71 Hungarian medal winners at the 11th Asian Wine Trophy
3 faces of Pinot Noir
Altogether 1216 medals were given at the largest Asian wine contest under OIV patronage. Out of the 29 medal winner countries Italy is the first with 255 medals followed by Spain, Germany, France, Austria and Portugal. Hungary has 7th position in the ranking, and regarding Central-Eastern Europe Hungary has the most medals followed by the Czech Republic (with 37 medals).
There are 9 grand gold medals given to Hungary, 7 of them are wines from Tokaj including Béres Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos 2016. The 2 non-Tokaj grand gold winner wines are both made by Etyeki Kúria: MSP Zenit 2020, a still dry white and Pinot Noir 2019.
As looking through the 60 gold winner Hungarian wines, we can see how versatile the country’s wine production is: 31 red wines, 24 white and 5 rose received gold. 3 of the wines are sparkling and 8 of the gold winners are sweet.
Hungary has many indigenous grapes – like the above mentioned Zenit by Etyeki Kúria –, but we are equally proud of the wines made of international grapes. And though the success of Cabernet Franc (especially in Villány) is not doubted by experts, Pinot Noir is usually not among the most successful varieties in Hungary. The recent Asian Wine Trophy however proves the opposite: Pinot Noir has the potential to give elegant wines in Hungary – let us introduce a red, a rosé and a white sparkling gold winner from the contest.
Etyeki Kúria Pinot Noir 2019
We have written several times about the Pinot Noir wines of Etyeki Kúria, since they are one of the top producers of the variety. The estate dedicates a whole vertical tasting to the variety every year. The winery is only a 30 minutes’ drive from Budapest, its wine bar is more than worth visiting. The wine bar offers a nice selection of dishes created to match the wines of the estate – and the wines are used for the preparation as well. (See the menu here with suggested wine pairings.)“We have had a passionate relationship ever since we planted the first vines in Etyek in 2001. A variety with a thousand faces that reveals the most of itself at our Pinot Noir Vertical Tasting held in March.”
Grapes were hand harvested in several steps, then carefully destemmed. Fermented for 14 days on the skins with manual punching down. 15 months maturing in 300 L and 228 L Hungarian, French and Austrian oak barrels (30% new.)
Dúzsi Szekszárdi Pinot Noir Rosé 2022
Tamás Dúzsi, the founder of Dúzsi Family Winery has long been an expert of rosé wines, mainly because he never consiedered rosé a side product. He believes that to make an elegant, spotless rosé the winemaker has less tools than, for example, in case of oak aged red wines. Dúzsi estate has a whole portfolio of rosé wines – his Cabernet Franc Rosé 2022 rosé also won gold along with Dúzsi Welschriesling Selection 2019–, and Pinot Noir rosé is always among the most successful and popular ones. The fresh, fruity wine was matured in stainless steel tank to keep all the crispy, juicy red berry flavours.
Teleki Tradíció 1881 Pinot Noir White
This blanc de noir sparkling wine is a novelty from Csányi Winery – whose wines are named after Zsigmond Teleki, the founder, a world famous viticulturist. The winery started to produce sparkling wine only a few years ago, and the rosé version of this bottle fermented sparkling wine has collected several acknowledgements, for example Teleki Tradíció 1881 Pinot Noir Brut Rosé Magnum 2018 received the highest points at Mondial du Rosé 2021 in Cannes, France. From vintage 2019 the winery released the first blanc de noir made also of Pinot Noir with a dosage of 8.9 g/L