|This Saturday please join us and Hungarian wine expertOrshi Kiss from importer Blue Danube for a spectacular tasting of furmint, fabled as the wine of kings, the king of wines. I really dig what furmint can do, and we regularly stock two or three different furmint-based wines, depending on what’s available to us. As you’ll discover on Saturday, furmint is indeed a noble white grape variety with an extensive and storied history of making some of the world’s most deeply profound and long-lived white wines. Furmint’s reputation was originally secured with the remarkable sweet wines of Tokaji, racy wines with mouthwatering acidity made from partially dried grapes—yet all the wines we’re tasting on Saturday are dry, mineral, and completely devoid of sugar. Tokaji is a grape growing region in Hungary’s northeast dominated by volcanic soils, soils which confer upon the wines a savory, sometimes smoky quality that is distinctive and exhilarating. Our first three furmints are from Tokaji, starting with two radically different wines from the brilliant Samuel Tinon. Orshi will pour two very different wines from Tinon: a single vineyard wine from vines that are over 90 years old and grown on ancient volcanic basalt with crumbly, limestone topsoil, and an exceptional and rare auction wine made from younger vines grown on volcanic soil with iron-rich topsoil. The contrast between these two wines is marked, and I think it really underscores how terroir sensitive, nuanced, and nimble a grape furmint can be. Orshi will also pour a very different style of furmint made by another furmint genius, the now retired Fekete Béla. This wine is from Somló in the country’s northwest. It still expresses the grape’s mineral qualities but with a more luscious framing, aged in huge ass old Hungarian oak barrels. To accompany our furmints, we’re serving Peads & Barnetts’s lovely mangalitsa sausage, made from the heirloom Hungarian mangalitsa pig.
Tinon Furmint “Határi” 2015