vesztergombi kerekhegy cabernet franc

A hedonic atomic-wine-bomb

Wine of the Weekend: Vesztergombi Kerékhegy Cabernet Franc 2017, Szekszárd

Sebestyén Nagy is a fellow wine writer – and a great wine expert –, I used to work with when I was the editor-in-chief of VinCE Magazine. Sebestyén was always the last to send his article, but I could sit and wait patiently, because his pieces were always spotless, entertaining, funny with a distinctive style. I hope this distinctive style will come through my translation.

Who cares about high alc?

Well, yes, the alcohol is 16%… But that’s what we have here, in our continental climate, in our Central European basin. Fully ripened grape has a price: the high alc. To achieve marvellous, juicy ripeness without the alcohol jumping high and with retaining acids – well, this performance is more likely in more fortunate, more southern countries, where grape can escape from extreme heat to higher places and some sea temperates nearby. We are left with 200 meter heaps in Szekszárd and high spirits following hot summers – but WHO CARES?

Who cares if this 16% is paired with such a body and structure that I do not find the aftertaste burning? Who cares if the wine is characterized by such an amazing intensity of aromas throughout the tasting, that the dear consumer gets into an “anything-can-happen-from-now” state of mind? Who cares if this wine is “huge” and “robust” – yes, we have to acknowledge the behemoth level of alcohol –, so who cares if it is still vivacious with vibrant acidity and easy to drink (easy to booze)? In the 15th month of Covid-era, in the middle of our second bad spring we all feel like leaving the disciplined wine consumption to someone else, we need a hedonic atomic-wine-bomb!

Wine from the plateau

The Vesztergombi family planted Cabernet Franc on the plateau of Kerékhegy (‘Wheel’ hill) in 2007, it was a conscious choice knowing that the varietal needs heat. “Great wine without heaviness. Ripened, chewy, full of black fruits. Huge potential, it can make us happy for at least 20 years more.” Sebestyén Nagy gave 9.3 / 10 to this wine.
Sebestyén Nagy’s wine blog

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Sebestyen Nagy wine writer