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Gál Szőlőbirtok, Irsai Olivér 2023

Aromatic wines are one of the most popular categories in Hungary, and are big sellers at our Budapest shop. These are wines made from intensely fragrant and floral grape varieties; often very fruity; and produced in a reductive style (without any oxygen or oak contact) to preserve the freshness and lively acidity. They are made to be enjoyed young, while their bouquet of aromas is still exploding. Irsai Olivér is the fifth most widely planted grape in Hungary, and is one of the favorite aromatic wines in Hungary. Irsai Olivér is a crossing of Pozsonyi Fehér and Csaba Gyöngye, developed by Pál Kocsis in 1930. Officially registered in 1975, it only started being used for wine in the 1980s. It has been gaining in popularity ever since, thanks to its delicate acidity, Muscat character, and fresh aromas and flavors. There are various stories as to how the grape ended up with a person’s name. Some say that Olivér Irsai (in Hungarian surnames come before first names) was a wine merchant who paid to have a variety named after him. Others say he won a card game. Most likely, Olivér Irsai was the son of Kocsis’ friend. This grape is resistant to many vine diseases. It ripens early (mid-August), and is one of the first wines released every year, usually around November. This particular wine is the virgin wine coming from Irsai Olivér vines that the Gál family planted in 2020 on Csepel Island, a large island in the Danube, south of Budapest. It’s light-bodied (and very refreshing), with fruitiness in perfect balance with acidity. This wine is intensely aromatic, and very grapey, with pronounced Muscat flavors. It has a myriad of floral aromas, including violet, acacia, and rose. There’s also honey, cantaloupe, green apple, eucalyptus, lemon, and gooseberry. But the flavors start and finish most prominently with elderflower. If you like Pinot Grigio, you’ll like this wine. You can also add a splash of soda water to make it into a fröccs (wine spritzer). Enjoy it with salads, cold soups, chips with guacamole and salsa, cured ham, or spicy dishes with ginger.

2,790 Ft

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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.

The Kunság PDO is Hungary’s largest wine producing area, with 23,300 hectares of vineyards. It lies in the larger Duna-Tisza közé PGI, which is the area lying between Hungary’s two great rivers—the Danube and the Tisza. This PGI is part of Hungary’s Great Plain (an area occupying nearly half of the country), the area is the country’s largest wine producing region, growing about half of Hungary’s grapes and encompassing several different PGIs and PDOs (Protected Designation of Origin area).

The land here is flat. It has mostly sandy soil due mainly to movement of the Danube River, which has left sandy deposits between the two rivers for thousands of years. Vineyards in the sand help prevent the spread of quicksand, and vines (unlike other crops) are able to thrive in this type of soil.

The sandy soil also heats up quickly, helping the grapes ripen. Another benefit of the sandy terroir is that there is no phylloxera (it can’t survive in the sand), so winegrowers don’t have to graft onto American rootstocks, making planting new vineyards more affordable.

The region is most known for the production of light, aromatic, and fruity wines which are made to be easy-going and immediately consumed (rather than aged). Grape varieties found in this region include lots of local and little-know types (including some only found here) like Bianca, Cserszegi Fűszeres, Aletta, Zalagyöngye, Kunleány, Kövidinka, and Arany Sárfehér. International varieties like Riesling, Zweigelt, and Kékfrankos are also grown. Though the area has long been known for its large wineries producing mass-market wines, there are some interesting winemakers to look out for lately (such as Szentpéteri Winery).

Country1-3 bottles 4-6 bottles7-12 bottles
Austria7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Belgium10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Bulgaria13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Croatia10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Czech Republic7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Denmark13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Estonia13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Finland19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
France13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Germany7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Greece (mainland)19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Hungary (outside of Budapest)4,000 HUF for shipping of up to 11 bottles4,000 HUF for shipping of up to 11 bottlesFree delivery for purchases of 12 bottles
Hungary (Budapest)4,000 HUF for shipping of up to 11 bottles (if the order is below 20,000 HUF)4,000 HUF for shipping of up to 11 bottles (if the order is below 20,000 HUF)Free delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF
Ireland13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Italy13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Latvia13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Lithuania13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Luxembourg13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Netherlands10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Poland7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Portugal19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Romania10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Slovakia7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Slovenia10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Spain19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Sweden13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
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