Brett happens

All wine, most of the time

MWG January 8th tasting: A pair of dry Tokajs

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Manufacturer of a vitamin supplement popular in Hungary, the Béres family acquired a 45-hectare estate near the village of Erdőbénye, in the heart of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region, in 2002.

Tokaji 2009, Naparany Cuvée, Béres ($20.60, 12178922)
A 50-50 blend of Furmint and Hárslevelü from nearly decade old vines. Naparany (“sungold”) refers to the latter’s colour. Manually harvested. Alcoholic fermentation with Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast takes place in stainless steel tanks lasts three weeks. Prevented from undergoing malolactic fermentation. Matured on the lees three months in third- and fourth-fill Hungarian oak casks. Filtered before bottling. Aged six months in bottle before release. 6.3 g/l acidity, 2.3 g/l residual sugar, 13.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Valmonti.
Intriguing nose of peach, dried leaves, parsnip, hints of orange peel and caramel. Dry, medium-bodied and intense yet buoyant and fluent, the ripe fruit carried on a gurgling stream of acidity. Turns a little fiery – not hot – on a long finish that’s full of salty butterscotch notes. Exotic, saucy and impressive. The winemaker suggests smoked goose breast with kidney beans, cream of spinach soup with dry ham, and potato, egg and smoked pork hash with garlic sour cream as pairings. (Buy again? For sure.)

Tokaj-Hegyalja 2009, Löcse Furmint, Béres ($23.90, 11766335)
The estate’s flagship wine. 100% Furmint from 30-year-old vines growing in the Löcse vineyard. Alcoholic fermentation with indigenous yeasts in Hungarian oak casks lasts one month. Prevented from undergoing malolactic fermentation. Maturation on the lees in 30% new Hungarian oak barrels lasts eight months. Filtered before bottling. Aged three months in bottle before release. 6.1 g/l acidity, 1.7 g/l residual sugar, 14.5% ABV. Quebec agent: Valmonti.
Complex, umami-rich nose of quince, mushroom, faint nuts, hints of dried herbs. Rich, broad, deep and super long. Powerful and weighty yet balanced, even elegant. Bone-dry fruit, a mother lode of minerals and incandescent acidity dominate the mid-palate and last well into the super-long finish, where they’re joined by subtle oak and that palate-slapping fieriness. Wow-worthy and even better than the impressive 2008. As pairings the winemaker suggests “woodcutter’s roast” (sliced pork loin braised with onion, mushroom, bacon and, optionally, tomatoes and green pepper, and served with fried potato bread) or potato soup with smoked sausage, paprika and sour cream but I couldn’t stop thinking of chicken or tripe paprikash. (Buy again? Absolutely.)

For many of the assembled tasters, this was the flight of the night. The QPR for both wines is off the charts.

(Flight: 3/8)

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Written by carswell

January 23, 2015 at 15:55

One Response

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  1. […] The tasting ended with a dessert wine, a Tokaji Aszú from Béres, the producer of the dry whites that had so impressed us in the third flight. […]


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