This is a Furmint-Olaszrizling wine skillfully crafted by Tamás Kovács, one of Hungary’s brightest young winemakers. Grapes are from the marl and loess soils of Csopak’s Nagykút, Kishegy, Hegyalja, and Szitahegy vineyards—which benefit from the moderating effect of Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s largest lake. Furmint, an indigenous Hungarian grape variety that is most associated with the Tokaj wine region in the northeast of the country, was once the most planted grape around Lake Balaton. Here it used to go by the name of Szigeti, until the phylloxera louse wiped it out over a century ago. Noble Furmint, which shares a common parent (Gouais Blanc) with both Chardonnay and Riesling, is now making a comeback around Lake Balaton.
These grapes were hand-harvested in the second half of September, spontaneously fermented in both amphora and tanks, and then aged for eight months in the same vessels. The wine is a lemon color, with pronounced aromas of honey, flowers, lemon hard candy, pear, and a touch of caramel. It is full-bodied, complex, and rich, with apricot, orange peel and quince flavors, and a very long finish. It is ideal with cheese, fish, chicken, pork, veal, duck, and lamb.