Furmint Adventures Episode 14: Béres Winery

The 14th (holy crap! have we really done fourteen of these already?!??) episode of my Furmint Adventures has recently been published, so I’m sharing it here to give you a five-or-so-minute distraction from working.

And a beautiful distraction it is.

Hungary’s Béres Winery has recently won awards for its construction, and their vineyard site is among one of the most gorgeous that I’ve ever encountered in the wine world (and the wine world is, if anything, not short on gorgeous locations). You’ll see what I mean in the first 50 seconds when you watch the video.

I’m really happy at how this video turned out, not just because I’m also again joined by Master Somm Peter Granoff, and not just because the wines were such excellent examples of dry Furmint (their sweet wines are killer, too), but also because the folks behind Béres seem to be genuinely lovely people (the kind that you want to see succeed).

Enjoy!

Furmint Adventures – Episode 14.: Béres Winery

Cheers!

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Furmint Adventures Episode 13: Holdvölgy Winery

Coolest labels in the biz?

We’ve got a brand new episode in my ongoing Furmint Adventures series, this time exploring the modern-take-on-tradition that is Holdvölgy Winery.

That modern take on well-proven styles isn’t just part of the winemaking; it’s literally built into the winery operation itself, as you’ll clearly see from the video that the FurmintUSA folks have expertly put together (what you won’t see are the outtakes, in which we explored the massive cellar system at Holdvölgy, and filmed several takes of me running up and down long, steep, narrow flights of stairs… I swear that I will enact my revenge on the film crew in some way for this…). You will also get a glimpse at what might be one of the coolest label designs in the business right now.

Furmint Adventures – Episode 13: Holdvölgy Winery

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Furmint Adventures Episode 13: Holdvölgy Winery from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Furmint Spotlight Series 1: Introducing FurmintUSA

Furmint Spotlight Series 1: Introducing FurmintUSA

A view of Barta’s Öreg Király Vineyard

During the second round of my Furmint Adventures travels, I had the pleasure of dining at Barta Pince, which some of you might recall have been involved in salvaging the historic Öreg Király Vineyard in Tokaj.

During dinner, our traveling group had a bit of an impromptu video recording session with one of the leaders of the FurmintUSA project, Laszlo Balint. Not only is Laszlo a winemaker, wine writer, and wine critic, he’s also a passionate consumer/collector of Hungarian wine. He’s the emotional heartbeat of the FurmintUSA program, and he’s also a family man, and a good friend.

You get a chance to meet Laszlo (albeit virtually) in the latest video release from FurmintUSA (see embed below), taken from the conversation that was filmed between him and me during our stop at Barta (you also get a chance to see how many “uhms” I utter on video when jet-lagged). If more indigenous grape varieties had guys like Laszlo pushing them into wine marketing modernity, we’d be overrun with more interesting and geeky wine choices in the States…

Furmint Spotlight Series 1: Introducing FurmintUSA

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Furmint Spotlight Series 1: Introducing FurmintUSA from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

“The Furmint Five” (image: FurmintUSA)

As you’ll see from the vid published earlier this week’s, I recently had the pleasure of going back to Hungary, primarily to engage in Phase 2 of the FurmintUSA promotional program, filming a new set of videos for the Furmint Adventures series.

That’s always fun, because the wines are largely excellent, the scenery settings beautiful, the producers amicable, and the crew totally professional. And it gave me a chance to eat at pretty much every restaurant in Tokaj (again).

This time, however, I was also able to take part in a media tour, tagging along with Master Somm’s Peter Granoff and Scott Harper, Balzac Communications’ Paul Wagner, and Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant’s Debbie Zachareas. Great travel companions all, and (an added bonus) people who aren’t afraid to share their deeply-educated wine opinions (I fit right in, unsurprisingly). Photog evidence provided below after the jump.

In going back to Hungary, it was in the latter capacity that I got to get all deep-thoughts-by-Jack-Handy on the future of dry Furmint wines. Which began one evening when I was thinking about the Fermi Paradox (don’t worry, it’ll all make some sort of sense in a few minutes)…

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

I thought about the Fermi Paradox because, well, thought experiments are to nerds what older Chablis is to wine geeks. Anyway, the briefest summary I can give of the paradox is that it’s the contradiction between conservative estimates for extraterrestrial life existing in the universe (and even in our own galaxy) being ridiculously high, and the fact that we don’t have one iota of credible evidence of any other civilizations besides ours.

I often think in those terms (again… nerd!) when I am writing about emerging wine regions, or wine regions that have been around for some time but find themselves in a new situation (as is the case with Hungarian dry Furmint, Crete, Livermore, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Sicily… I do this a lot). One could argue, for example, that if a great wine was going to be made from one of those areas, it would’ve been done (and acknowledged) already.

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

In the case of dry Furmint, we have a scenario in which sweet, botrytized versions of the grape have gone into some of the greatest sweet wines ever produced anywhere in the world. So, after hundreds of years, where are the great dry Furmint wines?

Fortunately, we don’t really have a “Furmint Paradox” in this case. What we do have is a late start (with serious attempts at vinifing the grape dry only really in the last two decades), and so, likely, simply delayed acknowledgment; because there are, actually, splendid examples of the stuff.

On one of our stops, we got to sample a blast-from-the-past dry Furmint that suggests that the style has a bright future ahead of it. At family-owned Dobogó (whose proprietors are famous for their distilled spirits), the pleasant and freakishly tall winemaker (and Tokaj area native) Attila Domoko treated some of us to one of their first attempts at dry Furmint.

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)

We ignored the warning

 

Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint)2003 Dobogó Dry Furmint (Tokaj, $NA – recent vintages will run you about $20)

The thing that blew me away about this wine is that it was still incredibly fresh, and the color still had a youthful, bright hue about it. There is no way I’d have pegged it for a white with over a decade of bottle aging under its belt. Still alive. Still kicking. Still sporting more than its fair share of fresh citrus fruitiness. There were hints of its age, for sure: a little nuttiness here, a bit of toast there. But this lady was aging so gracefully, she was giving Helen Mirren a run for her money. A few more examples like this, and Hungarians can stop worrying about how well dry Furmint wines will hold up, and get back to worrying about what crazy crap Vladimir Putin will pull next in the region.

Cheers!

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Copyright © 2015. Originally at Back To The Future, And The Furmint Paradox (Thoughts On The Potential Of Dry Furmint) from 1WineDude.com - for personal, non-commercial use only. Cheers!