Kiralyudvar Tokaji Sec Furmint 2011
About the Region
The most famous Hungarian wine by far is Tokaj, one of the world's great dessert wines, made in northern Hungary by an unusual process. Every few years, the grapes in the region —such local varieties as furmint (mostly), zéta, hárslevelü, and kövérszölö, as well as a variety of muscat — are affected by the so-called "noble rot" that also gives unique character to the dessert wines of Germany and Bordeaux. These are late-picked, crushed, then added in varying amounts to juice or wine made from the same grapes. The resulting wine is then aged in small barrels. Dry wine is also produced in the region. There are five other main wine regions besides Tokaj, producing a wide range of white, rosé, and red wines. The best-known Hungarian table wine is Egri bikavér, literally "bull's blood from Eger," a town northeast of Budapest near the Slovakian border. This is a blend of several varieties, primarily kékfrankos (the local name for blaufränkisch, or lemberger). This sub-region, part of the Felsö-Magyarország region, also produces good white wines. Other wine regions are Észak-Dunántúl, Balaton, Dél-Pannónia, and Duna. Balaton is known for its rich, fragrant white wines; Dél-Pannónia, and especially the sub-region of Villány, has had success with red Bordeaux varieties.