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Spring is in the bottles - wine test

Wine & Gastronomy - Articles

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 — Richárd Németh

Photo: Juhász Norbert - We Love Balaton

For the next article of our Enyém a Balaton! campaign, we organized a Balaton themed wine tasting. Our wine expert selected six items perfect for spring or summer fröccs sessions, and presented them to us without the labels. We knew nothing about the winemakers, the grape varieties, or the vineyards, and we gave each wine a rating between one and ten based on our personal opinion. We picked Badacsony as the winner, we were totally surprised by a Grüner Veltliner, and we found out what one of the favorites of the south shore can do. One thing is certain: none of the wines were substandard.

Laposa Winery - FRISS 2015

The Laposa team and FRISS probably need no introduction; the wine, which is one of the hit products of the winemaker family, is sold everywhere from corner shops, supermarkets, and beach buffets to wine bars and restaurants. It’s created from Welschriesling, the primary variety of Badacsony and the entire Balaton region, which is equally suitable for making light and summery fröccs wines and real heavyweights that are matured for years deep in the cellar.

Price: 1,590 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Laposa Winery

8261 Badacsonytomaj, Római út 197.
Laposa Winery on facebook
Details

Test:
Funnily enough, this was the first wine we tasted, and it ended up being the winning item as well. A possible explanation is that this is a simple, but fantastic fruity vintage; some of us identified notes of pineapple and apricot during the tasting. All of us had only nice things to say about FRISS, which also became the best-buy item of the whole selection. These mild acids could definitely bring some sunshine into the rainy spring we’re having: we wouldn’t mind drinking this Riesling while enjoying the stunning (but so far rainy) panorama.

Rating: 8.5

Gilvesy Winery - BOHÉM Cuvée 2015

Gilvesy Winery is the new shooting star of Szent György Hill and the Hungarian winemaking scene. Their assortment is quite small, currently comprising a mere five items. With Sauvignon blanc and Rheinriesling being the most important varieties, the selection has been designed to showcase the typical mineral-rich character of Szent György Hill. This time we sampled one of their blends featuring the above two varieties as well as Pinot gris and Welschriesling.

Price: 1,950 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Gilvesy Winery

8265 Hegymagas, Szent György-hegy
Gilvesy Winery on facebook
Details

Test:
Many of us noted the intense acids of Bohém (as a positive feature!); we though the fragrance was understated, and the taste had traces of both grapes and citrus fruits. The fruity notes earned this wine a shared third place in our test, and we agreed that (even though it’s probably great for fröccs as well) if you have it undiluted, it would be a nice complement to any fish dish. We’re not talking about overcomplicated creations: fried bream in flour and paprika or crucian carp would do just fine.

Rating: 7

Béla és Bandi Cellar - Rozé 2015

Wine fans familiar with the Béla és Bandi brand will immediately think of two things upon hearing the name: the red tractor adorning all of their labels and the chilled-out atmosphere of drinking fröccs with your friends by Lake Balaton on a warm summer evening. All of their wines exude the laid-back feeling that is so very typical of fröccs (but we definitely recommend trying them on their own first): no worries, kick off your shoes, relax, smile, everything’s all right.

Price: 1,690 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Test:
We managed to keep our shoes on, but we said things like this wine is “ostentatious”, “sensual”, and “girly”. Someone said it had a “slightly bitter” “grapefruity” aftertaste, while another member of our team pointed out the wine’s freshness, but despite all of these unique qualities, this item was not the most successful in a strong competition like this.

Rating: 6

Skizo Winehouse - Rozé 2015

Our selection included two rosés: the one directly above from Béla és Bandi and this wine by Skizo. Skizo is the joint project of two winemakers from Badacsony, who worked in large-scale production, but decided to launch their own artisanal winery on the side. In the past few years, they’ve become particularly popular, not least because of their creative wine labels.

Price: 1,300 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Skizo Winehouse

8263 Badacsonytördemic, Szent István utca 24.
Skizo Winehouse on facebook
Details

Test:
One of our testers made a surprising remark about this wine: he said he would pair it with a dish that has mayo in it, later adding that he’d want to have it with chili mayonnaise; fried meat was also mentioned as a possible pairing. In the end (after several more rounds) we came up with the ultimate idea: it would probably go best with a homemade burger, fries, and coleslaw.

Rating: 6.5

Villa Tolnay - Zöldveltelini Tavasz 2015

The name says everything about what to expect after you pop the bottle open. This was the only wine with a traditional cork stopper; all the others had a screw cap. Villa Tolnay believes very much in preserving traditions, but it’s also known for its exceptional willingness to experiment, come up with new ideas, and enrich its arsenal with knowledge borrowed from other schools of winemaking. Zöldveltelini Tavasz was also the only one matured in an oak barrel.

Price: 1,790 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Villa Tolnay Winery

8286 Gyulakeszi, Csobánchegy 24.
Villa Tolnay Winery on facebook
Details

Test:
We don’t know if it’s the oak barrel and the classic cork stopper or something else, but this wine was different from all the others. Our team described it as “thick and oily”, “exciting”, “salty”, “limey”, and “smoky”. This orgy of flavors and the element of surprise propelled this wine to second place. What else is there to add? Perhaps a few paper-thin slices of mangalica ham with green asparagus and a poached egg.

Rating: 8

Konyári Wine Cellar - Lyra Cuvée 2015

We couldn’t not include one of the most beloved blends and most important ingredients of summertime fröccs sessions. Made from Muscat ottonel, Zenit, Sauvignon blanc, Gohér, Welschriesling, and Semillon, Lyra by Konyári was the only contestant we had from the south shore. Based in Balatonboglár, the Konyári team is famous for its reds, so we were curious to see what they can do with a summery white.

Price: 1,990 forints

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

Konyári Wine Cellar

8638 Balatonlelle, Kishegy, 0113/7. hrsz.
Konyári Wine Cellar on facebook
Details

Lyra has a wonderful diversity of aromas, but our tasting team though the price was a little bit high. “Cantaloupe”, “elderflower”, and “apricot” were some of the descriptive words that came to mind, and one tester mentioned a kind of “bubbliness”. Wines that are chilled and closed off from air during fermentation are sometimes enhanced with a touch of carbon dioxide before the bottling process, which gives them a sparkly, fresh quality. That is probably what happened to this item as well, which came in third at the end of our tasting.

Rating: 7

Results

Photo: Norbert Juhász - We Love Balaton

1. Laposa Winery - FRISS 2015: 8.5 points
2. Villa Tolnay - Zöldveltelini Tavasz 2015: 8 points
3. Gilvesy Winery - BOHÉM Cuvée 2015: 7 points
3. Konyári Wine Cellar - Lyra Cuvée 2015: 7 points
5. Skizo Winehouse - Rozé 2015: 6.5 points
6. Béla és Bandi - Rozé 2015: 6 points

The prices are based on the price list of Bortársaság.

This article is part of “Enyém a Balaton!”, the joint campaign of MasterCard® and We Love Balaton.

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