Who’s that girl? The producer of the best Hungarian Merlot
Zsuzsanna Babarczi and the lastest 5 star acknowledgement
By Ágnes Németh
As we wrote earlier, Babarczi Merlot 2020 won gold medal at the latest edition of VinAgora international wine contest and not only a simple gold: it was selected the Best Merlot of the contest. Not long after that, the wine won gold medal at the other international wine contest organized in Hungary, at Winelovers Wine Awards. And the most recent acknowledgement: the Merlot won 5 stars at the latest panel tasting of Vince magazine, an influential print magazine in Hungary. Isn’t this row of success convincing? And who is the manager and the “engine” of this estate? A pretty lady with a smile that never fades, Zsuzsanna Babarczi.
The greatest ones of the smallest ones
My sister happens to be the tasting coordinator of Vince magazine. I remember, we were talking about this panel tasting: the topic was the smallest wine regions of Hungary: Somló, Pannonhalma, Mór and Pécs. I did not find a good idea to include Somló here, even though it is small, the smallest one, yet due to the intense influence of the volcanic soil and the international fame, Somló is somehow above the other three. I expected Somló superiority – I was wrong. The panel tasting ended with 4 five star wines, 3 from Pannonhalma and 1 from Pécs:
– Babarczi Merlot 2020, Pannonhalma
– Pannonhalma Archabbey Winery Infusio 2020, Pannonhalma
– Ács Winery Savannah 2021, Pannonhalma
– Planina Wine House Cirfandli 2021, Pécs
Zsuzsanna Babarczi – it is sometimes hard to be a woman in a men’s world
We have known each other for a long time and we met several times, certainly mostly at wine events within Hungary and sometimes abroad. “Zsuzsi” was always cheerful and radiated some inner elegance. Recently I had the chance to talk with her more. I learnt that she speaks fluent English and Italian, good French and also some German. She lived and worked in Switzerland for a while, but now she is the manager of Babarczi Winery and Vineyard, which means that she works night and day, deals with the sales, the problems of every employee, the events, the marketing and certainly with the products themselves. She lost her mother a few years ago and her father needs constant attention, so there is no time left for her private life. Yet she is optimistic and friendly, a great company. I am glad to see that finally she decided to have some new photos taken of her by a professional photographer. Job well done! The photos reflect the “Zsuzsi phenomenon”!
Hurry to grab the last bottles!
Babarczi Merlot 2020 aged in used oak barrels for 10 months. Elegant, fruit driven, velvety Merlot – a great example of the variety. According to Vince magazine panel: “Intense nose with forest fruits, raspberry, plum, spices and some toasty notes. The palate also features red fruits, mainly cherry and raspberry with some plum, chocolate and toast. A complex, elegant, intense, layered wine with subtle barrel use”.
There is only one serious problem with the wine: only 2400 bottles were made and there are hardly any left. It is time to get the last bottles and start negotiation about the 2021 vintage. The retail price is around 18 euros.