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Hungarian Reds

Hungarian Reds

Hungary is more famous for its whites but the wonderful summer and autumn of 2009 have produced some delightful reds. Chief buyer Sebastian Payne MW has selected three from the excellent Hilltop Winery for our new April List. The indigenous kékfrankos grape is highly prized in Hungary and across the border in Austria (where it is known as blaufränkisch) and produces wines of real character with lively, juicy, peppery fruit. In good years like 2009, it produces rich, dark, structured wines with distinctive brambly fruit flavours, good colour and rounded tannins. There is also a raciness to the acidity which gives the wine real freshness and appeal. Six months’ maturation in 500-litre Hungarian oak barrels adds a touch of spice and rounds out the flavour. A natural partner for rich stews and roast meats, this would be a good choice for a leg of spring lamb this Easter.

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