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Verus Furmint 2016
The wines are true expression of each grape variety and are bottled under screw cap with an exquisitely designed label. Their inaugural vintage 2007 received much acclaim from the press and wine writers and previews the future success of this young dynamic winery.
A picturesque, eastern European wine growing nation, Slovenia can claim one of the most ancient winemaking cultures in all of Europe. Its history dates back to the Celts and Illyrians tribes, well before the Romans had any influence on France, Spain or Germany. But it wasn’t until the 1970s that Slovenia developed a more refined, private-sector wine industry.
Today it is a powerful source of some of the industry’s most important orange wines (whites made with extended skin contact); furthermore, fully three quarters of the country’s wine production is white.
Slovenian weather is continental with hot summers and cold, wet winters. It is divided into three wine regions: Podravje in Slovenia’s northeast; Primorska in its west, close to Italy; and Posavje in its southeast. These are further divided to nine wine districts.
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.