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Signature Cabernet Sauvignon – Malatinszky Kúria

Csaba Malatinszky started his career in wine as a sommelier, working in several of Budapest’s top restaurants in the 1990s. When he decided to go in the direction of winemaking (founding his winery in 1997), he set high standards for himself right from the start. “My goal was to produce a few internationally outstanding wines,” he said. “Later I realized that all of my wines have to be outstanding.” That aim is obvious when you talk to Malatinszky, visit his winery, and taste his wines. Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the important grapes in the Villány region—used on its own and in Bordeaux-style blends. And this one is a fine example. On the nose there are delicious notes of cassis, blackberry, plum jam, cloves, and cinnamon. There are layers of flavor, from fruitiness (tart strawberries and currants), spiciness (cloves and white pepper), oakyness (smoke and tobacco), as well as smoked ham, roasted bell pepper, and licorice. This wine was aged for 12 months in 500-liter Hungarian oak barrels. Alcohol is 13.5 percent, and the tannins give it a very dry finish. This wine has the acidity and tannins needed to continue to age well in the bottle. It’s an elegant and complex wine, which is great with burgers, grilled steak and vegetables, or csevapcsicsi (Balkan meatballs). This is an organic and vegan wine.

4,590 Ft

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

The Villány-Siklós region lies near the Croatian border and because it’s the warmest of Hungary’s wine regions, it’s often called the “Mediterranean of Hungary.” Known as one of Hungary’s prime red wine region, it specializes in Bordeaux varieties and some local varieties, such as Portugieser and Kékfrankos. There are 11 villages in the region, with the village of Villány itself being the focal point. It’s a quaint village, and its strong Swabian influence is evident in its neat main drag lined with traditional whitewashed wine cellars where the wine always flows. Villány steals the spotlight from Siklós, which is to the west, the part of the region specializing in whites such as Olaszrizling, Hárslevelű, and Chardonnay.

Villány was one of the wine regions which re-started the earliest after Communism fell. In the mid-1990s a slew of modern wineries were built, vineyards were re-planted, and families which had been making wine for generations could once again share their wines with the world.

The region’s success was an essential part in the re-building of the Hungarian wine industry as a whole. Hungarian tourists flocked here to spend wine-fueled weekends at the charming winery-owned pensions, and soon the word spread internationally. For wine tourists, it’s a great place to visit, and many of the wineries run their own inns, hotels, and restaurants.

Villány’s signature grape is Portugieser (formerly called Kékoportó), and Kékfrankos is also widely planted. Kadarka—a native variety that was the most widely planted red grape in 19th-century Hungary, but wasn’t suitable to mass production during the Communist era —has also been re-planted in areas.

Much of Villány’s wine is made with internationally known grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir. It has become clear over the past two decades of experimentation that Cabernet Franc is the super-star of the region. Tasting premier single varietal Cabernet Francs here (which winemakers have dubbed “Villányi Franc” to help with the branding) is pure pleasure. Cab Francs from Villány have received rave reviews from wine critics, and have won prestigious international awards.

Csaba Malatinszky started his career in wine as a sommelier, working in several of Budapest’s top restaurants in the 1990s. He founded his winery in 1997 and has been fully organic since 1999 (certified organic in 2009). Malatinszky’s portfolio of older vintages is one of the things that makes his cellar notable. “From the beginning I had the idea that I would sell older wines, not just sell everything as soon as it was made.”

He grows Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot, and produces 60 to 80,000 bottles per year. His winery is an environmentally conscious building, and was carefully planned for his focus on aging in small barrels. His wines are spontaneously fermented with native yeasts, and they are acclaimed for their complexity and elegance.

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