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Disznoko Dry Furmint 2001

Furmint from Hungary
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    Disznoko

    Disznoko

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    Disznoko, Hungary
    Image of winery
    Disznókõ spreads over 250 acres at the south-west entrance of the Tokaj region. Tokaj is thought to be the first vineyard region in the world to have adopted a classification system and, incredibly, the entire Disznókõ estate was classified as a first growth property in 1772 at the time of the initial classification by royal decree. The estate’s vineyards today are still wholly classified as first growth.

    The Disznókõ estate is essentially a hill of volcanic clay soil with perlite pebbles: at the top of the hill is the boar-shaped rock from which the estate takes its name, and the vineyards are arranged down the southern slope, with the winery at the bottom of the slopes. The vineyard is protected by the cold northern winds by the Zemplén hills right behind it, and draws light and heat from its southerly exposure.

    In 1992, shortly after the fall of communism in Hungary, the estate was acquired by new owners and a long series of improvements initiated: the vineyards were rehabilitated and replanted, old buildings were refurbished, and new winemaking facilities were constructed. The new winery pays homage to the nearby old winery, and inside the new winery it quickly becomes apparent how Disznókõ has, above any other estate in the region, restored Tokaji’s reputation to the days it was considered "the wine of kings and king of wines" (Louis XIV).

    Best known for lusciously sweet dessert wines but home to many distinctive dry whites and reds, Hungary is an exciting country at the crossroads of tradition and innovation. Mostly flat with a continental climate, Hungary is almost perfectly bisected by the Danube River (known here as the Duna), and contains central Europe’s largest lake, Balaton. Soil types vary throughout the country but some of the best vines, particularly in Tokaji, are planted on mineral-rich volcanic soil.

    Tokaj, Hungary’s most famous wine region, is home to the venerated botrytized sweet wine, Tokaji, produced from a blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű. Dry and semi-dry wines are also made in Tokaj, using the same varieties. Other native white varieties include the relatively aromatic and floral, Irsai Olivér, Cserszegi Fűszeres and Királyleányka, as well as the distinctively smoky and savory, Juhfark. Common red varieties include velvety, Pinot Noir-like Kadarka and juicy, easy-drinking Kékfrankos (known elsewhere as Blaufränkisch).

    The fragrant, savory and spicy, Furmint, is the white grape variety principally responsible for the highly desired, historically important and lusciously sweet, elixir called Tokaji. The wine called Tokaji is named after the Hungarian region from which it comes: Tokaj.

    Furmint is most widely grown in Hungary and is especially subject to noble rot, aka botrytis, a desirable fungus that can grow on grapes in humid environments after extended hang times. (The same fungus produces Sauternes and some of the finer dessert Riesling of Germany). Aside from the grapes’ own interesting innate flavors and aromas, the botrytis infected grapes give ephemeral flavors reminiscent of ginger, saffron and honey.

    To make Tokaji, Furmint is usually blended with the more aromatic grape variety called Hárslevelű and Muscat blanc à Petits Grains (locally called Sárga Muskotály). The result is an incredibly sweet, meditative, delicious Tokaji Aszú or the even sweeter Tokaji Eszencia. The latter contains so much sugar that it is served in half ounce portions and has an aging capacity of 200 years!

    More recently the motivations of proud, young Hungarian winemakers have brought Furmint into a new light as a delicately crisp, savory and spicy dry white.

    ARD1102197_2001 Item# 59784