This week we finished our walking holiday of Hungary – an experience I will treasure forever. Perhaps it is just our interest in wine, but what was to be a walk through the countryside and on the banks of the beautiful Danube, turned into a wine tourism experience of note. Very different of course to what we are used to in South Africa, but just as special.
Last week I shared some of what I experienced in the regions of Aszar-Neszmely, Etyek-Buda and Mór. Today I would like to use our dinner in Primas Pince Restaurant in the old capital of Hungary, Esztergom as a reflection on our last week in Hungary.
Hungarians like meat – especially pork. Budapest even has a Pork Walk! So, we ordered the roasted pork tenderloin with potatoes, snap peas and wild mushrooms. The meat was lightly smoked and delicious. (I am definitely inspired to cook with pork more when I am back home. Perhaps it is time to try the Leopard’s Leap Rotisserie’s fool proof recipe for pork belly…)
The wine we enjoyed with the meal was also our best red wine on the trip: Gere Attila Villany Shiraz (we had the 2011 vintage). Its rich plum flavours, interesting spice and mellow tannins were exceptional with the pork.
We also really enjoyed the Szepsy Tokaji Furmint 2012 which offered the typical floral bouquet but with the addition of dried pineapple flavours and although it is made in a dry and mineral style, the finish was long and gentle – a truly remarkable wine.
The evening was concluded with a sweet Tokaji – what else?! Hungary is especially well-known for the sweet Tokaji wines and the Aszú is the noblest of these wines produced from the aszú berries, a result of noble rot. In this instance another wine from the Szepsy stable – the Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos 2007. Made from fully botrytised grapes (mainly Furmint), the wine spend 4 years in the barrels and due to the very warm conditions of the 2007 summer, has a residual sugar of 258g / litre! It is not only sweet though and has excellent complexity and a beautiful minerality resulting in a very elegant wine.
There is such a lot to say about the wines and the history of the estates, one can almost write a book! Please follow the links provided to read more on the interesting wine world of Hungary.