Heavenly Hungarians – Part 1; 2009 Orsolya Pince Kadarka


“I’m bloody interested what you will think of that Kadarka!  Expect a never experienced (OK, most likely never) aroma profile and no tannins at all!”

“Ok, so like a Gamay maybe?”

“Hm-hm, not even that. But you will see; just let me know your thoughts afterwards.”

New discoveries. That’s what it is all about here, on Wine Virtuosity. It may sound like I’m on the constant search, trying to find wines and grapes no-one never heard of. Or at least few have tasted and written about. Nope. That’s not it. My curiosity actually isn’t that complex.

A lot of wine consumers knows very well what to expect from a Agiorgitiko or a Xinomavro. Now I am one of them, after having been through a lot of Greek wines this year. The Greeks constitutes a good example when it comes to describing my wine passion. I’m just trying to find what the locals love and drink.

It’s now time to start a new series of postings from another country we seem to forget about – Hungary. It is simply time for Heavenly Hungarians here on Wine Virtuosity. Join me! Share your thoughts on Hungary, give me tips on wines to taste and producers to discover!

I’m a fortunate man. My Hungarian buddy, Zoli, keeps me updated what’s going on, on the Hungarian wine scene. When there’s something he believes I haven’t tasted, nor heard of, he makes sure I’ll get the chance. Recently he provided me with something he was pretty sure I didn’t know about. Kadarka. The best ever on the grape as he said.

Kadarka is a grape mostly associated with the wines of Eger. Bull’s blood I think most older wine consumers remember. At least I’m speaking for myself and remembering back to my early twenties, when I first started buying wine. Then, the label – or name -probably was more the reason for why I chose a specific bottle. Bull’s blood was not only suitable for a student’s budget, it also had an aesthetic appeal.

Whith my growing wine interest, the Eger wines disappeared and weren’t missed. Now they are, after the 2009 Orsolya Pince Kadarka from the region of Egri Borvidék. 16 months in seasoned barrique; two to four years old.

“Expect a never experienced aroma profile and no tannins at all,” he said – Zoli.

Well, let’s try!

Allowed to breathe for a few hours in the decanter. Poured slightly chilled in Burgundy glasses.

Tasting note – 2009 Orsolya Pince Kadarka

Pale, transparent ruby color. Aromatic nose starting with rhubarb scents which evolve into mashed fresh strawberries, wild strawberries, under-vegetation, sage, lots of mineral ooze and summer flowers. Marigold. The flower scent is marigold. The mineral feel reminds me of the character I normally find in wines from Côte de Brouilly. A gentle note of oak adds an extra nuance.

Ripe strawberries on the palate and a touch of slightly sour red cherries. Again, lots of mineral feel. Rhubarb, Marigold and herbs. Compost and a gentle note of milk chocolate. And just as Zoli told me, almost no tannins. This baby isn’t a keeper for many years but builds its short ageing capacity like a Pinot Noir, on acidity. Light as a feather, packed with aromas. Good length. Clean.

Just love it.

It doesn’t take long before I start looking for resemblance amongst other wines. If you haven’t tasted the beautiful 2009 Orsolya Pince Kadarka, then think in terms of the aromatic Sicilian grape of Frappato crossed with a German Spätburgunder and a nuance of Gamay from Beaujolais. There you have it. Easy peasy. Right?

Great drinkability. Now I just need more of this beauty….

2009 Orsolya Pince Kadarka, Egri Borvidék, Hungary, (88-89 p)

Link to producer.