This article first appeared on Treehugger Dan’s Bookstore and Café website

Learn more about Treehugger Dan's services at:

26 Wines in 4 Hours

By Treehugger Dan

Funzine organised a wine tasting for opinion makers with Marci Csillag, one of the owners of lovely M Restaurant and his business partner Laci. I was lucky enough to be counted as one of these people. It was a fun and well organised evening. Besides the wine, there was lots of excellent fresh bread (though I would go with the non-herbal variety next time), soda water from siphons, eggplant cream, cheeses, walnuts and pate.The big spittoons were beautifully done in a folk Hungarian style. When I received the invitation, I understood it was to taste 6-7 wines from the Lessner Vineyard. When I discovered they did not have a web presence, I did not think much of it and kept an open mind. It turns out, Lessner is a branch of Marci's family, and the name of the company that will now begin dealing with wine through the Sexardicum wine cellar at Krudy Gyula u.6. The wine cellar almost exclusively deals with wines from Szekszard, but we tasted wines from many regions - 26 of them to be exact, in 4 hours! I hope they decide to stock with from the Fritz Vineyard also, one of my favorites in Szekszard. The company was a mix of foreigners living in Hungary and Hungarians that live abroad. It was great fun hearing the mix of German, Dutch, French, English and Hungarian flying across the table, and everyone for the most part being able to follow what was going on.

Of the 26 wines, I only recognised a couple vineyards on the list. The ones I knew, like Szeleshat, Mayer, Matias and Csutoras I have tasted before and liked a lot, so I was very much looking forward to them. Strangely, these wines ranked very low on the quality and enjoyment scale on the night.

Scale 1-10, 10 being the highest:
White Wines:
1. Irsai Oliver 2010, Matias Vineyard, Villany. I really like Irsai, but this was nothing special, just OK, and too pearish for my taste. Their Cabernet Franc was not bad last year.
Score: 4
2. Cserszegi Fuszeres 2010, Bendek Peter Vineyard, Matra. Nice fresh nose, not herbal (fuszres) as it should be, more like an Italian rizling. A bit too sweet. Benedek was recently hired as the wine maker for the very good Grof Buttler Vineyard in Eger. Try Grof Buttler's amazing Pinot Noir 2006 Nagy Eged-hegy!
Score: 5
3. Nyari Odon Cserszegi Fuszeres 2010, Badacsony, Szt. Gyorgy Hegy. Pear scent, does not taste like cserszegi fuszeres.
Score: 4
4. Benedek Chardonnay 2010, Matra. Very good, perhaps too sweet for a chardonnay though. Powerful apple cider nose.
Score: 7
5. Nyari Odon Chardonnay 2009, Badacsony. Beautiful golden color, neutral without much distinctive character, but with a nice acidic aftertaste. Very good.
Score: 7
6. Nyari Odon Italian Rizling 2010, Badacsony. Good.
Score: 5
7. Csutoras Lyukalatti Leanyka 2010, Eger. Csutoras was a pretty hot vineyard a couple years ago for its Golden Football Team (Arany Csapat) series of wines , but something has clearly gone wrong.
Score: 2
7/a. Csutoras Lyukalatti Leanyka 2009, Eger. Only slightly better. Proved the first one was not corked, just bad.
Score: 3
8. Dorogi Koverszollo 2009, Tokaj. An ancient Hungarian variety of grape recently reintroduced and usually kept for late harvest sweet wines. This dry wine is unique, but the grape must scent does not make up for the wierd flavor.
Score: 3
9. Nobilis Birtokbor 2009, Tokaj, Furmint and Harslevelo cuvee. OK, slightly odd flavor, but it could have been the peppery eggplant cream I had.
Score: 4
10. Szollosi Magnus Cuvee 2006, Neszmely, Sauvignon Blanc-Chardonnay. Yes, there are two vineyards in Neszmely, not just Hilltop. Sweet, late harvest nose.
Score: 8
Rose Wines:
11. Osteros Pinot Noir-Merlot Rose 2010. Blech!
Score: 2
12. Nemeth Janos Vineyard, Kekfrankos Rose 2010, Szekszard. Fizzy, petroleum scent, liquorice flavor.
Score: 3
Red Wines
13. Markvart Kadarka 2009, Szekszard. Good deep meaty scent. Could be a bit drier.
Score: 8.5
14. Bosz Adrian Kekfrankos 2008, Szekszard. Nose like a Kadarka, mulberry aftertaste?
Score: 4
15. Csutoras Kekfrankos '68 2008, Eger. Nothing special, but good. Too light, too dry.
Score: 5/6
16. Szeleshat K2 Kekfrankos 2008, Szekszard. OK for a Kadarka, but it is supposed to be a Kekfrankos. Better to go with their 2007 Merlot.
Score: 4
17. Fekete Mihaly Zweigelt 2008, Szekszard. Very dark for a Zweigelt, meaty like a Kadarka.
Score: 5
18. Mayer Szent Bertalan 2009, Villany. Cuvee of Zweigelt and Merlot. I have had some truly excellent Mayer wines, but this one both smells and tastes like my wet musty towel after being kept in a plastic bag all day.
Score: 1
20. Kis Gabor Kodex 2009, Villany. Cuvee of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Portugeiser and Kekfrankos. Nicely dry, good table wine.
Score: 6
21. Bosz Adrian, Cabernet Franc 2008. Nice and spicy and dry.
Score: 6.5
22. Csutoras Bikaver 2008, Eger.
Score: 4
23. Nemeth Porkolab 2008, Szekszard. 40% Merlot, 60% Cabernet Sauvignon. 15% alcohol. A bit sweet.
Score: 7.5
Dessert Wines
24. Lenkey November 2004, Mad, Tokaj. Late harvest Harslevelu and Furmint. Sweet kiwi, a very good desert wine. They keep on doing it right. See our Bitch Moan and Wine tasting with them here.
Score: 8
25. Lenkey Aszu 6 Puttonyos 2003. A raisin nectar/essence.
Score: 9

[Sunday, January 8, 2012 ]