The Pannonhalma region is located midway between the cities of Budapest and Vienna, in the northwest Hungarian Transdanubia area. The region is mostly known for producing elegant and well-crafted white wines, as well as spicy reds from the Pinot Noir variety. This 2016 red wine from the family-owned Cseri winery shows the region’s potential to produce mid-ripening red varieties too, like Merlot. This Merlot is considered the top wine that the winery produces. The grapes were hand-harvested in late October. After 21 days of fermentation and skin contact, the wine spent 12 months aging in new oak barrels. It has the complexity and balance that only great wines have. There are plum and blackberry flavors mixed with coffee, toast, and vanilla (coming from the oak aging). This 2016 vintage is the fresh release of this wine. The Cseri winery believes in the aging potential of this wine, and they only release it after several years of cellaring. Basically, they did the cellaring for us, so we don’t have to wait and further to enjoy the wine! As with every great red wine, decanting is recommended, and good friends to share it with are advised. Stews, game, and mushroom-based dishes can all be great pairings for this wine.