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Juhfark – Kolonics Pincészet

Juhfark (lit. Sheep’s Tail) is synonymous with Somló Hill and its black volcanic basalt soils, as well as a searing acidity that often renders it too rustic and rough to be considered fine wine. Juhfark makes wine that needs body and ripe fruit to counterbalance the sharp acids and Károly Kolonic is the master of coaxing concentration and sheer quality from the grape, which is harvested in tiny yields. He has just half a hectare of Juhfark in the prized Apátság (Monestary) vineyard, and indeed it once belonged to a monastery – and did those monks sure know where the best vineyards were! Juhfark tastes like no other wine and this one has highly distinctive and complex aromas and flavors of rhubarb and quince with a creamy feel on the full-bodied, beautifully structured and layered palate. Fermented and aged in used oak barrels. Incidentally, Queen Victoria was a great fan of the grape due to its supposed quality of aiding its female imbibers in the pursuit of conceiving male offspring. The salty minerality and the intensity of the flavors are a classic Somló touch. Enjoy it next to grilled fish or duck, sushi, or Thai cuisine.

4,990 Ft

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

Somló is one of Hungary’s emblematic historical wine regions. Its unique, mineral-rich terroir, indigenous varieties and numerous small producers make it one of Hungary’s most exciting white-wine regions. Its wines have long been renowned thanks to their allegedly beneficial properties. They were sold in pharmacies to treat a variety of ailments, and their supposed ability to help conceive a male child gave them the nickname of ‘wedding night wine’.

Situated in northwestern Hungary to the north of the western reaches of Lake Balaton, Somló is one of the country’s smallest wine regions. One of the hill’s secret weapons is the black basalt bedrock which retains the heat of the day and radiates it back like a stove, keeping the vines warm on chillier days. The volcanic buttes are covered by sediment from the former Pannonian Sea (which once covered the area). Sand, gravel, and clay are mixed with basalt, basalt tuff, and calcareous tuff from the bedrock, which has been degraded into debris.

Most vineyard holdings in Somló are tiny, and many are owned by hobby winemakers. But the number of serious winemakers has grown considerably in recent years, and we are beginning to once again see why Somló wines were so famous historically.

Somló’s 507 hectares are dominated by white varieties, most notably Olaszrizling, Furmint, Juhfark, and Hárslevelű. Traditionally terroir had greater significance than the grape varieties, and Somló’s terroir is incredibly strong. The main attributes of a Somló wine are its characteristic salty minerality, high (often piercingly) acidity, and great age-worthiness. They are generally rather austere in their youth and need a few years to open, developing into complex wines with smoky, stony flavors, and sometimes a petrol-like intensity similar to Riesling. The wines are generally aged in large, old oak and often spend time on their lees, lending them a generous, creamy, full body.

Károly Kolonics’s family goes back several generations in the Somló area. He has a reverence to this terroir, which is evident in his textbook Somló style wines. They are rich, full-bodied, and waxy, perfectly reflecting Somló’s volcanic terroir with minerality, saltiness, and concentrated flavors. Kolonics grows Olaszrizling, Furmint, Juhfark, and Hárslevelű on 9 hectares of mostly in thick basalt crumble soil vineyards.

He is a traditional winemaker, and typically ferments his wines in oak, and then ages them for one to three years before bottling. He is serious about his unique aging methods. His wines are all named for the barrels in which they mature, so he can produce multiple versions of single varietal wines from the same vintage, each aged in a different oak or acacia barrel, resulting in different styles. A photograph of his great-grandfather, who emigrated to America before World War One, appears on all of his labels.

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