Sunday, September 27, 2015

A Sweet Wine Goes Dry: Furmint from Hungary

Tokaji Aszu is a famous dessert wine from Hungary, made from white grapes affected by the fungus botrytis (known as "noble rot").  For a quick primer on botrytis, here's the Botrytis Cheat Sheet:

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Six different grapes may be used to make the sweet Tokaji Aszu, but Furmint is the most important, accounting for 60% of the plantings.

Now you can try this grape on its own in a dry wine.  In 2003 the Royal Tokaji company, which makes the sweet Tokaji Aszu, began producing a dry white wine made with 100% Furmint.

The 2011 dry Furmint has aromas of minerals and lemon, vegetal aromas, and a bit of something spicy and earthy.  On the palate it's dry, with high acid, and flavors which generally match the aromas.  There's also a hint of honey.  It has medium body, noticeable oak influence, and 14% alcohol.

This dry Furmint reminds me of a cross between a Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc (or Fume Blanc).  It's a good wine, if slightly hot on the finish.  Chill it well.  I found it at Costco for $11, which makes it a great bargain both as a wine to enjoy and as an unusual experience with a largely unknown grape in an even more unknown style.

You may also be interested in:
An eclectic list of good white wines under $15
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Full Collection of More than 20 Wine Cheat Sheets

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