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A Satisfying and Refreshing Wine From Mt Etna

September 18, 2012 1 comment

A few selections from Azienda Vinicola Calabretta recently arrived at MacArthur Beverages.  This was a new producer for me so I happily bought the affordable Gaio Gaio.The Calabretta family have been growing grapes on the slopes of Mt Etna since 1900.  It has only been since 1997 that the family has focused on the international distribution of their wines.  The estate is located on the north side of Mt Etna near Castiglione di Sicilia.  The south-facing vineyards are at an elevation of 750 meters. The wines are produced naturally without use of chemicals in the vineyards and cellar. Both of us enjoyed this wine.  It is a strong value from Mt Etna which, after a few hours of air, is quite satisfying.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2010 Azienda Vinicola Calabretta, Gaio Gaio, Etna – $17
Imported by Williams Corner Wine.  This wine is Nerello Mascalese which saw some time in Slovenian oak casks. Alcohol 11.5%.  There is a light nose of red fruit, orange and some darkness.  In the mouth the red fruit briefly mixes with old perfume before raspberry candy and cranberry flavors come out.  There is fresh acidity on the sides of the tongue, subtle and ripe floral bits, along with ripe tannins.  There is sweet citrus in the finish.  After a few hours it fleshes out to develop a gentle weight.  *** Now-2015.

You Should Try These Two Wines

September 14, 2012 Leave a comment

While I did not particularly recommend any wine in my previous Three Random Notes post, I certainly recommend both of the wines in this post. You will find on the neck of the COR Cellars bottles, Vinum Bonum Laetificat Cor Humanum, “Good Wine Pleases the Human Heart.” Well, both of these wines pleased my palate as well! The Badenhorst is just all-around good fun but I think I grabbed the last bottle. I asked Michael, proprietor of Soul Wine, for a $20 or less red blend from the Northwest and he promptly suggested the COR Cellars. Luke Bradford, proprietor and winemaker of COR Cellars, spent several years at Syncline whose wines I thoroughly enjoy. I enjoyed this wine of his as well and am amazed he can produce such a good wine from quality vineyards for such a low price. If I lived in Seattle I would head over to Soul Wine this weekend to pick up several bottles of the COR Cellars. The Badenhorst was purchased at Wine World and Spirits and the COR Cellars was purchased at Soul Wine.

2010 Badenhorst Family Wines, Secateurs, Red, Swartland – $15
Imported by Broadbent Selections. This wine is a blend of 74% Shiraz, 10% Cinsault, 8% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Grenache, 1% Carignan, and 1% Mourvedre. The wine is fermented in open concrete tanks with indigenous yeasts for two weeks, pigeage occurs by clean feet, then aged for 14 months on the lees in casks, foudres, and concrete tanks. The color is a medium grapey, ruby and purple. The nose reveals brambly red fruit and coffee. In the mouth the flavors follow the nose but are a little darker with a roast note. There is some tartness along with coffee notes. Perhaps a touch of heat? On the second night it was opened up with good texture, coffee notes, supportive and fresh acidity, followed by brighter blue fruit in the finish. This was satisfying with drying, ripe tannins. This shows youthful strength but is not strapping. *** Now-2019.

2009 COR Cellars, Momentum, Horse Heaven Hills – $16
This wine is a blend of 36% Cabernet Sauvignon, 26% Merlot, 24% Petit Verdot, and 14% Malbec sourced from McKinley Springs Vineyards and Alder Ridge Vineyards. It was aged for 10 months in 90% French and 10% American barrels of which 60% were used. Alcohol 14.6%. The color is a medium purple-ruby. The nose is light-medium in strength with dark fruit showing some lift. In the mouth the flavors begin with blue fruit which rapidly becomes dark and dense, along with spicy cinnamon and creamy blue flavors. The wine is weighty in the middle but is kept fresh with acidity which eventually causes one to salivate in the aftertaste. The flavors lighten up in the finish leaving notes of Big-Red, dark fruit, and long, sweet spices in the aftertaste. *** Now-2019.

Three Random Notes

September 14, 2012 1 comment

Here are a trio of tasting notes from this summer.  The Olivier Leflaive is an affordable buy and makes an acceptable, inexpensive selection.  The Lovingston would work to both cook with and drink when making braised ribs.  The Veramonte is the most interesting of the lot.  These wines were purchased at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Olivier Leflaive, Les Setilles, Bourgogne Blanc – $14
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from Puligny-Montrachet and Meursault which was vinified for 8 months in both stainless steel and oak barrels.  The color is a light+ yellow.  The nose reveals yellow fruit with a little barrel toast.  In the mouth the flavors are apple-like at first then the wine rounds out becoming a bit vibrant and a little savory.  It becomes tart with a touch of tannins in the finish.  ** Now-2013.

2009 Lovingston, Rotunda Red, Monticello – $12
This wine is mostly Merlot with some Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.  Alcohol 13.7%.  The color is a light to medium purplish ruby.  The light to medium strength nose is followed by medium bodied flavors of somewhat ripe fruit and greenhouse flavors.  There is a touch of heat as chunky tannins dry things out in the finish.  The flavors drop off fast leaving a dark and stormy aftertaste.  Drinkable.  ** Now.

2007 Veramonte, Primus, Colchagua Valley- $15
Imported by Huneeus Vintners.  This wine is a blend of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Syrah, 8% Merlot, and 7% Carmenere.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The nose and mouth are similar.  In the mouth it opens up well with tangy, a little chewy, grainy, red fruit.  There was some greenhouse note as the flavors filled up the mouth.  The drying, tannins coat the lips but have some enjoyable ripeness.  After an hour there is underlying black licorice, dry cinnamon baking spiced, black cherry, and some spicy tannins in the finish.  ** Now-2016.

One More Italian Wine: 2005 Poppiano, Vin Santo

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I managed to drink this Castello di Poppiano, Vin Santo without choking (see my post on the 2005 Villa de Capezanna).  For this particular wine the fruit is dried, fermented, and aged in the grand tower of Castello di Poppiano thus the label bears Della Torre Grande.  These two Vin Santos are quite different.  The Poppiano is produced from Malvasia which is fermented completely whereas the Capezanna is produced from Trebbiano and San Colombano which was not completely fermented.  While I preferred the Capezanna it is quadruple the price of the Poppiano thus out of my price range.  The Poppiano was interesting and perhaps a more traditional style of Vin Santo (certainly what I remember from my youth).   For me it presented a dichotomy between the oxidized aspect and the enjoyable flavors of orange and cherry.  I have tried to appreciate oxidized wines as of late and perhaps that is why I found myself  slowly enjoying this wine over several days.  This wine is available at MacArthur Beverages.

2005 Castello di Poppiano, Vin Santo, Della Torre Grande, Chianti Colli Fiorentini – (500mL) $19
Imported by Michel R. Downey Selections.  This wine is 100% Malvasia which was dried on racks for 1-2 months.  It is then fermented and aged for 3-4 months in chestnut and oak caretelli until all of the sugar is gone.  Alcohol 18.5%.  Drunk over many nights this has a medium, textured oxidized nose.  In the mouth there are ripe Sherry notes at first with a little ripeness followed by salivating acidity in the finish.  There is an Sherry flor note along with plenty of acidity, dark wood, a little warmth in the aftertaste.  The mouthfeel is very fine with flavors of orange and sweet cherries.  This should benefit from a few more years of age. ** Now-2022?

An Exciting Montepulciano d’Abruzzo from Marramiero

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

This was my first experience tasting the wines of Marramiero.  I can easily recommend that you purchase the less expensive Incanto.  I particularly like its nervy quality and the fruit which is supported by the structure.  The Inferni is smothered by the barrel structure and does not offer up much.  That said it should improve with age but the Incanto is more flavorful, will develop with age, and is less expensive.  It is quite nice after a few hours of air. These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Marramiero, Incanto, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – $19
Imported by Cantiniere Imports & Distributing.  This wine is 100% Montepulciano sourced from Pescara.  It was fermented then aged for 24 months in stainless steel tanks.  Alcohol 14%.  The color was medium ruby.  Drunk over two nights the light nose reveals cherry, berries, and Kirsch.  In the mouth the flavors were still a bit tight with red cherry fruit.  The wine was grapey and a bit nervy with density but still has fresh fruit and a red grapefruit note.  The flavors become blacker with progression and show a sweet, tannic structure.  Nice!  *** Now-2022.

2008 Marramiero, Inferi, Riserva, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo – $29
Imported by Cantiniere Imports & Distributing.  This wine is 100% Montepulciano which was aged 14-18 months in French oak barrels and casks. Alcohol 14%.  The nose of dark fruit is dense.  In the mouth there is a bit of roast and toast, drying spicy tannins in this wine which clearly shows more structure and wood notes than the Incanto.  It eventually becomes slightly creamy with blue-black fruit and a round quality.  It is not yet expressive.  **(*) 2015-2027.

A Trio of Italian Wines

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

I first tasted the wines of Piaggia at the Bacchus Importers Portfolio Tasting.  I was impressed by the Riserva and Il Sasso so when I saw the Pietranera on the shelves I quickly purchased a bottle then opened it at home.  It too is an attractive wine which I strongly recommend. The current release of the 2006 Botromagno, Pier delle Vigne is much different from the 2003 which I tasted here.  This new vintage offers up plenty of easy drinking fruit but it seems to flirt with being overripe.  The 2010 Donnafugata, Sedara is from a cooler vintage which presents itself as a delicate, youthful, and modern wine which is certainly worth its price.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Piaggia di Silvia Vannucci, Pietranera, Tuscany – $19
Imported by Bacchus Importers.  This wine is mostly Sangiovese with some Canaiolo which was fermented with indigenous yeasts.  It was aged for 10 months in French oak.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The light to medium nose revealed mixed berries, spice, then red berries.  In the mouth this beautiful young wine shows black and red fruit with gentle depth and weight, forest spices, and a little tang.  The flavors take on some darkness with air.  It was attractive with balanced acidity and darker spices in the aftertaste.  This was rather approachable.  *** Now-2017.

2006 Botromagno, Pier delle Vigne, Murgia, Apulia – $18
A Leonardo Locascio Selection imported by Winebow.  This wine is 60% Aglianico and 40% Montepulciano which was aged for 18 months in used French oak and stainless steel tanks.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color was medium garnet.  The medium strength nose revealed wood box, very ripe figs, and jammy dark red fruits.  There was good acidity which brought forth the red fruit.  There was a lot of flavor along with fine, almost ripe tannins.  Things quickly tightened up in the finish but the aftertaste was quite long.  This was really easy to drink but a little overdone.  ** Now- 2017.

2010 Donnafugata, Sedara, Sicilia – $13
Imported by Folio Wines.  This wine is mostly Nero d’Avola along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and a few other varietals sourced from several estates.  It was fermented in stainless steel, underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for nine months in cement tank.  Alcohol 13.5%.  The color is a light+ ruby.  The pungent nose precedes the mouth.  In the mouth the youthful, clearly young fruit shows delicacy with watering acidity, ethereal dark flavors, a light earthy nose, lip, red fruit all delivered with moderate weight.  This modern wine has grapey, drying tannins.  ** Now-2015.

Plavac Mali from the Dalmatian Coast

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

I first and last tried a Croatian wine just over one decade ago.  During a visit to the QFC at The University Village in Seattle I had spied a sole bottle of Grgic Vina, Plavac Mali.  This is the winery of Mike Grgich who you may know through his Californian winery Grgich Hills Estate.  Back then Plavac Mali was believed to be the ancient ancestor of Zinfandel.  Now it is known that Plavac Mali stems from both Zinfandel and Dobricic.  Lately, I have been curious to taste the wines of Croatia but there are not many on offer in Washington, DC.  Seattle has a decent selection so I randomly grabbed this bottle by PZ Putnikovici.  The agricultural cooperative Putnikovici was founded in 1945 by 175 members.  Twenty years later the members built the winery.  Today the cooperative is primarily focused on the production of wine across several different labels.  The winery is modernizing with both temperature controlled stainless steel and concrete tanks.  The bottling line is automatic.  Today the winery produces some 500,000 bottles of wine with the rest sold off in bulk.  The cooperative is also working on the first Croatian museum dedicated to viticulture and oenology.

Plavac Mali may readily produce wines high in alcohol and tannins.  I could taste this ripening vigor in the wine.  Despite this strength I found my bottle tasted much better on the first night.  If you are curious then grab several friends to drink this wine while you grill and eat meat on a cool Fall evening.  This wine is available at Wine World and Spririts in Seattle.

2008 PZ Putnikovici, Lirica, Plavac Mali, Peljesac Peninsula – $18
Imported by Vinum USA.  This wine is 100% Plavac Mali sourced from vineyards on the southern side of the Peljesac Peninsula.  Alcohol 14.4%.  The nose offers dark red fruit and compote.  On the first night the flavors were of dried fruit, somewhat tightly concentrated and mixed with red and blue fruits.  The wine was drying with somewhat ripe tannins which begin to coat the mouth in the middle.  There was a hint of smoothness as flavors of tobacco and sweet, Christmas spices, and stones made way to a dark aftertaste of ripe, dried berries.  Some rustic heat came out. The tannins thoroughly coat the teeth and lips.  On the second night the wine became a little figgy, showing pruned flavors and a dry aspect but otherwise the same.  ** Now-2017.

Tasting a Wide Variety of Wines With Shane and Dave

September 12, 2012 1 comment

The plan had been to pop over to Shane’s house for a casual time of seafood and wines. But the late-afternoon brought severe thunderstorms which succeeded in knocking out power throughout the region. Dave fortunately had power so we shifted locations. With Shane working for Bacchus Importers and Dave both the Wine Columnist for The Washington Post and author of Dave McIntye’s WineLine, it was only natural that a slew of bottles were opened for tasting. I had meant to bring two bottles of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc but with our fridge fastened shut to keep the cold in I opened the wine fridge instead. From which I grabbed my current favorite red wine 2011 Domaine Gramenon, Poignee de Raisins. Perhaps not ideal for seafood but then I want more people to taste this wine.

My favorites of the night included the 2011 McPherson (yes, from Texas), the 2009 Arnaldo-Caprai (may have been everyone’s favorite), and the 2007 Haut-Bergeron. In general most of the wines showed well. When I tasted my glass of Domaine des Gandines, I only took a brief look at the bottle. I focused on the 100% Chardonnay from old vines and in glancing at the front label, I just assumed it was from the Rhone. It just had that look, enough so that I set aside all knowledge of the Rhone. Of course I had to share my surprise, “The Gandines is pure old-vine Chardonnay!” “Of course,” came the reply. It is naturally from Burgundy but regardless of origins there was good wine in that bottle. There were other enjoyable bottles such as the Birgit Eichinger so I recommend you peruse my notes below. Many of these are quite affordable. Thanks to Shane for cooking and to the McIntyre’s for hosting.

2011 McPherson, Les Copain, Texas
This wine is a blend of 45% Grenache Blanc, 45% Viognier, and 10% Roussanne which were fermented over 4-5 weeks then aged in stainless steel. Alcohol 13.9%. A rather light yellow in color. The nose revealed ripe fruit, tropical undertones, and raspberry candy. In the mouth there were richer yellow fruit in this medium bodied wine. It showed a bit of weight, good acidity, and subtle ripe aftertaste. Quite nice.

2011 Birgit Eichinger, Gruner Veltliner, Hasel, Kamptal
Imported by Weygandt-Metzler. This wine is 100% Gruner Veltliner which was fermented with cultured yeast. Alcohol 12.5% Slightly darker than straw yellow. The light and crisp nose bore subtle texture. In the mouth there was citrus like flavor, nervous energy, and a little sweet spice. Lively on the tongue with a long aftertaste.

2009 Lyrarakis, Dafni, Crete
Imported by Stellar Importing Company. This wine is 100% Dafni. Alcohol 12.5%. The color was a light+ greenish-yellow. The light to medium nose was floral, resinous, and sweet with sage. In the mouth the herbs followed the nose but with a dry and more floral nature. There was prickly acidity and a nice mouthfeel. In the end this was more of an interesting wine than one to drink.

2010 The Ned, Pinot Gris, Waihopai River, Marlborough
Imported by Pelican Brands. This is 100% Pinot Gris with 90% fermented in stainless steel and 10% in barrel. Alcohol 13.5%. There was a light, dry straw color with some pink. The light nose was ripe and sweet with sharp acidity. In the mouth the flavors were riper and sweeter than the nose, some barrel notes, a touch of minerals, and a slightly racy character. It softened a bit in the finish.

2009 Arnaldo-Caprai, Grecante, Grechetto dei Colli Martani
Imported by Folio Fine Wine Partners. This wine is 100% Grechetto which was aged in stainless steel. Alcohol 13.5%. The color was a light yellow. The nose revealed white fruit and a little yeast. In the mouth there was lovely texture, sweet spice, beautifully integrated acidity, lipstick, and a long, gentle aftertaste.

2010 Margerum, Chenin Blanc, Santa Ynez Valley
This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from an old Firestone vineyard planted in the 1970s. It was aged for six months in barrel. This was a light yellow color. The flavors were crisp and fresh delivered with tempered weight. It was lively on the tongue (CO2), a little barrel note, then more yellow tropical fruit towards the end. There was a long aftertaste. There was an underlying liveliness throughout.

2009 Domaine des Gandines, Terroir de Clesse, Vires Clesse
A Franck’s Signature Wine imported by Promex Wines. This wine is 100% Chardonnay sourced from 50 year old vines. It was vinified and aged for 11 months in large oak tuns. Alcohol 13.5%. The color was light yellow. In the mouth the luscious chardonnay flavors mixed with yellow fruit of moderate ripeness. There was a little vigor and grip, lots of texture, acidity, and a little barrel note in the long aftertaste. This will age for a few years.

2010 Louis-Latour, Puligny-Montrachet
Imported by Louis Latour Inc. This wine is 100% Chardonnay which was barrel fermented, underwent malolactic fermentation then was aged for 8-12 months in 20% new oak. Alcohol 13.5%. Though light in profile there were heavy, yellow fruit, minerals delivered in an expansive though tight manner. There were some spices which lay low and coated the mouth. The structure is soft with acidity coming out in the finish. The expansive aftertaste is structured and young. Quite young, revisit in a few years.

2008 La Follette, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
A light to medium purple-ruby color. The medium strength nose steps out of the glass with assertive Pinot aromas and dark green herbs. In the mouth there is interesting red fruit, complexity, acidity, and spice. The wine was a touch warm and showed some heat.

2008 Weingut Kracher, Cuvee Beerenauslese, Burgenland
Imported by Vin Divino. This wine is 70% Welschriesling and 30% Chardonnay with 70% fermented in stainless steel tank and 20% in large wooden barrels followed by 16 months of aging. Alcohol 12.5%. The light color was not quite a rich yellow. There was racy, tropical fruit to start. The acidity comes out along with a good mouthfeel and spicy flavors. The dense and supple mouthfeel was controlled with residual sugar in the aftertaste. With air the wine developed flavors of marmalade, dried apricot, and minerals. Lovely controlled mouthfeel.

2007 Chateau Haut-Bergeron, Sauternes
Imported by Europvin USA. This wine is a blend of 90% Semillon, 8% Sauvignon, and 2% Muscadelle which was fermented in stainless steel then aged for 18 months in 30-50% new oak barrels. Alcohol 14%. The color was a light, golden-yellow. This was forward, racy, very rich with citrus flavors, lots of residual sugar, baking spices, and salivating acidity in the finish. Though rich in feel the fruit is fresh with watering acidity. Will age.

The Ancient Wines of Pheasant’s Tears

September 12, 2012 1 comment

I have drunk only a few bottles of wine which were made in large clay vessels notably COS Pithos.  Pheasant’s Tears is one winery in Georgia which use these clay vessels known as qvevri.  Pheasant’s Tears was formed in 2007, some two years after a chance encounter between painter John Wurderman and winemaker Gela Patalishvili.  Qvevri are employed in traditional Georgian wine making to both ferment and age the wine.  There are only four or five qvevri producers left in Georgia so Pheasant’s Tears uses a mixture of new and old qvevri.  These old qvevri may be up to 200 years old and weigh in at 500 pounds.  Pheasant’s Tears leases or buys the rights to these old qvevri so that they may be dug up then transported to his winery.  These old qvevri are still used because they tend to be stronger than newer ones.

Qvevri, Image by Sandro Ukleba (flickr)

The inside of the qvevri have both large and small pores.  It is difficult to clean the small pores where bacteria may reside so the qvevri are lined with beeswax.  Now I had envisioned a thick layer of wax akin to spreading peanut butter on toast.  Instead only a thin layer is spread with the aim of filling the small pores with wax.  To do so a fire is built underneath the qvevri to heat it up so that the wax will melt on the inside.  Once the qvevri is lined it is carefully buried in the ground.  It is possible that the wax has a slight impact on the first use but after that it is an inert container. The lining is only repeated once every 50 years or so.

Stomping Grapes, Image by Civil Service Bureau (flickr)

At Pheasant’s Tears the fruit is crushed by foot in a hollowed out log.  Everything flows by gravity down into the qvevri.  Only the ripest of stems are added into the qvevri where there are punch-downs and stirring.  The Rkatsiteli spends up to six months on the skins.  After fermentation the qvevri is covered with a slate top and carbon dioxide is injected.  Such little carbon dioxide is used that the final wine contains only 16-18 ppm.  The slate top is sealed with a clay ring and covered with sand.  When it comes time to open the qvevri a pump is used to remove the wine.  Larger qvevri are used to blend any lots before bottling.

Of the recent vintages, 2008 and 2010 were warmer.  2009 was cooler and has better acidity than 2010.  In 2010 the grapes were harvested one month earlier than normal.  One indicator of the warmth of a vintage is the color of the Rkatsiteli wine.  The grape itself has a pink pigment so that in warmer vintages the wine has more orange color.  Many thanks to Chris Terrell for providing the detailed information.  For additional details please watch the videos on the Pheasant’s Tears website.

Tasting these two wines was a unique experience.  Not only were the aromas and flavors new to me but the sensation in the mouth was rather tactile.  I never tried more the one glass at a time, they are not quite the flavors I prefer, but they comes across as deftly made.  That is, if you can describe a wine produced with such minimal interaction as “made.”  These will be long-lived wines.  At one point Shane stopped by.  It had been some two weeks after I had opened the Saperavi but I poured some anyways.  The wine had barely changed!   If you are the curious sort then I strongly recommend you try these wines.  These wines are available at MacArthur Beverages.

2009 Pheasant’s Tears, Rkatsiteli, Kakheti – $17
Imported by Terrell Wines. Alcohol 12.5%.  The color is a light+ gold with amber.  The nose is milk-like with dark, low-lying aromas.  In the mouth the oily wine starts with some red berries then bright, almost piercing flavors of lemon followed by dried flowers.  After several days the wine becomes oily, earthy, with fresh acidity throughout, a little smokey in the finish, and fine sappy tannins in the aftertaste.  Imagine wax.  Over several days, the wine remains quite fresh in the mouth with a gentle body.  ** Now-2022.

2010 Pheasant’s Tears, Saperavi, Kakheti – $17
Imported by Terrell Wines. Alcohol 14%.  The color is a medium to dark ruby.  The nose reveals waxed fruit which I know not how to describe.  The legs are viscous and slowly drip down the glass.  In the mouth the wine is almost viscous with fine gritty texture, soft and ripe, grippy tannins, and tart fruit of moderate ripness.  There are tannins the length of the wine which work well with the tactile sensation of drinking the wine.  The flavors become drier in the finish.  ** Now-2027.

We Switch from Sauternes to Tokaji

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

We were initially underwhelmed by this wine when we first opened it. The flavors were a bit simpler than expected. The residual sugar compared to the acidity was noticeably higher than our recent experience with Sauternes. So I replaced the cork only to pull it five days later when Lou came over. Lou enjoyed a taste so I took my note on the sixth night. It was much better, showing more flavors and better balance. Instead of recommending a five day decant I suggest you revisit this wine in the same number of years. This wine was available at MacArthur Beverages.

2006 Royal Tokaji, 5 Puttonyos, Red Label, Tokaji – (500mL) $36
This wine is a blend of mostly Furmint and Harslevelu with a small amount of Muscat de Lunel which was fermented with indigenous yeasts in stainless steel. It was aged for two and a half years in Zemplen oak. TA 10.7 g/L, RS 178 g/L, Alcohol 10%. Tasted on the sixth night, this wine had a medium-strength nose of dried and fresh apricot which stepped out of the glass. In the mouth the tangy apricot flavors mix with a body of moderate residual sugar. It turns tangy with dried fruit in the finish. There is a lovely mouthfeel to the wine with the acidity showing well. The flavors dry up in to the assertive finish which is still a little rough. This improved with air but still needs time to integrate. **(*) 2017-2037.