villa sandahl badacsony rabbit

Rabbit Periscope Rhine Riesling – the Winewriters’ choice

Wine writers are a spoiled species of humankind: we get invitation to all the wine tastings and we do not lack wine samples to taste. Therefore our taste is refined, we have chance to practice, thus our vote is a precious vote. At the 5th annual Hungarian Wine Grand Prix we have selected Villa Sandahl Rhine Riesling Rabbit Periscope 2017 as the best white wine and Balla Géza Feketeleányka Selection 2017 as the best red wine. Super 12 lists contain the wines we – Circle of Hungarian Wine writers – consider the best, it is more than worth taking a look at these lists (the lists are coming tomorrow).


How the lists are made

There is a nominating period to begin with: all the members of the Circle of Hungarian Winewriters nominate 3 white and 3 red wines from the last 5 vintages. Sweet wines do not play here. Then we go on voting in several rounds until we reach the “Super 12” list of white wines and another list of red wines. Our president, Dr. József Kosárka then collects the 24 super wines, and we gather for a blind tasting (this year we certainly applied some special safety measures). At this tasting we selected the winners of the Hungarian Wine Grand Prix.

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'Half' of the committee – Circle of Hungarian Winewriters, 2020, Hungarian Wine Grand Prix

Hungarian Wine Grand Prix – white: Villa Sandahl Rhine Riesling Rabbit Periscope 2017

Villa Sandahl is a unique winery: Swedish brothers founded the estate with their partners, and soon they realized that they had wanted one grape variety of all. Rhine Riesling rules there, on the southern slopes of Badacsony mountain, and Alsace was definitely a source of inspiration. To see the whole story, click here. And what about this crazy rabbit? Why rabbit, first of all? The labels are designed by one of the owners, Christer Sandahl, and he introduces a new, unique concept year by year, the labels are never repeated. Labels of vintage 2017 are created in the theme of magic. Rabbit periscope refers to a timid rabbit in the magician’s hat. As for the wine? Magic, believe me. I was one of the members of the jury mentioned above, I gave maximum scores to this wine. Unforgettable, gorgeous, endless. (Photo above)

More about Villa Sandahl and Rabbit Periscope

Hungarian Wine Grand Prix – red: Balla Géza Feketeleányka Selection 2017

Géza Balla is an iconic winemaker, I visited him several times myself. I gave his wine my 10 score vote at the blind tasting, since I was impressed by the complexity and the elegance of the wine. It IS perfect. I can just suggest you to taste, and ‘Feketeleányka’ is a great grape variety (literally ‘Black Little Girl’). Whenever we, wine writers talk about this variety, Kékfrankos comes to our mind (aka Blaufrankisch). Anyway, this wine is stunning, fruity, lovely, a ‘must try wine’.

More about Balla Géza Winery



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