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“Érintés” White – Szentesi Pince

This is a wine to drink in the moment—the moment when friends drop by and something refreshing and simple is called for, or the moment you have prepared something delicious (but not too fussy) to eat and want to open a bottle that matches the mood. Or really, just any moment when you want to spontaneously open a bottle of wine. This wine is a blend of 40 percent Zengő, 40 percent Riesling,10 percent Zöldveltelini (Grüner Veltliner), and 10 percent Sauvignon Blanc. The least known variety in the mix, Zengő, stands out in the nose. Zengő is a Hungarian crossing—a cross of Ezerjó and Bouvier—which produces aromatic wines with good acidity. There are also some aromas of cut grass from the Sauvignon Blanc. This is a steel tank wine and is all about fruit flavors—green apple, pear, gooseberry, lime, quince, and persimmon. We love the hint of dusty minerality that also emerges. This is a medium-bodied wine, with healthy acidity. Grapes come from the Nadap vineyard, on the northern side of Lake Velence. Planted in 1987, it has high limestone content, with some loess, volcanic magma, and andesite. 2020 was a great vintage in the area, and harvest happened on September 9th, 15th, and 29th. The Érintes wine blends are the creation of Szentesi’s daughter, Katalin, who first started making the red blend in 2014 and added the white Érintes blend in 2019. The name refers to the silky texture of the wine. Even though the blend is different from year to year, the texture is always what they aim for. Serve this wine well-chilled, and enjoy with smoked fish, pad Thai, steamed mussels, or potato latkes.

2,990 Ft

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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.

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