Charmes Pinot Noir – Bussay Winery
Pinot Noir is well known to be a difficult grape variety to grow outside of its home in France’s Burgundy region, where it is most famous. It is a finicky grape, but winemakers won’t give up on it because it can produce some of the world’s most extraordinary ethereal wines. However, if not grown correctly (or in the right climate), it can produce heavy and charmless wines with high alcohol and baked-fruit aromas. With this Pinot Noir, Bussay has created a ground-breaking wine for the Zala region. This off-the-beaten path region was previously known mostly for its homemade wines. This is a pale, light, easy-drinking Pinot, with a flavor (and appearance) that is like strawberry juice. The name is inspired by the famed Burgundian clay-based Grand Cru vineyard, Charmes-Chambertin, since a Canadian wine writer once compared its flavor to a Charmes-Chambertin wine. Since the Zala region also has a clay-based soil, and the wine has a soft and charming taste, the winemaker decided to go with this name. Fermentation occurred spontaneously in open tanks, with 10-14 days of skin contact. It was aged for 12 months in Hungarian oak barrels (from the Trust cooperage). This wine benefits greatly from oxygen contact, so don’t hesitate to decant it! Enjoy this wine slightly chilled, next to spicy foods, grilled meats, or mushroom-based dishes.
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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.
Tucked away in the far southwestern corner of the country, the Zala region has around 2,000 acres of vineyards planted. Believe it or not, that is’nt even small enough to make it Hungary’s smallest wine region! Zala is Hungary’s third smallest wine region (after Somló and Pannonhalma.) Zala borders Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. It is characterized by gentle, rolling hills; lots of greenery and wildlife; and scattered patches of vineyards, which are sometimes hidden in forests. Its proximity to the Austrian Alps gives the region a cooler climate than that of nearby Lake Balaton. This cooler continental climate makes for rich, elegant wines with crisp acidity, lots of aromas and fruitiness in the glass, and moderate alcohol. Slovenia and Croatia are just a stone throw away, and influences from these countries show in the style of the cellars, the culinary traditions, and the wine styles.
Winemaking here dates back to the Celts, continued with the Romans, and was then taken up by different ethnic groups, including Hungarians. The region developed great fame for its ürmös bor (a local version of vermouth) in the 1700s, which was made from aromatic red grapes and herbs. In the late 1800s winemakers in Zala began focusing on table grapes, and the region slowly became overshadowed by Lake Balaton’s wine regions. This is perhaps why Zala is such a charming place to visit today—with untouched forests, unique wildlife, traditional thatched houses, and plentiful pastures of cows and sheep. The locals take great pride in foraging for herbs, mushrooms, and berries, which often show up in the region’s culinary specialties.
The soil here is mostly rich black forest soil, mixed with clay and loess. About three-quarters of the grapes are white varieties, with Olaszrizling being the most popular. There’s also a good amount of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, and Grüner Veltliner. Pinot Noir is the most important red, and there is also some Kékfrankos, Csókaszőlő, and Syrah. Zala wines were traditionally aged in large oak casks and kept in simple thatched wooden barns.
This sleepy wine region was put on modern Hungary’s wine map by the late Dr. László Bussay. He was 29 when he finished medical school, and started his own practice in the area. His dream was always to make his own wine, like his grandfather. In 1989 he found a perfect spot, where he built his family home and winery, surrounded by a five hectare estate with breathtaking views of the vineyard-covered hills. László Bussay received numerous awards for his wines, as well as for his work in promoting the Zala region.
The Bussay Winery is located in the Zala region, which is in the far southwestern corner of Hungary. It’s one of Hungary’s smallest and least-known regions. Much of the region, including the Bussay Winery, straddles the Croatian and Slovenian borders, and the River Mura moderates its climate.
The Busy Winery is located in the Csörnyeföld village, on the border of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. The winery was founded by Dr. László Bussay in 1988, and until his death in 2014 he was a leading figure in the region, in addition to serving as the local doctor. László’s daughter Dóra now runs the winery, and is the village doctor. At the winery she has a partner in her husband, Tamás Kis (who also makes wines at his own winery in Somló, Somló Vándor). Bussay has 5.5 hectares of vineyards, and has been fully organic for the past three years.
|Country||1-3 bottles||4-6 bottles||7-12 bottles|
|Austria||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Belgium||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Bulgaria||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Croatia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Czech Republic||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Denmark||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Estonia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Finland||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|France||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Germany||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Greece (mainland)||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Hungary (outside of Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||4,500 HUF|
|Hungary (Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||Free delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF|
|Ireland||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Italy||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Latvia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Lithuania||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Luxembourg||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Netherlands||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Poland||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Portugal||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Romania||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Slovakia||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Slovenia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Spain||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Sweden||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|