Why not make it a Furmint February?

St Tamas vineyards in Hungary

St Tamas vineyards in Hungary - Credit: Archant

UK wine consumers are always seeking new taste experiences and wines and Hungarian wines are coming to the fore as they are well made and full of flavour and are increasingly available in UK wine shops.

The cellar at St Tamas in Mad.

The cellar at St Tamas in Mad. - Credit: Archant

As Zsuzsa Toronyi of Wines of Hungary UK, said: “Furmint is Hungary’s flagship grape variety and the most important grape behind the renowned sweet wines of Tokaj, the “wine of kings and king of wines”.

Furmint is an indigenous Hungarian grape variety that has been grown for over 500 years but only in the last two decades has its appeal broadened worldwide as buyers look for ‘new’ wines. It is a chameleon-like grape variety in the same way as Riesling and Chenin Blanc as it is capable of producing wines along the spectrum from the very crisp refreshing and very dry styles through to the renowned complex, luscious and intensely sweet wines of Tokaji made for centuries.

The development of the profile of the traditional luscious wines and more recently of the excellent dry wines has followed the demise of Communism and the fact that the current winemakers are a mix of experience and youth with much knowledge, drive and ambition.

István Szepsy of St Tamás, based in the village of Mad in the heart of Tokaji is one of the younger producers and he is intent on putting Dry Furmint on the world map. World famous for the exquisite sweet wine that is produced here the volcanic terroir is his key to proving that his dry wines are just as good. He creates wines with unique flavours somewhere between Loire Chenin and Chablis in style, that are refreshing with an underlying minerality that feels like it comes directly up from the volcanic soils.

Furmint wines.

Furmint wines. - Credit: Archant

The dry Mad Furmint made by Ivan at St Tamas winery is a delicious example as it is well-structured and well-balanced, wonderfully elegant blend of apricot and peaches with a warming, ginger spice. Just off dry in style with great structure and minerality.

More traditionally, Disznoko winery dates back to 1413 on the land registry and is ranked as a Tokaji first growth from 1732 and is renowned for producing top Tokaji.

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From years of dedication, the winery has crafted its own style of Tokaji wines – the legendary sweet white wines of Hungary. Driven by a passion for the purity of the fruit, freshness of the grape varieties and the complexity of the Botrytis, Disznók has created a portfolio of utterly delicious wines. Their Aszu, sweet wines include the 5 Puttonyos with aromas and flavours of peach and apricot with honey, pear, almond and vanilla. It is rich with a silky and creamy flavour – nectar!

In Furmint February why not try one and see for yourself – experiment with the variety of styles and find a new favourite!