Érintés Red – Szentesi Winery
The Érintes wine blends are the creation of József Szentesi’s daughter, Katalin (you can see her name on the label). The idea came accidentally in 2014, a disastrous year when most of the crop was destroyed. She decided to turn some of the leftover grapes into a blend, which turned out to be a charming and silky wine. Now they make it every year. The name Érintes refers to the wine’s silky texture. Even though the blend is different from year to year, they always aim for that texture. The wings on the label come from Katalin’s belief in angels. This wine is a blend of 40 percent Merlot and 60 percent Cabernet Sauvignon. Grapes are from the Nadap vineyard and were harvested on September 15th and October 1st. This is a dark wine, with an intensely fruity blackberry nose. But on the palate, it’s more strawberries and raspberries, with some spicy anise, tobacco, and cassis. This is a medium-bodied wine, with concentrated flavors, and lots of fresh and vibrant character. It was spontaneously fermented, aged for almost a year in used oak barrels, and unfiltered. József Szentesi recommends drinking this wine with roasted duck or grilled lamb (and we agree). Don’t let the screwcap fool you–this wine could even benefit from being decanted.
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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.
Etyek is the closest wine region to Budapest. Since it is located less than an hour’s drive west of the Buda hills, and has many festivals and events throughout the year, it is also among Hungary’s most visited wine regions. Etyek is a small region, with around 1,400 hectares of vineyards. It has protected designation of origin (PDO) status.
Historically, Etyek was known for producing sparkling wines. Hungary’s first (and largest) sparkling wine producer, Törley, started producing sparkling wines from grapes grown in the region in 1882. Since then, the area has continued to focus on this style. Etyek’s limestone soil and overall colder climate make it, arguably, Hungary’s best region to grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. These are the most important types of wine produced in the area, both as still wines and sparkling wines. Even the Sauvignon Blanc is used to produce Asti-like sparklers.
Etyek’s best features were not always considered a strength. During the time where full-bodied red wines were the most popular style, the southern-Hungarian red wine producers made fun of Etyek’s producers for not being able to produce this popular style and for only being capable of producing ‘base-wine’ for sparklers. Ironically, elegance and bubbles are once again very popular, and now even the southern-Hungarian producers are trying to make bubbly wines. Etyek is living a renaissance. From Etyek’s wines you can expect fresh acidity, chalky minerality (due to the limestone soil), restrained fruit, and an overall cold-climate-wine-feeling. Traditional method sparkling wines are especially worth seeking out, as well as spicy Pinot Noirs and aromatic whites.
Szentesi is one of Hungary’s biggest champions when it comes to re-discovering old grape varieties, and bringing them back into the vineyard and into the glass. His passion is researching ancient grape varieties (which mostly died out during the phylloxera scourge in the late 19th century), and then acquiring rare vine cuttings from the research institute to plant in his vineyards. He has done this with dozens of varieties, which he then makes experimental small quantities of wine with—magical re-incarnations of ancient, Hungarian varietals which have been (nearly) lost to history. He is the go-to man when it comes to growing grapes like Laska and Tihanyi Kék—grapes grown nowhere else in the world, which he brought back from nothing. Szentesi has 16 hectares of vineyards planted with nearly 30 grape varieties.
About 15 percent of the area is dedicated to growing old, obscure varieties that he has resurrected. His cellar is in Budaörs, just beyond Budapest’s border. But his vineyards are at Lake Velence, a 45-minute drive from downtown Budapest‑officially part of the Etyek-Buda region. The shallow lake is Hungary’s third largest, and it contributes to the area’s special climate and terroir.
|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|