of salt, and appreciated for what they are. Having said that, with only a handful of exceptions, I am proud to say that after looking at the individual scores from all of the judges for all the wines, we had an incredible alignment around which wines we liked and which we did not.

While about 300 different wines were submitted to the competition, in order for us to proceed through them in an efficient way, not every wine was tasted by every judge. Instead, the wines were split up among three teams of judges (which you can sort of see in the photo above -- my team in the foreground with Isabelle Legeron at her computer) for a first round of judging, and the top scoring wines in each category (red, white, sweet, and value) were then brought back to be tasted by all the judges together. The notes below consist of all of my notes from all rounds of judging, including the final rounds where I tasted every wine that was in contention for an award.

I have made only two changes to these notes and scores before publishing them: I have spellchecked my tasting notes, but other than that I have not changed a single word. I have also converted the scores into my own scoring system from the 100-point scale that we were asked to use as judges. My own 10-point system is less exacting than the 100-point scale (e.g. a wine that scored 84, 85, or 86 points would be "somewhere around 8.5" on my scale).

These tasting notes, along with the notes from all the other judges, were provided anonymously to the wineries who took part in the competition (something not all competitions do). They were not, however, released to the public, but I was given permission to publish mine if I felt like it. So here you go.

My final thoughts regarding the wines below, are that I wish more sweet wines had been entered in the competition, especially as that is a category in which Hungary excels. Many of the people I talked to believed that sweet wines were getting harder and harder to sell, both within Hungary and outside, and consequently most producers are putting their focus on dry wines. While I can't argue with economic necessity, there are still a lot of sweet wines made in Hungary, and they should be showcased at competitions such as the Pannon Wine Challenge.

The majority of these wines are not available in the U.S. but a few of the good ones are thanks to importers such as Blue Danube Imports. If you're anxious to get your hands on something below, give Frank a call and I'll bet he can help.

Value Wines (under $12 US)

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5 2011 Sauska Furmint Tokaj Pale greenish gold in color, this wine smells of candle wax, spiced poached pears, and chamomile. In the mouth chamomile and pear/quince flavors mix with wet stones, and a nice silky texture. Quince lingers on the finish. Decent acidity. 13.44% alcohol.

2011 Font Ezerjo, Kunság
Ezerjo is an older Hungarian grape variety. Pale gold in the glass this wine has a bright floral and hint of melon character in the nose with an underlying minerality. In the mouth the wine has a simple charm, with bright acidity, hints of lemon and floral character, and a nice length. Simple, but charming. 12% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2011 Garamvári Szőlőbirtok Irsai Olivér, Balatonboglár
Light greenish gold in color, this wine smells of wet stones and green melon with a hint of bitter greens. In the mouth crisp wet stone flavors mix with melon and floral notes, but don't have a lot of depth or complexity. Moderate finish. 12% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
2011 Bujdosó Szõlõbirtok és Pincészet "Frissecco" Királyleányka, Balatonboglár
Pale blonde with fine bubbles, smells of linalool and slightly artificial fruit. In the mouth pears, linalool, hints of green apple and cold cream. Light spritz / mousse. Decent acidity, feels a bit concocted. 12% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7.5 AND 8
2011 Feind Villa Quaiar Sauvignon Blanc 2011 Sauvignon Blanc, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of gooseberries and green vegetables. In the mouth the wine is quite dilute, with not nearly enough acidity to carry it. Innocuous and...blah. 11.76% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7
2011 Vabrik Riesling, Etyek-Buda
Pale gold in the glass with a hint of green, this wine smells of somewhat artificial flowers and linalool. In the mouth watery pear and linalool flavors don't resolve well. Tastes manipulated. 13.91% alcohol.

2011 KOCH "Prémium " Chardonnay, Hajós-Baja
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of linalool and plastic. In the mouth very little varietal character exists, with flavors of linalool, pear, and apple. Clean, concocted. Bitter finish. 12.27% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 6.5
2011 Tokajicum Borház Muscat Blanc, Tokaj
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of artificial floral and melon scents. In the mouth bitter plasticky notes mix with melon and floral flavors. Odd finish. Somewhat faulty. 12.5% alcohol.

VALUE WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 6
2011 Jásdi Pince Csopak Riesling, Csopak
Palest greenish gold in the glass, this wine has a rainwater and floral nose. In the mouth the wine is plasticky and artificial. Lousy. Could be a faulty bottle. 12.5% alcohol.


VALUE PINK WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7.5 AND 8
2011 Kertész "Carla" Pinot Noir, Etyek-Buda
Pale salmon with fine bubbles, this wine smells faintly of orange peel and red berries. In the mouth the wine has a tart citrus and rosehip quality, with a SweetTart tanginess. Good acidity, but more acidity than anything else. 11.97% alcohol.

VALUE PINK WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7.5
2011 Dúzsi Tamás és Családja Borászati Kft. Kékfrankos, Szekszárd
Pale pink with a hint of orange in the glass, this wine smells of watermelon and red berries with a hint of linalool. In the mouth red berry flavors mix with a somewhat artificial quality and a hint of sweetness. Lower acidity, somewhat high octane. Lightly bitter finish. 13.16% alcohol.

VALUE PINK WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7 AND 7.5
2011 "Ostoros-Novaj Bor" Zrt. Red Blend, Eger
Bright baby pink in the glass, this wine smells of Jolly Rancher candy -- watermelon, cherry, and strawberry. In the mouth the candied quality of the fruit continues with a light sweetness and not enough acidity. A blend of 44% Kekfrankos, 20% Pinot Noir, 18% Blauer Portugieser, and 18% Zweigelt. 11.95% alcohol.


VALUE RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2008 Janus "Bordó" Bordeaux Blend, Villány
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of earth, cherry, and green bell pepper. In the mouth the wine has a nice medium body, good acidity and bright flavors of cherry and a hint of the green pepper. The oak is reasonably well integrated. Somewhat short finish. A blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot. 12,64% alcohol.

2008 Bertram "Eger Cuvée" Red Blend, Eger
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of stewed cherries and wet wood. In the mouth, flavors of dried cherry, cedar, and wet leaves mix with an nice underlying earthiness. The tannins have a very light touch, and hang on the edges of perception. The finish has an odd, bitter wood character. Pleasant, but lacking some complexity. 13% alcohol.

VALUE RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7 AND 7.5
2009 Juhász Testvérek Pincészete "Birtokbor" Merlot, Eger
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of new oak and little else. In the mouth, flavors of sweet new oak dominate the fruit, leaving little room for else. Caramelized sugars, smoky notes and underneath the barest hint of cherry. Overdone. 13.61% alcohol.

VALUE RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 6.5 AND 7
2009 Ikon Borászat Shiraz, Balatonboglár
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of somewhat industrial plastic. In the mouth the wine is tight and compressed, with thin flavors of black cherry and cassis cough syrup. Not expressive and quite industrial in quality. 14.42% alcohol.

VALUE RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 5
2011 Borpalota Kft. Pinot Noir, Mátra
Dark garnet in the glass this wine smells horrible. Cooked cabbage and stewed fruits. Tastes of wet leaves, wet plastic bags, and dirt. Horrible. Not commercially viable. 12.5% alcohol.


White Wines


WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Juhfark, Nagy-Somló
Bright medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of chrysanthemum tea and lemon curd and honey. In the mouth the wine offers neon lemon juicy bright explosion with crystalline acidity and fantastic length. Mouthwatering, juicy, and I just want to gulp it. Might have a slight sweetness but there's enough acidity that it doesn't taste sweet. Juhfark is a fairly uncommon Hungarian grape variety. 13.5 % alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5
2008 Borpalota Hárslevel?, Mátra
Light to medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of honey and white flowers and candied apricots. In the mouth, off dry flavors of honey, acacia blossom and yellow herbs mix together in a faintly sweet concoction that has a wonderful brightness thanks to great acidity. A hint of bitter herbs lingers on the finish in an altogether pleasant way. Yum. 15.62% alcohol.

2010 Oremus "Mandolás" Furmint, Tokaj
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon curd, with a hint of acacia blossom. In the mouth, super bright lemon juice and lemon curd flavors vie for attention with floral notes and mouthwatering acidity keeps flavors pushing for a long time in the finish. 12.5% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Hárslevelû, Nagy-Somló
Medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of honey and golden apples and acacia blossoms. In the mouth the wine is slightly off-dry, with gorgeous acacia and honey flavors with quite pretty lemon curd notes as well. Round, juicy, well balanced with excellent acidity and length. Stellar. 13.5% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Kft Hárslevelû, Nagy-Somló
Medium yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia blossoms, apricots, and orange zest. In the mouth acacia, clover honey, and orange blossom flavors mix with a nice underlying minerality. Pink grapefruit flavors linger on the finish. Excellent acidity and balance, though a touch high in alcohol -- the grapes were quite ripe I think, with some botrytis present, lending its characteristic quality to the wine. On the whole, however, an excellent wine. Quite rich. 13,5% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Kft Juhfark, Nagy-Somló
Light gold in the glass this wine smells of fresh clover honey. In the mouth the wine has a tangy, juicy lemon curd and acacia quality. Bright, neon acidity lingers long through the finish. Some botrytis adds some richness to the wine. Very interesting. 13.5% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Kft Furmint, Nagy-Somló
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of quince paste and chamomile. Beautifully mineral in quality in the mouth, flavors of quince paste and lemon curd mix with chamomile and other dried herbs through a long finish that has a touch of honey. Perfectly dry and quite delicious. 13.5% alcohol.

2009 Tokaj Nobilis Szõlõbirtok "Hárs, Barakonyi dûlõ" Hárslevelû, Tokaj
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of chamomile, cut grass, and other exotic green herbs. In the mouth wonderful chamomile and yarrow flavors mix with bright acidity and a hint of apple and quince fruit. Unique and delicious. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Tornai Pincészet "Top Selection Grófi " Hárslevel?, Nagy-Somló
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of sulfur and acacia blossoms. In the mouth, lemon and acacia, with hints of chamomile blend smoothly in a silky body with nice acidity. The wine is perhaps over sulfured but given some time in the glass (or age in the cellar) this is a beauty. 13% alcohol.

2009 Varga Pincészet "Aranymetszés" Rózsakő, Badacsony
Medium gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia blossom and honey. In the mouth herbal flavors of chamomile and yarrow mix with acacia blossom and honey, but in a completely dry, mineral way. Bright and juicy with a parchment / old book note that lingers in the finish. Compelling. 12.76% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2009 Bott Frigyes "Vinculum" Juhfark, Délszlovákia-Muzsla
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of chamomile and brewers yeast malted milk. In the mouth, juicy lemon and quince flavors mix with marzipan and wheaty. A hint of sweetness lingers on the finish. 15% alcohol.
2011 Chateau Dereszla "Tokaji Dry" White Blend, Tokaji Borvidék Pale blonde in the glass, this wine smells of crème anglais and pears. In the mouth juicy pear and quince flavors are bright with acidity and a touch of lemon on the finish. Juicy bright, and quite tasty. 13% alcohol.

2011 Hilltop Neszmély "Prémium Kalács-hegy-d?lő" Sárga Muskotály, Neszmély
Pale gold in the glass with a hint of green, this wine smells of star fruit and green melon. In the mouth the wine has quite an interesting combination of melon, wet stone, and green plum flavors that is quite compelling. Excellent acidity gives a bit of a kick to the finish which has a tangy, slightly savory quality to it that is very yummy. Delicious. 12% alcohol.

2009 Kertész Családi Pincészet Chardonnay, Etyek-Buda
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon, cold cream, and buttercream. In the mouth the wine offers somewhat savory flavors of lemon curd, buttercream frosting, and a nice saline lemon kick in the finish. Decent amount of oak used, but well integrated. Excellent acidity, nice balance. 14.61% alcohol.

2010 Laposa Badacsony "Laposa Rizling" Olaszrizling, Badcsony
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of pears, white flowers, and wet stones. In the mouth it offers bright green apple, lemon and lime zest flavors and a nice hint of sweetness that rounds out the wine and makes it quite mouthwatering along with bright acidity. Tasty. 12.5% alcohol.

2011 Nyakas "Budai" Sauvignon Blanc, Etyek-Buda
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of the classic "cat pee on a gooseberry bush" aroma of Sauvignon Blanc. In the mouth, flavors of gooseberry and wet stones mix with lime zest and a hint of florality to make this a classic, if slightly severe example of the form. For those who prefer more mineral and less fruit in their Sauvignon Blanc, this wine will please. 13.2% alcohol.

2011 Pannonhalmi Apátsági Pincészet White Blend, Pannonhalma
Pale gold in the glass this wine smells of gooseberries and green apple. In the mouth the wine offers juicy kiwi, green apple, and gooseberry. Chalky almost tannic quality lingers in the finish. Good acidity. 13% alcohol.

2011 Patricius Sárga Muskotály, Tokaji Borvidék
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of green melon and white flowers. In the mouth it offers fresh and juicy flavors of green melon, green apple, and wet stones. Excellent acidity and nice smooth texture, a well made, if not particularly complex wine that is a pleasure to drink. Crisp and clean. 12% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2009 Balassa István "Szt. Tamás" Furmint, Tokaj
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia and honey. In the mouth slightly spicy flavors of honey, quince paste and wet stones mix with a tangerine zest quality that suggests a slight bit of botrytis in the grapes. The finish has a nice quince quote. 15% alcohol.

2009 Bott Frigyes "Vinculum" Juhfark, Délszlovákia-Muzsla
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of honey and a bit of old, sweaty gym socks. In the mouth, slightly sweet flavors of acacia blossom, honey, and candied orange peel mix with a chalky minerality. Somewhat funky and disjointed, but interesting. 15% alcohol.

2011 Bujdosó Szõlõbirtok és Pincészet Szürkebarát, Balatonboglár
Pale blonde in the glass, this wine smells of cold cream, linalool, and pears. In the mouth fresh pear flavors mix with a hint of white flour and a touch of spiciness. There's something unique about this wine that is interesting. Good acidity, nice fruit. Good length. 14,5% alcohol.

2009 Holdvölgy "Becsek" Hárslevelû, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers and wet stones. In the mouth the wine is herbal, with a tiny hint of sweetness, and a lot of wet stone and green apple character. Doesn't have the characteristic yellow-herb flavors I expect from harslevelu, must have been picked early. Still, the tart, sour, juiciness of the wine is appealing in some ways. 13% alcohol.

2009 Holdvölgy Expression "Becsek" Hárslevelû, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia flowers and lemon curd. In the mouth flavors of lemon curd, dried flowers, and wet stones mix nicely, though there is a bit of alcoholic heat on the finish, along with a waxy herbal note. Not fully integrated, but not unpleasant either, this is an interesting wine that is worth drinking. 13% alcohol.

2009 Kertész Családi Pincészet Chardonnay, Etyek-Buda
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of cold cream and lemon zest. In the mouth the wine offers lemon curd, bright wet stones, and lemon zest flavors with a hint of grapefruit on the finish. Pleasant enough, with good acidity. 14.61% alcohol.

2009 Kertész Családi Pincészet Királyleányka, Etyek-Buda
Light yellow in the glass, this wine smells of lemon, spices, and wet stones. In the mouth the wine comes across as somewhat high octane, with bright flavors of lemony peach, cold cream, and an herbal spiciness that is quite appealing. The wine has quite a bit of heat on the finish, but that doesn't keep a honeyed character from emerging. 13.27% alcohol.

2010 Royal Tokaji "Szent Tamás" Furmint, Tokaji Borvidék
Light yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia blossoms and honey. In the mouth tart lemon zest and acacia blossoms mix with a slightly spicy, sourish citrus note that is quite interesting. Sharp acidity with a chalky character leaves the mouth slightly dry in the finish. 14.5% alcohol.

2011 Söptei Pincészet Pinot Blanc, Balatinfüred-Csopak
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of pears and wet stones. In the mouth flavors of ripe pear, wet stones, and a hint of lime/lemon citrus note that lingers pleasantly on the finish. Good acidity, crisp and clean. Tasty. 13% alcohol.

2011 Söptei Pincészet Riesling, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of linalool and ripe pears with notes of wet rocks. In the mouth bright flavors of lemon are given a quick boost by very bright acidity, but not much flavor follows that initial citrus and pear spike. 12.5% alcohol.

2011 Szent Tamás Pincészet "Mád Száraz" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stones and pears. In the mouth a lovely silky texture delivers flavors of lemon, quince, and white flowers. Excellent acidity, nice balance, and just a touch of alcoholic heat on the finish. Also a touch of sweetness. Tasty. 13.5% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2008 Holdvölgy Expression "Becsek" Hárslevelû, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia blossoms and honey, with hints of herbal notes like chamomile. In the mouth chamomile and honey mix with bright lemony zest and lemon balm flavors. Nice acidity but feels somewhat stripped down. 12% alcohol.

2011 Jásdi Pince Csopak "Lőczedombi" Szürkebarát, Csopak
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of pears and wet stones. In the mouth the wine is smooth and silky with nice acidity and flavors of pears, wet stones, and white flowers. A perfectly fine example of the form. 13.44% alcohol.

2009 Kertész Családi Pincészet Királyleányka, Etyek-Buda
Light to medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia blossoms and chamomile, with a sweet orange blossom note on top and a hint of glue. In the mouth juicy lemon and acacia blossom flavors struggle a bit with strong new oak flavors that ultimately are the downfall of the wine. 13.27% alcohol.

2011 Konyári Pince "Loliense fehér" White Blend, Balatonboglár
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers and linalool. In the mouth crisp flavors of pear, green apple, and wet stones mix with a nice citrusy note. Somewhat austere, but tasty. A chalky dry note lingers in the finish. 51% sauvignon blanc, 38% chardonnay, 11% Olasriziling. 13.37% alcohol.

2009 Sauska "Cuvée 111" White Blend, Tokaj
Light greenish gold in the glass this wine smells of vanilla and lemon and new oak. In the mouth, flavors of raw quince, lemon, and quince paste mix with bright acidity and hints of new oak, but alcoholic heat flares up in the finish to lessen a very bright tasty wine. 14.41% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Furmint, Nagy-Somló
Light yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of quince and wet stones with a hint of dry cardboard. In the mouth the wine has a quince paste with a hint of oxidative note. Wet chalkboard minerality lingers in the finish with a spike of lemon. 13.5% alcohol.

2010 Villa Sandahl "Recept" Riesling, Badacsony
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of apples, pears, and cold cream. In the mouth flavors of apple and pear are kept aloft by delicate acidity and an underlying wet chalkboard minerality. Pleasant, but not particularly dynamic. 13.16% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2009 Béres "Lõcse" Furmint , Tokaj
Light yellow gold in the glass with a hint of green, this wine smells of new oak and sweet acacia blossom. In the mouth the sweet oak overwhelms flavors of quince and lemon. Good acidity. 14.5% alcohol.

2011 Borpalota Kft. Irsai Olivér, Mátra
Pale gold in color, this wine smells of orange blossom and orange fleshed melon. In the mouth nice acidity makes lively flavors of orange blossom and candied orange peel. A hint of orange zest lingers on the finish with a waxy quality. Pleasant, but lacking complexity. 11.5% alcohol.

2011 Effendy-Vin Olaszrizling, Balaton-felvidéki Borvidék
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of apples and pears and wet stones. In the mouth pear and apple flavors have a slightly spicy, baked note while pink grapefruit citrus slips in behind them. Good acidity. 13,89% alcohol.

2008 Kertész Családi Pincészet Chardonnay, Etyek-Buda
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of fresh apples, baked apples and cold cream. In the mouth baked apple, sweet oak, and cold cream take on a spicy aspect on the finish. Decent acidity. 14.51% alcohol.

2010 Sandahl "Recept" Riesling, Badacsony
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon zest, tangerine and wet stones. In the mouth, tangerine zest and pink grapefruit flavors mix with wet stones and a hint of florality. Bright and juicy, with a tangy quality, the acidity is quite sharp through the finish. 13.16% alcohol.

2009 Sauska "Cuvée 107" White Blend, Tokaj
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of cold cream and canned pineapple. In the mouth the wine has a nice salinity, with flavors of cold cream, wet stones, lemon balm, and new oak. The oak continues to emerge from the wine on the finish which is somewhat hot with alcohol. A blend of Harsevelu and Chardonnay. 14.69% alcohol.

2010 Villa Sandahl "The Stamp" Riesling, Badacsony
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells slightly of volatile acidity and apples. In the mouth bright acidity makes flavors of lemon, lime, and green apple quite bright and juicy, with a hint of vanilla that washes into the finish along with some alcoholic heat. Sadly a little disjointed. 13.39% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
2011 Koch "Prémium" Cserszegi Fûszeres, Hajós-Baja
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of linalool and ripe pears. In the mouth flavors of pears and wet stones mix with delicate acidity and wet stones. Pleasant but nothing special. 12.73% alcohol.

2011 Pannonhalmi Apátsági Pincészet Olaszrizling, Pannonhalma
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of brewer's yeast and a hint of bubblegum. In the mouth the wine offers linalool flavors and bubble gum notes with high tones of jasmine, and generally a confected quality. Good acidity though. 13% alcohol.

2009 Tornai Pincészet "Top Selection Aranyhegy" Juhfark, Nagy-Somló
Medium yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of acacia and sweet new oak. In the mouth, the wine offers off-dry, slightly sweet flavors of old socks and lemon curd, with a spicy baked apple note that swirls in there as well. Good acidity. 14.5% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7.5 AND 8
2009 Légli Ottó "Gesztenyés" Riesling, Balatonboglári Borvidék
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of volatile acidity through which lemon and apple scents peek with a bit of oak. In the mouth the wine tastes of harsh acidity (malic) with tart green apple flavors and heat on the finish. Disjointed. 13% alcohol.

2011 Riczu-Stier Pincészet Chardonnay, Villány
Pale gold in the glass this wine smells of golden apples and wet stones. In the mouth light linalool, lemon and apple flavors mix with wet stones. Not particularly varietally correct. 12.54% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7.5
2009 Badacsonyi Pincegazdaság Zrt. "Napkirály" Olaszrizling, Badacsony
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of candle wax and candied lemon peel. In the mouth flavors of candle wax, vanilla, and lemon curd mix with wet stones and somewhat sharp acidity. The acid unbalances the wine, and an alcoholic heat rushes the finish. Tastes of somewhat botrytized fruit. 14% alcohol.

2011 Gál Szőlőbirtok és Pincészet "Gál Balatonfelvidéki" Chardonnay, Balatonfelvidék
Palest gold in the glass, this wine smells of pears and golden apples. In the mouth flavors of tinned pears, brewers yeast and baked apples mix with moderate acidity. Alcoholic heat burns on the finish. 13.49% alcohol.

2009 Légli "Chariesa" Chardonnay, Balatonboglár
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of cold cream, buttered popcorn, and linalool. In the mouth buttered popcorn, sour green plum, and cold cream flavors mix with an odd quality. Green apple skin flavors linger in the finish, bitterly. Blend of Chardonnay, Riesling, and Irsai Olivier. 14% alcohol.

2011 Nyakas "Aligvárom" White Blend, Etyek-Buda
Pale gold in the glass, this wine smells of linalool and poached pears. Faint sweetness in the mouth mixes pear and citrus notes to make a perfectly generic, bland wine. A blend of Chardonnay, Irsai Olivier, and Olasrizling. 12.5% alcohol.

2011 Patricius Hárslevelû, Tokaji Borvidék
Palest greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of orange peel and hints of melon. In the mouth the wine is somewhat stripped down and austere with bright acidity and flavors of orange peel and orange melon, but mostly a stoniness that isn't pleasant. 12.5% alcohol.

2011 Szöllősi Olaszrizling, Neszmély
Pale gold in the glass with a hint of green tint, this wine smells of linalool and white flowers. In the mouth flavors of white flowers, pears, and JuicyFruit gum mix with decent acidity. Some alcoholic heat lingers in the finish. Somewhat plain and uninspiring. 12% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7 AND 7.5
2011 "Ostoros-Novaj Bor" Zrt. "Eger Csillag" White Blend, Eger
Palest greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers, cucumber, and wet stones. In the mouth the wine is somewhat dilute and watered down, with flavors of wet stones, cucumber and green apple. 30% Kiralyleanyka, 30% Olaszrizling, 25% Cserszegi Fuszeres, 15% Chardonnay. 12.41% alcohol.

2011 Almagyar Érseki Szőlőbirtok "Eger Csillag" White Blend, Eger
Light gold in the glass this wine has a musty nose with hints of white flowers. In the mouth slightly bitter pear and quince flavors mix with wet stones underneath a musty note that unfortunately taints the wine. Not pleasant. Bitter finish. 13% alcohol.

2009 Árvay "Padihegy" Furmint, Tokaj
Light gold in the glass with the barest hint of green, this wine smells of linalool and poached pears in syrup. In the mouth the wine tastes of somewhat plastic and yeasty qualities through which it is hard for quince and lemon flavors to shine. Odd and not very pleasant. 13.5% alcohol.

2011 Jásdi Pince Csopak "Lőczedombi" Olaszrizling, Csopak
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon zest and wet stones. In the mouth somewhat austere flavors of lemon zest, tangerine zest and wet stones have a dilute quality to them. Narrow. 12.5% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7
2011 Frittmann Borászat Ezerjó, Kunság
Light gold in the glass, with a hint of a green tinge, this wine smells of lemon candy and a hint of yeastiness. In the mouth the wine tastes of lemon and wet stones with a hint of yeastiness on the finish. Not great. 12.5% alcohol.

2010 Malatinszky Kúria Organikus Szőlőbirtok "Noblesse Serena" White Blend, Villány-Siklós
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of linalool. In the mouth the wine has a stripped down quality of very sour green apple skin, while at the same time a hint of sweetness. Unpleasant. A blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. 12% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 6.5 AND 7
2011 Badacsonyi Pincegazdaság Zrt. Müller Thurgau, Balatonmellék
Pale blonde in the glass, this wine smells of linalool and pears. In the mouth the wine is quite dilute and watery, with very faint flavors of wet stone and a hint of baked pear. Quite unimpressive. 12.5% alcohol.

2009 Jásdi Pince Csopak "Ranolder Fehér" Furmint, Csopak
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon, pears, and linalool. In the mouth slightly watery flavors of pear and JuicyFruit gum have a sort of artificiality. Alcoholic heat lingers in the finish. A blend of Furmint and Olaszrisling. 12.5% alcohol.

2009 Pántlika Pincészet "Dörgicsei Selection" Olaszrizling, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of new oak and lemon. In the mouth searing acidity and green apple flavors mix with out of balance flavors. Yuck. 13% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 6.5
2011 Pántlika Pincészet "Dörgicsei Selection" Sauvignon Blanc, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers and honey. In the mouth the wine has an odd character, with heavy vanilla flavors, candied character and very odd finish. 13% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 6 AND 6.5
2009 Tokajicum Borház "Nyulászó" Furmint, Tokaj
Bottle #1 - Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of funky woody and lemony flavors. In the mouth there's a trace of wet cardboard, lemon and wet stones. Very bad / unclean. Vanilla finish. Bad oak? Bottle #2 - same as above. 13.5% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 5.5
2011 Figula Pincészet Sárga Muskotály, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Pale greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of white grapes and melon. In the mouth, bitter phenolic, plastic flavors make this wine essentially undrinkable. Not commercially viable. 13.5% alcohol.

WHITE WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 5
2008 Kolonics Pincészet Olaszrizling, Somló
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of funkiness. Harsh. Tried second bottle. Same. 12% alcohol.

2010 Somlói Apátsági Pince Kft Olaszrizling, Nagy-Somló
First two bottles both corked or horribly faulty. 14% alcohol.


Pink Wines


PINK WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2011 Dúzsi Tamás és Családja Cabernet Franc, Szekszárd
Pale pink with a hint of salmon, this wine smells of bright strawberry and watermelon. In the mouth, flavors of strawberry and watermelon have slightly less acidity than I would like, and just a touch of sweetness that I think could have been avoided, but the flavors are clean, and the finish airy and floral. Very easy to drink. 14.28% alcohol.

PINK WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2011 Frittmann Borászat Kékfrankos, Kunság
Light salmon pink in color, this wine smells of watermelon and a hint of plastic. In the mouth, cheerful berry and watermelon flavors mix with decent acidity and finish cleanly. Not particularly complex, but nothing objectionable here. Kekfrancos. 12.5% alcohol.

PINK WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2011 Dúzsi Tamás Rosé of Cabernet Sauvignon, Szekszárd
Light salmon pink in the glass, this wine smells of candied cherries and strawberries. In the mouth the wine has a slight sweetness to it and candied flavors of cherry and strawberry. Cabernet Sauvignon. 13.6% alcohol.

Red Wines

RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5 2009 Liszkay Mihály Borászat Cabernet Franc, Balatonfüred-Csopak Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of green bell pepper, graphite, and cherries. In the mouth the wine has wonderful brightness and quite pretty fruit that expands across the palate. Good acidity and fine grained tannins. The oak is well integrated. Lovely. 13.92% alcohol.

2008 Liszkay Mihály Borászat "Liszkay Cuvée" Red Blend, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Medium to dark ruby in color, this wine smells of espresso and tobacco. In the mouth the wine has bright cherry and cola flavors, with excellent acidity. The oak is quite well integrated into the wine which has a lovely silky texture. 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot. Excellent. 13.82% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2009 Baron Von Twickel Szőlőbirtok "Chateau Kajmád Szekszárd Cuvée" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and plum fruit with a hint of stoniness. In the mouth cherry and plum fruit has a nice underlying earthy minerality while suede-like tannins wrap around the edges of the wine. A nice savory herbal note emerges on the finish. A blend of 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Kekfrancos. 13.5% alcohol.

2010 Bott Frigyes Kékfrankos, Délszlovákia-Muzsla
Light to medium ruby in the glass with a hint of orange fading at the rim, this wine smells of apple cider, green herbs and leafy greens, including comfrey. In the mouth, tangy rosehip, redcurrant, and hibiscus flavors mix with herbal notes and hints of cedar. Good acidity, faint tannins and a wonderful length across the palate. Distinctive and charming. 13% alcohol.

2009 Eszterbauer Borászat "Tivald" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cassis and black cherry. In the mouth black cherry and cola flavors predominate with hints of tobacco. Good acidity and fine grained tannins, plus a long finish. Very well executed and tasty. Creamy note lingers on the finish. 15% alcohol.

2009 Gajdos Pincészet "Egri Bikavér" Red Blend, Eger
Cloudy, inky purple in the glass, this wine smells of spicy mulberry, black cherry, and leather, with a dash of new oak. In the mouth, rich dark cherry, mulberry flavors nicely integrate with sweet new oak. Lovely texture and length in the mouth. Dark, rich, and quite supple tannins remind me of dark chocolate cake for some reason. Very nice. Kekfrancos, Blauburger, Cabernet. 13.5% alcohol.

2009 Jekl Pincészet "Il Primo" Cabernet Franc, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass this wine smells of sweet oak and a darker stonier quality. In the mouth the wine has a nice seamless wholeness to it, with cherry and espresso flavors combining with slightly heavy handed smoky oak flavors. Good acidity though, and good length. Bordeaux blend. 15% alcohol.

2008 Liszkay Mihály Borászat "Liszkay Cuvée" Red Blend, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Medium to dark ruby in the glass, this wine smells of graphite and wet stones. In the mouth cherry and wet granite flavors have a silky smoothness to them, and good acidity. A fleece blanket of tannins coats the mouth with a hint of espresso flavor lingering in the finish. Quite attractive. A blend of 50% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 30% Merlot. 13.82% alcohol.

2009 Riczu-Stier Pincészet Cabernet Sauvignon, Villány
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of cherry cough syrup and licorice with a bit of wet chalkboard. In the mouth good acidity brings dark cherry and cola flavors to life with powdery tannins and notes of licorice. Well balanced, with a slightly weak mid-palate, but generally tasty. A note of brown sugar lingers in the finish. 14.3% alcohol.


RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2009 Baron Von Twickel Szőlőbirtok "Chateau Kajmád Szekszárd Cuvée" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of black cherry and cassis with a hint of new oak. In the mouth rich flavors of cassis and black cherry mix with powdery, mouth coating tannins. The oak is very well integrated to the wine. While the mid-palate is a bit weak, the wine is quite tasty. 40% Cabernet Franc, 30% Merlot, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Kekfrancos. 13.5% alcohol.

2008 Chateau Teleki Villány Cabernet Franc, Villány
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of slightly nutty cherry and green bell pepper. In the mouth the wine is juicy and bright with aggressive tannins but very pretty cherry fruit that has a nice floral note. Good acidity. The tannins dry the mouth and take on an oak character in the finish, but the wine is clean and juicy. 14% alcohol.

2008 Csutorás Nagyanyag "Nagyanyag" Red Blend, Eger
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of violets and orange peels with a hint of red fruit. In the mouth the wine has a tangy orange peel and redcurrant quality with a deeper cherry note as well. Hints of wet dirt and leather creep into the finish. Decent acidity. Unusual. A blend of 50% Pinot Noir and 50% Menoir 13.5% alcohol.

2009 Feind Villa Quaiar "Shiraz Premium" Syrah, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Dark garnet in the glass this wine smells of smoky cassis. In the mouth smoky and leathery flavors of cassis and black cherry have a nice tang to them with good acidity and nice length. A hint of savory, black olive character lingers in the finish. Tasty. 14.63% alcohol.

2008 Halmosi Pincészet "Négykezes" Merlot, Szekszárd
Medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of plummy cherry and hints of new oak. In the mouth, powdery tannins wrap around a core of plum and cherry fruit with a heavy but not overly objectionable trace of sweet new oak. Could easily be mistaken for a Napa Merlot. 14.5% alcohol.

2008 Heumann Cabernet Franc, Villány
Medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and plum. In the mouth flavors of cherry and cedar mix with powdery tannins. Notes of cocoa powder and plum linger on the long finish. Somewhat high toned, but rich and pleasurable. Good acidity. 15.01% alcohol.

2009 Juhász Testvérek Pincészete "Grand Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Eger
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry, tobacco, and a hint of green bell pepper. In the mouth, the wine tastes of cherry, cedar, and tobacco with well integrated new oak. Drying tannins, but good acidity and clean clear fruit. Tasty. 13,5% alcohol.

2009 Konyári Pince "Loliense vörös" Red Blend, Balatonboglár
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of rich, sweet cherry fruit. In the mouth cherry and cassis fruit have a slightly sweet aspect and a tangy finish. Powdery tannins are quite supple and well done, and the oak is well integrated. The only issue I have with this wine is some alcoholic heat on the finish. Otherwise quite a well done wine. A blend of 54% merlot, 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 11% Cabernet Franc. 14.22% alcohol.

2009 Liszkay Mihály Borászat Cabernet Franc, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Dark ruby in color, this wine smells of green bell pepper and cherry fruit with a hint of cedar. In the mouth lovely cherry and plum fruit mix with cedar and leather notes. Leathery tannins wrap around the edges of the wine. Good acidity and length. 13.92% alcohol.

2008 Sauska "Cuvée 7 Siklós" Red Blend, Villány
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cassis and black cherry. In the mouth the fruit is quite pretty, with rich black cherry and cassis flavors, decent acidity, but unfortunately a fairly sweet character. Quite ripe and rich, but ultimately a bit overdone. 44% Cabernet Sauvignon, 23% Cabernet Franc, 33% Merlot. 14.82% alcohol.

2007 Sauska "Villány Cuvée 5" Red Blend, Villány
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of espresso, tobacco, and sweet dark cherry. In the mouth the wine has a rich cherry quality, with sweet oak and a hint of sweetness in the fruit. The tannins have drying quality but the wine has good acidity. 35% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 40% Merlot. 15.31% alcohol.

2009 St. Andrea "Hangács Egri Bikavér Superior" Red Blend, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass this wine smells of green bell pepper and dark cherry fruit. In the mouth quite pretty black cherry and earth flavors mix with a blanket of suede-like tannins and good acidity. Nice length and a pleasing floral note lingering in the finish. A blend of 41% Kekfrancos, 25% Cabernet Franc, 20% Merlot, and 13% Pinot Noir. 14.38% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2008 Chateau Teleki Villány Cabernet Sauvignon, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of plum and black cherry. In the mouth rich ark plum and cherry flavors have just a tinge of eucalyptus on the finish. Drying tannins take away a bit from quite tasty fruit. Decent acidity. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Gajdos Pincészet "Egri Bikavér" Red Blend, Eger
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of green olives and black cherries and sweet oak. In the mouth there's a nice balance between black olive savoriness and black cherry fruit, with a significant component of new oak. The oak is well integrated but slightly dominant, especially in the finish. Nice body, though. A blend of 25% Blauburger, 25% Cabernet Franc, and 50% Kekfrancos. 13.5% alcohol.

2009 Günzer Tamás Pincészete Syrah, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of tinned black olives and chocolate. In the mouth that savory black olive character continues, with cassis and blackberry flavors that have wonderful depth and texture to them. Powdery, mouth coating tannins linger through the finish with the olive character. My only complaint about this wine is its relative lack of acidity. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Jekl Pincészet "Il Primo" Cabernet Franc, Villány
Dark ruby in the glass, this wine smells of new oak and dark cherry. In the mouth the wine offers cherry with a nice mineral undercurrent, and fairly well integrated new oak. Drying tannins linger with the distinct flavor of sweet new oak. Good acidity and quite a nice minerality. 15% alcohol.

2009 Kreinbacher Syrah, Nagy-Somló
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of peppery bergamot and cassis fruit. In the mouth, cassis and caramel flavors suggest new oak, but the wood is fairly well integrated. The wine has a tiny bit of heat in the finish. Decent acidity. 14% alcohol.

2009 Mészáros Pál Borház és Pince "Hidaspetre Reserve" Cabernet Franc, Szekszárd
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cabbage and green bell pepper, in the mouth savory cherry and leather flavors mix with vegetal notes. Fine grained tannins. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Pannonhalmi Apátsági Pincészet "Infusio" Red Blend, Pannonhalma
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of burnt match heads and oak. In the mouth cherry and cola flavors mix with tobacco and espresso notes. Heavy oak. Decent acidity and restrained, supple tannins round out the package. Reasonable finish. A blend of cabernet franc and merlot. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Posta Borház Kadarka, Szekszárd
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of black cherry and mulberries. In the mouth black cherry and cedar flavors have a tangy sour cherry note. Delicate acidity and fine grained, faint tannins. Well made wine that doesn't have a lot of complexity, but is still tasty. 13.39% alcohol.

2010 Sauska Kékfrankos, Villány
Medium to dark purple in the glass, this wine smells faintly of cassis and black cherry. In the mouth the wine is quite subdued, with earthy notes of black cherry, sour cherry, and cassis. There's something odd for me about these flavors which seem quite faint and unobtrusive. But, having said that, there's nothing wrong with them. 13.12% alcohol.

2008 Söptei Pincészet Merlot, Balatonfüred-Csopak
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark chocolate and cherries, with sweet oak high notes. In the mouth flavors of cherry, chocolate, and new oak are nicely integrated and smooth. Clean, with fine grained tannins. Slightly tart finish. 14% alcohol.

2009 St. Andrea "Áldás Egri Bikavér" Red Blend, Eger
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark cherry and wet dirt. In the mouth flavors of dark earth and wet cherry linger with leather and a hint of sour cherry in the finish. Broad and expansive with leathery tannins and decent acidity. A blend of 47% Kekfrancos, 27% Merlot, and 26% Cabernet Franc. 13.78% alcohol.

2007 Takler "Regnum" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of black olives and stewed black cherries. In the mouth, black olive and black cherry fruit blend with a rich, thick blanket of tannins. The tannins linger heavy through the finish with a hint of sweet oak. A massive wine, and perhaps too heavy handed, but the savoriness makes it a bit distinct. A blend of 30% Merlot, 37% Cabernet Franc, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 10% Kekfrancos. 15.5% alcohol.

2009 Tarjányi Pince Kft. Shiraz, Eger
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine has a smoky cassis and white pepper aromas. In the mouth cassis and blackberry flavors mix with bright acidity and good length. Powdery tannins hang back and add complexity to the wine. Rich and jammy. 14% alcohol.

2007 Vylyan "Mandolás" Cabernet Franc, Villány
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of rich cherry and chocolate. In the mouth bright cherry and cola fruit offer a wonderful flavor profile, and decent acidity balances a thick blanket of tannins. This wine would be pretty were it not for a distinct sweetness that is left on the palate and lack of a mid-palate. I prefer my wines with less residual sugar. 15.06% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2008 Chateau Teleki Villány Cabernet Franc, Villány
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of grapey cassis and blueberry aromas. In the mouth cassis and blueberry flavors mix with stiff drying tannins. Decent acidity, but my mouth is having all the moisture sucked out of it. 14% alcohol.

2009 Eszterbauer Borászat "Tivald" Cabernet Sauvignon, Szekszárd
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of a bit of VA along with rich dark cherry fruit. In the mouth the wine lacks some acidity, making the flavors of dark cherry a bit flabby and mushy, as thick drying tannins coat the mouth. 15% alcohol.

2009 Heimann "Barbár Cuvée" Merlot, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of espresso and chocolate, with hints of red fruit poking through. In the mouth a core of cassis and black cherry fruit mixes with new oak and is surrounded by drying tannins. Slightly sweet. Decent acidity. A blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Tannat, and Kekfrankos. 14.5% alcohol.

2008 Ikon Borászat "Tulipán" Red Blend, Balatonboglári Borvidék
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of espresso and chocolate covered cherries. In the mouth, rich cherry and plum fruit that has a slightly sweet cast to it is quite overwhelmed with new oak. Drying oak tannins dominate the finish in a fairly unpleasant way. Not enough acidity. A blend of 40% Merlot, 35% Cabernet Franc, 25% Cabernet Sauvignon. 14.34% alcohol.

2008 Liszkay Mihály Borászat Cabernet Sauvignon , Balatonfüred-Csopak
Dark ruby in color, this wine smells of espresso and sulfur. In the mouth flavors of graphite, cherry cola, and wet earth mix with nice acidity. This tastes like an older wine than it is. The oak is fairly strong in the wine, and lingers through the finish. Well made, though. 13.83% alcohol.

2009 Mészáros Pál Borház és pince "Bikavér Reserve" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark chocolate and vinyl. In the mouth dark cherry and chocolate flavors mix with earthy notes and a slight bitter woodiness. New oak is also clearly present. Decent acidity and length. A blend of 40% Kekfrancos, 10% Kadarka, 20% Merlot, and 30% Cabernet Franc. 14% alcohol.

2009 Posta Borház "Cabernet Franc" Cabernet Franc, Szekszárd
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and prunes. In the mouth the wine has a distinct sweetness, but rich flavors of black cherry, plum and chocolate. Good acidity, nice length, but a tiny bit of heat on the finish. 15.84% alcohol.

2007 Sebestyén Pince "Grádius Cuvée" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark cherry, sweet new oak, and cedar. In the mouth sweet dark cherry fruit mixes with new oak and peanut-butter-thick tannins, which dominate the finish, which has notes of black tea. The tannins are so massive in this wine they get in the way of the fruit. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Franc. 15.5% alcohol.

2008 Tringa "Phaeton" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry fruit with hints of dark chocolate. In the mouth the wine offers a very nice black olive savoriness mixed with cherry and plum, though the mid-palate is a little hollow, and the finish short. Drying tannins are the primary oak presence. 70% Merlot, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon. 15.2% alcohol.

2007 Vida "Hidaspetre" kékfrankos, Szekszárd
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of leather and cassis and black cherry. In the mouth the wine offers black cherry and sour cherry. Earthy notes rumble along under the flavors and a tangy raspberry note lingers through the finish. 13.22% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
2008 Bock Borászat Kft. "Jammertal Selection" Cabernet Sauvignon, Villány
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of wood smoke and graphite with sweet oak. In the mouth creamy flavors of caramel, cherry, black cherry and cola mix with powdery tannins. The fruit is a bit of dried out. Somewhat blocky. 14.35% alcohol.

2009 Bolyki Pincészet Cabernet Franc, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass this wine has a classic green bell pepper and cherry nose. In the mouth the wine offers bright cherry and plum flavors with a hint of green bell pepper. Thick tacky tannins have a drying quality and the oak is too present. Lacks much of a finish. The fruit is quite pure though. 13.5% alcohol.

2009 Cezar Winery Kft. "Reserve" Syrah, Zala
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of prunes and chocolate. In the mouth the wine offers dried fruit and chocolate flavors, with less acidity than I would like. The wine is well made, but generally overripe for my tastes. Mouth-coating tannins, and a hint of sweetness. 13.4% alcohol.

2008 Csutorás Nagyanyag "Nagyanyag" Red Blend, Eger
Light garnet in the glass, this wine smells of unusual, pungent floral notes with underlying red fruit. In the mouth the wine has a detergent / fabric softener note that is the only odd part of an otherwise cherry, earthy wine with nice texture. 50% Pinot Noir, 50% Menoir (aka Medoc Noir). 13.5% alcohol.

2008 Eger Korona Borház "Selection" Kékfrankos, Eger
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of sweet black cherry. In the mouth black cherry fruit that is quite sweet predominates, with bright acidity, but sweet vanilla of oak overwhelms the fruit. Mulling spices. Drying, tacky tannins. 13.7% alcohol.

2008 Első Magyar Borház - Szeremley Birtok Kft. Syrah, Badacsony
Light to medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of sauerkraut, wet wood, and a hint of red fruit. In the mouth, cherry and leather and cedar flavors swirl with powdery tannins. Decent acidity and a somewhat unusual sour tanginess that has a cabbage quality. 13.1% alcohol.

2009 Eszterbauer Borászat ""Tüke" Szekszárd Bikavér" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of wet earth, leather, and hints of mulberry and cassis fruit. In the mouth slightly candied flavors of cherry and mulberry mix with strong new oak and drying peanut buttery tannins. 42% Kekfrankos, 18% Cabernet Franc, 16% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Pinot Noir, 4% Kadarka. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Garamvári Szőlőbirtok "Lellysium Cuvée" Red Blend, Balatonboglári Borvidék
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark chocolate and black cherry. In the mouth somewhat tight flavors of cherry, white pepper, and cassis mix under a stiff roof of oak. The wine isn't integrated well, and feels disjointed. 40% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Syrah, 20% Merlot 13% alcohol.

2009 Janus Syrah, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of espresso and dark chocolate, which is to say, mostly new oak. In the mouth dark cassis and cherry fruit takes on a coffee and chocolate character that leans towards caramel on the finish. Too confected for my tastes. Hint of sweetness. Low acid. 14.4% alcohol.

2009 Tarjányi Pince Eger Kékfrankos, Eger
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of smoky new oak. In the mouth, flavors of dark cherry and cedar are somewhat overwhelmed by new oak. Good acidity, nice texture, and a bit of heat on the finish. This would have been a very pretty wine if it hadn't been killed with new oak. 14% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7.5 AND 8
2009 Cezar Winery Kft. "Reserve" Malbec, Zala
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of new oak and a hint of something odd - plasticky. In the mouth flavors of cassis and cherry are swathed in oak which leaves drying tannins in the finish that seem to overwhelm the fruit. 12.9% alcohol.

2009 Csutorás Kerekszilvás D?lő "Egri Bikavér" Red Blend, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of peat and smoky cabbage. In the mouth bitter cherry, wet dirt, and notes of vegetal quality mean that this is a hard wine to like. Nicely textured though, with powdery tannins. 50% Kekfrancos, 30% Cabernet Franc, 20% Pinot Noir. 14% alcohol.

2009 Figula Pincészet "Tihanyi" Cabernet Franc, Balatonfüredi-csopak
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cherry and strawberry. In the mouth it has a sweet aspect to it, with quite bright juicy fruit, but not much complexity to back it up. Overly sweet and jammy. Unfortunately so, as the fruit is quite pretty. 13.5% alcohol.

2008 Gere Attila Pincészete Syrah, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells heavily of smoky oak and cooked fruit. In the mouth the fruit, which is quite pretty (though very ripe) is unfortunately obscured by too much new oak. The wine lacks some very needed acidity as well, and comes across as quite creamy, like malted milk. 14.5% alcohol.

2009 Schieber "Cuvée " Red Blend, Szekszárd
Very dark garnet in color, this wine smells of sweet cassis and black cherries in syrup. In the mouth the wine offers flavors of blackberry jam, cooked blueberries, and drying tannins. Softer acidity, and fairly heavy oak presence. 60% Cabernet Sauvignon, 40% Cabernet Franc. 13.98% alcohol.

2009 Sziklabor Cabernet Franc, Ménes-Románia
Dark purple in the glass, this wine smells of cassis. In the mouth bright cassis and black cherry flavors are quite ripe, but nicely absent too much oak. Unfortunate the fruit is too sweet. Powdery tannins. 13% alcohol.

2007 Takler "Bartina" Red Blend, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dried fruits, oak, and hints of volatile acidity. In the mouth the fruit is dried, with a sort of hollow feeling, with mostly the oak having a presence on the palate. 35% Cabernet Franc, 35% Kekfrancos, 20% Merlot, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. 15% alcohol.

2006 Thummerer "Tekenõháti Merlot" Merlot, Eger
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of chocolate, espresso and sweet oak. In the mouth, sweet oak dominates the cherry fruit, leaving very drying tannins that seem to suck the moisture out of the mouth. This wine, to me, is completely over-oaked and un-characterful. 15.5% alcohol.

2009 Vincze Borászat Kft. "Mészhegy Biobor" Syrah, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of sawdust, wood smoke, and tar. In the mouth the wine offers dark cassis and blackberry flavors with not much acidity. Putty like tannins. Thick and very ripe. 14.3% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7.5
2007 Bock Borászat Kft. "Capella Cuvée" Red Blend, Villány
Inky ruby in the glass, this wine smells of rich cherries and tobacco. In the mouth the wine is massive, with powdery tannins and very sweet ripe fruit -- cherries, cola, and chocolate. But a lack of acidity and a distinct sweetness makes the wine quite flabby. 60% Cabernet Franc, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot. 16.17% alcohol.

2007 Gere Tamás és Zsolt "Válogatás" Merlot, Villány
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of stewed prunes and black cherries. In the mouth supple tannins wrap around a core of dark, generally overripe cherry and cocoa powder flavors with a heavy, overbearing bit of new oak. 13.15% alcohol.

2008 Weninger & Gere "Selection" Cabernet Franc, Villány
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of slightly meaty, smoky oak. In the mouth the wine has beautiful fruit that is unfortunately overwhelmed with sweet new oak. Nothing but oak remains in the mouth after 4 or 5 seconds along with some lingering sweetness. A shame as the fruit was quite nice. 14.5% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 7 AND 7.5
2009 Bolyki Pincészet "Bolyki és Bolyki" Red Blend, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cucumber and cherry. In the mouth the fruit is quite sweet, with cherry and cola flavors and that odd cucumber quality that lingers strangely in the very sweet finish. Seems to have residual sugar. A blend of Cabernet and Merlot. 14.5% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 7
2007 Dúzsi Tamás "Válogatás" Kékfrankos, Szekszárd
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of cooked fruit and pvc piping. In the mouth the wine is quite dried out with harsh tannins and wonky acidity. 14% alcohol.

2008 Jekl Pincészet Kadarka, Villány
Medium ruby in the glass, this wine smells of burnt brown sugar and cooked fruit. In the mouth sweet oak and dried fruits mix with caramelized sugars. Faint tannins. Soft acidity. Not great. 14.7% alcohol.

2008 Juhász Testvérek Pincészete "Gesztenyés" Merlot, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of wet leaves and stewed fruit. In the mouth stewed fruit -- black cherry, prunes, and tobacco mix with quite bitter, peanut buttery tannins. Overripe by about a kilometer. 13.67% alcohol.

2009 Vincze Borászat Kft. "Arcanum" Merlot, Eger
Very dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of dark cherry fruit with a hint of green vegetable. In the mouth the wine has an odd flavor of spice that wraps around a core of somewhat flabby, sweet cherry fruit. Tacky tannins linger through the very short finish. 13.73% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 6.5 AND 7
2009 Etyeki Kúria "Pinoi Noir" Pinot Noir, Etyek-Buda
Medium garnet in the glass, this wine has a massively sweet, syrupy cherry nose. In the mouth this overpowering sweet, candied quality persists with faint tannins and cedar. Way way way overdone. 13.5% alcohol.

2007 Takler "Primarius" Merlot, Szekszárd
Inky ruby in the glass, this wine smells of hot tire rubber coated with plum jam. In the mouth the wine is quite concentrated, with thick tannins wrapping around inky cherry and plum flavors soused with new oak. Overripe, concentrated, over-oaked. Yuck. 16% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 6.5
2007 Csutorás Almagyar Domb "Egri Bikavér" Red Blend, Eger
Dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of raisins, dates, and dried out prunes. In the mouth drying tannins enclose massively overripe fruit that is quite raisined and very leathery. Unpleasant. 50% Kekfrancos, 30% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Pinot Noir, 10% Menoir. 14% alcohol.

2008 Vincze Borászat Kft. "Arcanum" Cabernet Franc, Eger
Dark garnet in color, this wine smells of sweet cassis and a blast of sweet new oak. In the mouth this wine is NOTHING BUT OAK. Really egregiously overdone. Like sucking on an oak plank. 13.85% alcohol.

RED WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 5.5
2006 Tekenõháti Merlot 2006 Merlot, Eger
Medium to dark garnet in the glass, this wine smells of PVC plastic -- like the fresh smell of a new vinyl swim toy. In the mouth, bitter, sour cherry and plum fruit has a plastic overcoat with abusive oak and drying tannins. This wine is not fit to be drunk. 15.5% alcohol.


Sweet Wines


SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9.5
2006 Holdvölgy Culture "Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium to dark gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers, especially orange blossoms, and honey. In the mouth wonderful acidity gives a crystalline quality to orange blossom, honey, and dried mango flavors. Mouthwatering, with a long finish this wine is delicious. Silky on the tongue but has an weightlessness to it that is quite appealing. Excellent. Moderate to very sweet. 12% alcohol.

2006 Oremus "5 Puttonyos Aszú" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Dark yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells beautifully of candied orange rind and fresh apricots. In the mouth brilliant bright acidity makes flavors of apricots, candied orange peel, and white flowers explode in the mouth. Sexy as all get out, the wine's texture is liquid silk across the tongue, with a weightless thickness that is quite entrancing. Very sweet. A traditional blend of Furmint, Harslevelu, Zeta, and Sarga Muskately.

2006 Pannon Tokaj "Tokaji Aszú Esszencia" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Dark yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of dried mango, papaya, and acacia blossoms. In the mouth very nice acidity brightens silky flavors of candied orange peel, apricot, and dried mango. The wine finishes quite beautifully, with lingering mango flavors. Lovely texture.

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 9 AND 9.5
2008 Demeter Zoltán "Eszter" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light amber in the glass, this wine smells of raw honey and candied exotic fruits. In the mouth the wine offers burnt orange peel and dark honey flavors mixed with notes of tea and dried mango. Slightly lower in acidity than I would like, the wine has a beautiful texture and a very nice finish.

2007 Holdvölgy "Édes Birtokválogatás" White Blend , Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light to medium yellow gold in the glass with a distinct greenish cast, this wine smells of pure acacia blossoms and a hint of something else slightly bitter. In the mouth the wine has a weightlessness above the palate, along with a gorgeously sexy texture that makes it quite compelling. Flavors of honey, acacia blossom, apricot, and candied exotic citrus are embedded in a matrix of stony minerality. Good acidity, long finish. Moderate to very sweet. A blend of 20% Zeta, 35% Furmint, and 45% Harslevelu.

2010 Pelle Pince "Zsófia Cuveé" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine strongly smells of fresh and dried apricots. In the mouth, brilliant acidity brings apricot and honey flavors to life and lets them linger for a long time on the palate, while white flowers waft in on the breeze. The wine's finish isn't quite what I would hope, but I love the acidity and the flavors. A blend of 70% Furmint and 30% Harslevelu

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 9
2008 Barta Pince "Szamorodni" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light to medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of honeyed acacia blossoms and fresh sweet apricots. In the mouth, sweet apricot and honey flavors mix with a slight creamy malted quality that adds complexity. Not quite as much acidity as I would like, but definitely pretty. Moderately sweet.

2007 Béres "Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszú" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light to medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of candied apricots and something caramel and creamy. In the mouth the wine has a lightness on the palate with honeyed apricot flavors and decent acidity, but not much persistence in the mouth. Good acidity. Very sweet. 60% Furmint, 40% Harslevelu.

2006 Chateau Dereszla "Aszú 6 Puttonyos" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium to dark yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of slightly musty wet stone and candied apricots. In the mouth brilliant acidity brings candied apricots, candied orange peel, and caramel flavors to life. Unfortunately some alcoholic heat creeps into the finish in an unpleasant way. Moderate to very sweet.

2007 Holdvölgy Signature "Édes Birtokválogatás" Hárslevelû, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers, yellow melon, and other exotic tropical fruits. In the mouth the wine is bright with candied lemon, dried mango, pineapple, and orange blossom flavors. Good acidity and wonderful length, with just a touch of alcoholic heat on the finish. Harslevelu, Zeta, Furmint blend. Moderately to very sweet. Late Harvest. 13% alcohol.

2007 Kikelet Pince "Tokaji Szamorodni édes Lónyai dûlõ" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light yellow-gold in the glass with a hint of green, this wine smells of white flowers, honey, and apricots. In the mouth flavors of apricots, candied orange peels, wet stones and white flowers all blend seamlessly amidst a honeyed, moderately sweet, silky texture. Lacking a little bit of acidity for my tastes, the wine is nonetheless quite pretty and delicate, with a lovely long finish. A blend of 50% Furmint and 50% Harslevelu.

2008 Patricius "Tokaji Késõi Szüretelésû 'Katinka'" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of chamomile and acacia honey with a hint of new oak. In the mouth a beautifully silky, sexy texture holds flavors of honey, apricot, candied lemon peel and white flowers. The wine courses beautifully across the palate and finishes long with exotic citrus flavors. Good acidity. Moderately sweet. Slight woody bitterness in the finish.

2003 Sauska "Tokaji Aszú Essencia" White Blend, Tokaj
Light to medium amber in color -- gorgeous -- this wine smells, oddly, of freshly cut grass and other green herbs with a hint of woody incense. In the mouth the wine is heavy and silky on the tongue, with slightly less acidity than I'd like. Nutty dark honey, apricot, and burnt orange peel flavors mix with a nice underlying minerality. There's also a smokiness there that I like a lot. Very sweet. 8.14% alcohol.

2010 Szent Tamás Pincészet "3909 Édes Furmint-Sárgamuskotály" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium gold in the glass, this wine smells deliciously of candied orange peel, dried mango, and other dried tropical fruits. In the mouth bright acidity brings alive flavors of pineapple, orange peel, and pink grapefruit. Beautiful texture. A late harvest blend of Furmint and Muscat Ottonel. Moderately to very sweet. 10.5% alcohol.

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8.5 AND 9
2003 Sauska "Tokaji Aszú Essencia" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Light to medium orange-amber in the glass, this wine smells of burnt orange peel and dried mango. In the mouth the wine has a smoky burnt orange peel flavor mixed with dark honey. Beautiful silky texture and a hint of coffee-with-cream on the finish. I just wish the wine had slightly more acidity than it does.

2010 Szent Tamás Pincészet "3909 Édes Furmint-Sárgamuskotály" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of candied orange peel and dried apricots. In the mouth the wine is quite silky with flavors of apricot, honey, and candied orange peel. Lacks as much acidity as I would like. A blend of primarily Furmint, with a little Sarga Muskataly. Moderate to very sweet.

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8.5
2006 Chateau Dereszla "Aszú 5 puttonyos" Furmint, Tokaj
Medium to dark gold in the glass, this wine smells of white flowers, candied lemons, and bergamot. In the mouth gorgeous acidity mixes with flavors of bergamot, honey, and citrus rind, but somehow the wine doesn't deliver the promise of the wine. Fairly oaky. Oak flavors linger on the finish. Moderate to very sweet. 11.5% alcohol.

2007 DOBOGÓ "Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos" White Blend, Tokaj
Medium yellow gold in the glass, this wine smells of papaya, orange peel, and dried mango borne on a river of honey. In the mouth the wine offers flavors of dried mango, honey, and other tropical fruits, but it doesn't deliver on the promise of the nose, which was quite complex. The wine also is softer in acidity than I would like. Very sweet. 11% alcohol.

2008 Pelle Pince "Tokaji Aszú 2008, 6 Puttonyos" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of woody honey and candied exotic citrus. In the mouth the wine has lovely silky texture and flavors of candied orange peel and acacia honey, but much less acidity than I would like, which makes it slightly syrupy. Very sweet. 70% Furmint, 30% Harslevelu.

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE BETWEEN 8 AND 8.5
2008 Gróf Degenfeld Szõlõbirtok "Tokaji Szamorodni" Furmint, Tokaj
Medium gold in the glass, this wine smells of ripe peaches and honey. In the mouth the wine offers candied apricot and orange cream flavors with slightly less acidity than I would like. Pretty flavors but not much dynamism. Short finish. Moderately sweet. 13% alcohol.

2006 Holdvölgy "Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos" White Blend, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Dark yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of dried mango with a slightly odd fishy / VA smell. In the mouth, flavors of apricot and candied orange peel take on a slightly bitter cast with a hint of cardboard in the finish.. The wine has a nice body and texture, with decent acidity, but the nose remains somewhat strange. Very sweet. A blend of Furmint and 25% Harslevelu.

2003 Lenkey Pincészet "Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos" Furmint, Tokaj-Hegyalja
Medium to dark yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of dried exotic citrus and dried apricots. In the mouth, flavors of honey, apricots, and dried mango swirl in a very silky body, and linger through a long finish. Unfortunately, however, the wine has less acidity than I would like and therefore ends up being a little flat.

SWEET WINES WITH A SCORE AROUND 8
2007 Gizella Pince Tokaj "6 Puttonyos Aszú" Furmint, Tokaj
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of sweet oak. In the mouth the wines sweet honey and orange blossom flavors are a bit overwhelmed with sweet oak. Too much wood on this wine. Somewhat one dimensional. Decent acidity and length. 10% alcohol.

2007 Holdvölgy Intuition "Tokaji Szamorodni Édes" Zéta, Tokaj--Hegyalja
Bright, medium yellow-gold in the glass, this wine smells of exotic flowers and honey. In the mouth the wine is quite sweet, and lacks some acidity that would make it much more appealing. The flavors are unique, however, with sarsaparilla and honey mixed with roasted nuts and tropical fruits. Comes off as syrupy. Extremely sweet. 13% alcohol.

2004 Tokaj Hétszőlő "Tokaji Aszú 5 Puttonyos" Furmint, Tokaj-hegyalja
Light to medium gold in the glass, this wine smells of wet stones and quince paste with a hint of something odd. In the mouth the wine has very nice acidity and bright lemony apricot and tropical fruits but also an odd fishy/detergent note and too much oak signature. Some heat on the finish. Very sweet. 100% Furmint. 10.5% alcohol.

Comments (7)

robert adico wrote:
06.25.12 at 5:45 AM

It is truly a great and helpful piece of information.
I am satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us.
Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

D Leebow wrote:
06.30.12 at 3:09 PM

I had the following wine while I was recently in Hungary.
2009 Konyári Pince "Loliense vörös" Red Blend, Balatonboglár
I thought this wine was very good and wanted to find out if you knew of a way I can get this wine shipped to the USA?
Your assistance is appreciated.
D Leebow

Csaba Jónás wrote:
07.29.12 at 9:51 PM

2 very different descriptions of the same wine?
2010 Villa Sandahl "Recept" Riesling, Badacsony
Light greenish gold in the glass, this wine smells of apples, pears, and cold cream. In the mouth flavors of apple and pear are kept aloft by delicate acidity and an underlying wet chalkboard minerality. Pleasant, but not particularly dynamic. 13.16% alcohol.
2010 Sandahl "Recept" Riesling, Badacsony
Light gold in the glass, this wine smells of lemon zest, tangerine and wet stones. In the mouth, tangerine zest and pink grapefruit flavors mix with wet stones and a hint of florality. Bright and juicy, with a tangy quality, the acidity is quite sharp through the finish. 13.16% alcohol.

Alder wrote:
07.29.12 at 11:42 PM

Yes, looks like that's the case. It happens. The same wine can make a very different impression under different circumstances. What is much less common is to evaluate the wine wildly in terms of overall score between two tastings. Those two tastes were scored within 3-4 points (on a 100 point scale) of each other. Some wines were tasted twice because they made it to secondary rounds of judging. I'm sure you can find a few other such examples if you scrutinize my notes.

Csaba Jónás wrote:
07.30.12 at 1:05 AM

Dear Alder,
I know you're not very keen on competitions and scoring in general. To my mind this particular case raises the question whether wine competitions can be seen as sources of reliable information. In the 100 point system the overwhelming majority of fine wine falls in the 80-95 point range so a difference of 3-4 points is significant, and by just reading the 2 tasting notes you could simply not come to the conclusion that the taster was tasting the same wine.
All I am suggesting is that my skepticism about the reliability of impressions/judgement one can get/make under such circumstances remains as strong as ever.

Seb wrote:
05.20.13 at 3:44 PM

Hi nice to have some background on wines I have been considering..
The "recept" by Villa Sandahl is mentioned twice with different scores. By the way it has been developing fine..:)

Greetings !

Seb

Alder wrote:
05.20.13 at 8:18 PM

Seb,

The Villa Sandahl isn't the only wine that has two mentions. Some of the wines were tasted twice (completely blind) and so occasionally there is a different score. That sort of thing happens (more than) occasionally. I could have deleted or changed the scores to make me look more consistent, but that wouldn't be truthful. So the scores are presented in unvarnished, inconsistent glory.

Comment on this entry

(will not be published)
(optional -- Google will not follow)
Yes
 

Type the characters you see in the picture above.

Buy My Book!

small_final_covershot_dropshadow.jpg A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.

Follow Me On:

Twitter Facebook Pinterest Instagram Delectable Flipboard

Most Recent Entries

Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets US 2014 Vintage - Early, Fast, Eventful Vinography Images: Big Shadow Come Explore The Essence of Wine with Me in Healdsburg: October 30th, 2014 Vinography Unboxed: Week of October 5, 2014 Another Idiotic California Law Screws Wineries Vinography Images: Vineyard Reflections The Fake Tongue Illusion and Wine Tasting 2014 Wine & Spirits Top 100 Tasting: October 21, San Francisco Cool Beauty: Tasting the Wines of the Western Sonoma Coast

Favorite Posts From the Archives

Masuizumi Junmai Daiginjo, Toyama Prefecture Wine.Com Gives Retailers (and Consumers) the Finger 1961 Hospices de Beaune Emile Chandesais, Burgundy Wine Over Time The Better Half of My Palate 1999 Királyudvar "Lapis" Tokaji Furmint, Hungary What's Allowed in Your Wine and Winemaking Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Appreciating Wine in Context The Soul vs. The Market 1989 Fiorano Botte 48 Semillion,Italy

Archives by Month

 

Required Reading for Wine Lovers

The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.