Friday 8th June 2018
This month in our Wine Club, we explore Eastern European wines: the Hidden Gems of the Wine World
One usually is rather sceptical when offered a wine from Eastern Europe for the first time, but perceptions most certainly change once they’ve tasted it.
Wines from Eastern Europe are modern and consumer-friendly. Many wineries use international grape varieties to make strongly-craftedwines at bargain prices making it a very attractive option to explore.
Most ignore it but Eastern Europe is a substantialcontributorin terms of global wine production and the region offers a very exciting diversity as well as – or perhaps due to?, it’s strong connection to land and History.
Some refer to Hungary as the new France because there’s a deeper understanding of the terroir, an amazing diversity (grapes and styles) and a tendency to create and develop a reputation for their very own great classics.
Slovenia has a reputation for diversity and complex wines.
Situated between the Alps and the Mediterranean, Slovenia is home to some of the most exciting wines in Central Europe.
Since the fall of communism, there’s been a great come back to small, family-owned wineries. There’s a strong sense of experimentation with winemakers using a variety of grapes and winemaking styles as well as ambient yeasts and unusual barrel ageing methods.
Quercus produces modern, fruity and full-bodied wines. They do not try too hard to impress, and that’s why they stand out – their wines are naturally elegant and cleverly crafted.
Tokaji Aszú has positioned Hungary on the global wine map. ‘The King of Wines and wine of Kings’ – as Louis XV used to describe it, Tokaji Aszú used to be reserved toRussian Czars and has long been the archetypical Hungarian wine. The floral, lusciously fruity, unctuous and deliciously honeyed wines made from super-concentrated, botrytized grapes are a blend of grapes from Tokaji: Furmint, Hárslevelű and varieties of Muscat.
In the past decade Hungarian winemakers started producing dry wines, and nowadays the country is greatly recognised for its dry white wines. The country produces floral, luscious, and waxy wines made from Furmint or blends of traditional Tokaji grapes as well as refreshing examples of Pinot Grigio and Grüner Veltliner.
Although Hungary’s white wines receive much of the attention, its red wines have a good potential too. Wines made of varieties such as Kadarka, Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch), Kékoportó (Blauer Portugieser) and Pinot Noir from red wine regions like Villány, Szekszárd and Sopron show remarkable balance and complexity while producers such as Szõke Mátyás, Gere Attila, Sauska and Vylyan make powerful Bordeaux-style red blends.
Sauska is a family-owned and operated winery with vineyards in Tokaj and Villany. They grow indigenous and international grape varieties and use only the power of gravity and ambient yeasts to craft their wines. They aspire to produce world-class, precise, elegant and uniquely Hungarian wines.
More wines from the Sauska range:
- Sauska Kékfrankos Red 2013
- Sauska Kadarka Red 2013
- Sauska Pinot Noir Red 2013
- Sauska Estate Cabernet Franc Red 2013
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