Tokaj – A szabadság bora (Tokaj: The Wine of Freedom), is one of the ten best books ever written on wine. According to Hugh Johnson that is. And honestly, although perhaps being biased by now, I can only agree. Alkonyi László’s book is such a thorough work covering all the aspects of the region. Mr. Alkonyi has also produced the just as great Tokaj: Dulomitológia (Tokaj: The Myth of Terroir) where he discusses the role of the terroir. Mainly in Tokaj but also in Burgundy and Bordeaux. Although it’s been a while since they were publihsed, both of his books are quite timeless in their style.
Few people, if any, possess the same knowledge about Tokaj as Alkonyi László does. Somehow it was then only natural that the winewriter took the next step and started to produce his very own Tokaj. In 2013 his first three wines were released, Kaláka Pince. The winery is located in Tállya which is nortwest of the village of Tokaj, but more precisely, northwest of the village of Mád.
The production in 2013 didn’t reach more than roughly 100 cases but the project will expand as the vineyards are there. At a recent visit to Hungary I was, thanks to a generous friend, fortunate to taste one of the three wines by Alkonyi László, the 2013 Tökösmál. The vineyard of Tökösmál has a history going way back and was already mentioned in the Bél Mátyás classification of the Tokaj vineyards in the 1730’s. 340 bottles were produced of this mainly Hárslevelű based wine. 30 percent of it is Furmint.
2013 Tökösmál, Kaláka Pince
Bright yellow color. On the nose a restrained impression with stone fruits, grape fruit, unripe peaches, wet rocks and a slightly vegetal feel. A slight hint of flowers in a subtle way. Still in a youthful phase. On the palate it demonstrates the vintage character quite distinctly; lots of acidity. Yellow fruits and green apples dominates at the moment, but there’s also a slight quince feeling and some smoke mixed with wet earth. The slight residual sugar level balances the acidity of the wine. The wine obviously has more than ten grams of sugar left but you wouldn’t want to be without it. Good intensity in the long finale. Only 13 percent of alcohol in this cool character Hárslevelű based Tokaj.
A promising start from Kaláka Pince. Now it’s all about getting some volume in to this!
Locate the wines of Kaláka Pince? Most likely only available, if even there, at the winery in Tállya. But with increased production, Kaláka shouldn’t have any difficulties at all finding retailers. Keep an eye after this one, yet a gem from Tokaj!