Villányi Franc – Riczu Tamás Winery
The Cabernet Francs from Hungary—particularly from the Villány region—have become, arguably, Hungary’s most important red wines. If a 100-percent Cabernet Franc is produced from grapes grown in the Villány wine region following strict winemaking and vineyard rules (from the yield, to the vinification, and the ageing), then it can be labelled as a Villányi Franc, the pride of the region, as either a Premium or a Super Premium. The Super Premium category has the lowest maximum yield requirements (50 hectoliters per hectare). The minimum ageing period is two years, and one of those years must be spent in the barrel. Tamás Riczu, owner and winemaker, aged this wine for 23 months in first use oak barrels, but not just any barrels. He aged parts of the wine separately in French oak barrels, American oak barrels, and Hungarian oak barrels, and then blended them together after aging. This wine was made with the battonage technique (stirring the lees) while it aged in the barrel. Battonage is commonly used with white wines, but rarely for reds. The barrel-ageing in combination with the battonage helped to produce a full-bodied wine with a round mouthfeel, and ripe, soft, and well-integrated tannins. It has concentrated aromas of black currants, cocoa powder, cedar wood, and toffee. This wine will develop beautifully in the bottle or —if you can’t resist the temptation— in the glass. This wine would be a perfect complement for a steak dinner or a richly-flavored stew.
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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.
Tamás Riczu is a big advocate for organic farming and vegan wine—“it just tastes better,” he told us. He has been making wine in the region for 17 years now, first working with other wineries, but now on his own seven hectare estate, located on his Akasztófa vineyards in Siklós. Siklós (which was known as Serena in the Roman era) dates back to prehistoric times, with a 13th-century castle looming over the town. Riczu grows Blaufrankish, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Olaszrizling, all of which is organically farmed. His wines are amazingly smooth, deep, and elegant.
|Country||1-3 bottles||4-6 bottles||7-12 bottles|
|Austria||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Belgium||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Bulgaria||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Croatia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Czech Republic||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Denmark||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Estonia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Finland||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|France||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Germany||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Greece (mainland)||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Hungary (outside of Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||4,500 HUF|
|Hungary (Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||Free delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF|
|Ireland||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Italy||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Latvia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Lithuania||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Luxembourg||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Netherlands||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Poland||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Portugal||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Romania||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Slovakia||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Slovenia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Spain||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Sweden||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|