While Hungary’s Tokaj region is known primarily for wines made from the furmint grape, it’s not the only variety grown there. At Kikelet, Stéphanie Berecz shows off the charms of hárslevelü. The Loire native came to Tokaj just after her oenology studies in Bordeaux to work at Disznókó, a French-owned Tokaji house where she met her future husband, Zsolt; the two now farm 12 acres of vines in Tarcal. The area stands out for the depth and richness of the loess that overlays volcanic rock, a combination that Berecz has found conducive to growing great hárslevelü. This 2018 supports that belief: Whole-cluster pressed, fermented with ambient yeasts, and rested five months on the lees in used oak barrels, the wine sings with sweet, honeyed peach and rose notes, even as it tastes totally dry. The flavors point to warm places, with notes of rambutan and star fruit, while the acidity keeps the wine juicy and vivacious. It’s a thirst-quenching pour for something spicy, like a vegetable curry; it should also age well.
Danch and Granger Selections, Los Altos Hills, CA
Kikelet 2018 Tokaji Lónyai Hárslevelü
Every week, our editors highlight a wine that intrigued them in our blind panel tastings, expanding on their tasting note in this space. These are entirely editorial choices; there are no paid placements. Subscribers can also access the original tasting note by searching here.
is W&S’s editor at large and covers the wines of the Mediterranean and Central and Eastern Europe for the magazine.
This story appears in the print issue of December 2020.
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