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Királyudvar 2007 Tokaji Furmint Sec (Hungary) – Cold, pale minerality. Almost bony, but the bones are crushed, powdered, then liquefied, and the wet skeletal remains exhibit a sort of swashbuckling confidence. A delicious, utterly reliable wine.  (8/12)

Pajzos Whedon

Pajzos 2009 Tokaji Furmint (Hungary) – There’s an overlay to dry furmint that inhabits an aromatic realm I can’t always pinpoint. Mint? Menthol? Something dry, herbal, and chilly, at least. There’s also whitewashed fruit and thin, repeating layers of brittle minerality. This is blockier than some I’ve tasted, but still nice. (8/12)

Apátsági, with a chance of more rain

Apátsági “Pannonhalmi” 2006 Rajnai Rizling (Hungary) – There’s an easy, almost effortless, quality to riesling from certain places that leads one to believe that even when it’s not great, it’s at least decent. It’s important to remember, however, that a fair bit of that is due to curation from importers and the like, and truly worldwide door-to-door explorations won’t always lead to similar success.

Here’s a wine that I want to like, but really don’t, and the primary reason distills to boredom. This is recognizable as something within the riesling family, but it trumpets neither fundamental rieslingness nor a powerful sense of place (identified not by its specifics – I lack experience with the site whence these grapes come – but by the muddled and generally uninteresting way in which this wine expresses itself). Neither here nor there, writ aqueous. (1/12)

Tokaji for the straight guy

Királyudvar 2008 Tokaji Sec (Hungary) – Like drinking ice (no I don’t mean water, I mean ice) in which rest frozen bones and shells. Complex and intellectual, a well-read wine with its own story to tell. Fascinating. Not as fleshy as some other vintages I’ve tasted, but its sternness is itself a form of quality. (9/11)

It can be your klang, too

Michlits 2009 “Meinklang” (Somló) – Hungarian wine from an Austrian producer, 100% hársevelü and biodynamic. And, I must say, better than most of the Austrian-sourced wines I’ve tasted from this label. A little bit exotic, as if there’s a blizzard of alien minerality whirling around the wine, but eventually it settles down to some chilly grey intensity with just enough excitement. (8/11)

Nókő ónő

Disznókő Tokaji “Late Harvest” (Hungary) – Concentrated sweetness, copper, bronze, brass, molten candle wax, and amber. Some extremely concentrated apricot, as well, perhaps more as a honey flavoring than an actual fruit experience. Very clean, devoid of the style’s typical issues with volatility, and delicious. (3/11)

Nókő Ono

Disznókő 2006 Dry Tokaji (Hungary) – Forbiddingly reduced at first unscrewing, but this does blow off. I’m not sure the wine’s worth the wait, though…under the reduction is a little wan oxidation, a squirt of spritz, some undefined tartness, and a big, flat, horizonless plain of not very much. Nothing wrong, but nothing particularly right. It’s wine. That’s about as far as I’ll praise it. (10/10)

Breath furmint

Királyudvar 2006 Tokaji Sec (Hungary) – Arid and a little muted, blossoming texturally but not as aromatically as I’d expect. That texture is dense, coating, and rich with promise, but other than some waxiness and a minor floral note, there’s not much going on. A strange performance. (5/10)


[vineyard]Királyudvar 2005 Tokaji Sec (Hungary) – Previous bottles have had a lot more of a waxy planespace barrier to them. This is just bright, with zaps and pows of acidity punching through an arid mist of alpine fruit. I’m not quite sure where all the texture went, and it’s still a nice wine, but it’s not as interesting as it was last spring and summer. (1/10)

A bridge udvar

[vineyard]Királyudvar 2005 Tokaji Sec (Hungary) – Broad, waxy, and complicated. There’s a certain fatness here, but it’s a dry fat, expressed more as lingering tactility than plushness. Hues and tones range from brown to tan with streaks of grey, and there’s a hefty dash of mineral salt to the finish. This is awfully good. (5/09)

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