Italian–Hungarian love story
Importer of the month
Davide Bortone has two loves: wine and a young lady, who happens to be Hungarian. His love of this girl has led to the joy of many Hungarian wineries, because Davide has just launched his brand new webshop of Hungarian wines! Let us tell you the story of Vino Ungherese with the thoughts of Davide and 3 wine recommendations
Hungarian people love Italian wines so much, that Italy is our number one wine importer – which means that the largest amount of quality wine imported to Hungary comes from Italy. Do Italian people drink Hungarian wines? Nope. Italy is not even mentioned in the statistics of Hungarian wine export. Understandable, Italy is an amazing wine country with gorgeous wines. But things will change from now: Vino Ungherese has been launched and it has a stunning selection of wines! 103 wines from 12 wine regions including several styles and varieties, even orange wines are available! Winelovers can find wines from several prominent estates like Sauska (Tokaj & Villány), Tóth Ferenc Winery (Eger), Patricius Winery (Tokaj), Lajver (Szekszárd), Kovács Nimród Winery (Eger), Csányi Winery (Villány), Vesztergombi Cellar (Szekszárd), but they can also discover some less known estates and wine regions like Gallay and Hajdú Roland from Bükk wine region or Csetvei Cellar from Mór wine region. The selection praises Davide’s taste: “I have teamed up with two men: Fabio Albani is the CEO of the company, Marco Teruzzi takes care about finance, administration and control. My job is the selection of wines, marketing and relation with the wineries” – says Davide about the company.
Our little pride
Telling our readers the truth, we are really proud of this webshop, since we, Hungarianwines.eu contributed a little to this success story. It all began in spring, during the lockdown. I received an email from an Italian wine writer and editor in chief of WineMag. He was stuck in Hungary and he asked for help to find great wines. I gave him some pieces of advice and we started to correspond regularly. Davide published several articles about Hungarian wines, which we were so happy about. So it was an obvious choice to ask Davide be one of the jury members of our 3rd Hungarian WebWineWriting. As a consequence, he participated in our 4 day study tour with the winners including our Gettogether event at Patricius Winery, a visit at stunning Lajver Wine House, a lunch with Csaba Vesztergombi and a full tasting at Csányi Winery. We are happy to see wines from these estates in the portfolio.
To please the modern Italian wine drinker
Not that without us Davide could not have found the best wines. He could. As for the concept he comments: “The main idea of the selection is to show how precious is every different terroir of Hungary, through the best expressions of local and indigenous varieties. I’d really hope that this selection is able to take by hand every winelover or wine professional who wants to discover the complexity of Hungarian wines and of Hungarian wine regions. Doing that, of course in my mind were clear (and will be clear) the taste and the “attitude” of the modern Italian (wine drinkers) market. That’s why I avoided wines with an excessive “use of wood” (most of them in Villany wine region), giving more space to wines that are able to show clearly the terroir and “respect” the true variety characteristic. In synthesis, the selection were built on three cornerstones: variety, terroir, balance.”
Somló – a region that can “show herself naked”
There are quite a lot of wines made of international grape varieties in Vino Ungherese selection. But can Hungarian Pinot Noir compete in the Italian wine market? “Talking about “international varieties”, the aim of the selection does not change. I think wine sector (winelovers and, first of all, professionals) must evolve from a “competitive approach” to a “comparative approach”, not only between wines of different countries, but above all between wines of different wine regions of the same country.
Customers have changed a lot in the last 10-15 years and the worldwide explosion of online wine selling (due to Covid-19) is driving faster a process that have to be clearly understood and implemented by the international wine producers, in their viticultural and enological choices.
I need an example to explain better this concept. In my opinion, the modern consumers will progressively search less “Bordeaux” in Villany, and more Villany in Villany. Speaking again about Hungary, this will be the key of the success of micro wine zones such Somló. I really believe this region deserves a place of honour in the international gotha of wine land, precisely because is able to “show herself naked”, in her birthday suit: equal just to herself. Modern customers and real winelovers deserve (and look for) unicity. To be able to “compare” and “prefer”, more than “rating” and “rank”.
Have you sold your first wine?
“Thanks God we sent the first shipments before the Christmas break. The first bottle in the cart has been a Juhfark of Somló, in a very good company: a natural wine of Villány, a Tokaji Aszú, two bottles of Pinot Noir of Eger and a sparkling wine from Tokaj!” – says Davide and we have only one more thing to say: thanks and we wish you success with Vino Ungherese!
3 tips from Vino Ungherese selection
– Csetvei Ezerjó EH, Mór, 2019
Mór is the second smallest wine region of Hungary and Ezerjó is its most wellknown indigenous variety. Krisztina Csetvei adores the variety, she makes still and sparkling of it, and as for the still wine, she ages it in amphora, barrel and stainless steel. EH stands for ‘Ezerjó Hordós’ (hordó means barrel). “Un naso molto ricco, su note di mela, albicocca, banana, mango, pane tostato e fumè. Il palato è lussureggiante, corposo e asciutto, avvolgente e lungo. Notevoli le capacità di affinamento in bottiglia, sino a 5 anni.” Rich nose with apple, appricot, banana, mango, toasted bread and smoke. The palate is lush, full-bodied and dry and long. You can lay it for another 5 years. Now there is a 5% discount on it!
– Tóth Ferenc Pinot Noir 2017
“Pinot Noir in purezza.” Pure Pint Noir. Indeed, this winery makes a beautiful, characteristic wine of the sensitive Pinot Noir grape. The wine was aged in 20 hl oak barrels for 10 months and bottled in November 2018. Total production: 6400 bottles. “Hip jam, punch, raspberry and raspberry leaf is dominant as fruity and oak aged character in rotation. Not superabundant in the nose nor on the palate. It has been changing, opening all the time. Despite it is the wine of a virgin vintage gracefully opens its wings. Acids and tannins are in the background giving place its fruitiness. Fresh sour cherry, plum and bottled sweet cherry taste is dominant. A wine with expressly long finish. Fine spices and tobacco are in the aftertaste, especially when we do dry test.” (Description by CsokiLaBor)
– Patricius Sparkling Brut 2016
Vino Ungherese has a remarkable sparkling wine selection, bubbly lovers can surely find their choices. As we wrote earlier, Patricius estate was the venue of our summer event, and this bottle fermented sparkling wine was one of the most popular drinks in the summer party. A blend of Furmint, Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat, “mostra frutto, freschezza e mineralità tipiche della zona”, so it shows fruit, freshness and minerality typical of Tokaj wine region. Davide recommends a whole range of meals with the sparkling wine including sushi, vegetable or fish tempura, pasta dishes or rabbit.