Sergey Smolin

Russian winelovers discovering the unknown face of Hungary

Sergey Smolin wine writer is a devoted expert of Hungarian wines. At the moment he is working on the most comprehensive book on contemporary Hungarian winemaking ever written in Russian. But he is not only a man of words, he has recently conducted a masterclass as well – featuring exciting Hungarian varieties.

Sergey contacted about a year ago. As usual, we tried to help providing information, and since we worked with the organizers of Borjour Magnum, we could invite him to the wine exhibition in February, which was combined with small B2B tastings and a study tour to Tokaj. His knowledge deepened, his passion strengthened. During his trip he was chasing samples of rare varieties to show something else apart from the well known wines of Hungary. Finally this summer he held the tasting to some menmbers of the trade along with keen winelovers.

The tasting was named “The other Hungary”.

The idea was to make a small step outside the traditional sweet Tokajdogma and show how different Hungarian wines could be – commented Sergey. That’s why I included supermarket-level Irsai Oliver (one of the most popular white grapes in Hungary but completely unknown here) and a Furmint(but not from Tokaj). Bikavér from Heimann was chosen because it had Sagrantino in its blend, people were surprised to know that this grape was officially permitted in Szekszard.


The list of wines

Gere & Shubert Irsai Olivér 2019

Szászi Rózsakő 2018

Miklós Csabi Csoda Ezerjó 2018

Dobosi Kéknyelű 2017

Györgykovács Imre Furmint 2015

Losonci Bálint Mocus Turán  2017

Heimann Bikavér 2016

Gere Attila Fekete Járdovány 2017

Járdovány – a rarity for everyone

Járdovány is a grape variety quite unknown even for us, Hungarian wine experts. Certainly we were curious about the opinion of the Moscow participants. Everyone liked the Jardovany. Indeed, I was a bit wary of this wine as one of the previous vintages I’ve tasted at DiVino several years ago was more closed and it could seem too sophisticated, but I liked this vintage even more. Many people noted “pinot style” elegance. The wine was complex yet open enough at the same time. Also we liked the idea of presenting an aromatic wine, namely Irsai Olivér, because Hungary produces a great amount of aromatic grapes, and these easy-drinking wines are important for the average consumer. The Irsai was positively accepted as a versatile commercial wine without any flaws. A bit of Muscat perfume but not overwhelming and very fresh. Actually, I think any wine from Csillagvölgy project is a winner in its category.

Sergey Smolin is working on the last chapters of his book, we hope it will be published early next year, and there are negotiations about publishing it in Polish as well. Thank you, Sergey!

More about Gere Attila Járdovány (scroll down for English)