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This Hungarian blend of eight varieties including kékfrankos, kadarka and pinot noir is a bigger and more generous wine than normal, thanks to the ripe 2017 vintage, packed with dark cherry and bramble flavours, with savoury cedar and bay-leaf notes.
Product Code: HU1371
View all products by St Andrea
Eger is one of Hungary’s most famous wine regions, noted for its hearty red ‘Bull’s Blood’ wines, and winemakers Lõrincz György and Lõrincz György Jr. believe that there are many exciting possibilities yet from this historic area. St Andrea have lifted this name to a completely new level, by creating a higher grade Egri Bikaver quite unlike the cheap Bull’s Blood still on the mass market. Theirs is half kékfrankos with merlot and pinot noir and just a smidge of kadarka and cabernet franc. They work in a thoroughly modern winery but have faith in tried and true traditional methods too, trusting their unique terroirs and their careful tending of the vineyards to supply them with high-quality fruit. The estate covers four different locations and nine distinct plots, most of which feature soils that are essentially volcanic ash compacted over millennia at various depths across the sites. They are the best company by a yard in Eger.
The Romans cultivated vines in Pannonia from the second century AD and despite a period of Ottoman Muslim rule in parts of Hungary during the 16th and 17th centuries and the dead hand of state control in the second half of the 20th Hungary has adapted well to the demands of a modern free market, and particularly an export driven one. Since the fall of communism in the late 1980s the Hungarian wine industry has garnered foreign and local investment and adopted modern technological and viticultural practises to improve the quality of the wines. The principal wine growing regions sit between 45o and 50o latitude, similar to Burgundy to the west. The continental climate of landlocked Hungary is one of extremely cold winters and long, hot summers followed by prolonged, usually sunny autumns. Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest lake, provides a moderating effect on winter and summer temperatures, as does the Tisza River that glides past the Tokaji region, the Neusiedlersee that the border region of Sopron shares with Austria, and the Danube for the winemaking areas of the north such as Transdanubia.The vineyards are spread all over the country so soil types are not homogenous over such a large area, but one common theme is the volcanic nature of many. The Great Plain area where much of Hungary’s more generic offerings originate is mostly sand and loess. Tokaji is Hungary’s most famous wine. Recent investment has paid dividends in re-establishing a reputation for greatness that was forged in medieval times and diluted during Communist rule when all wines were exported through a monopoly little interested in providing quality and these great sweet wines might even be pasteurised. The confluence of the river Tisza and a smaller, cooler tributary provides the conditions for the creation of the ‘Breath of God’, or morning mists, in the same way the merging of the Cerons and the Gironde do in Sauternes. This in turn encourages the formation of botrytis cinerea, a fungus that feeds on the moisture in a grape, concentrating the sugars and changing its structure. The result is some of the best and most luscious sweet wines in the world, made from the indigenous furmint, harslevelu, oremus or zeta, and koverszolo varieties, together with muscat.In the south-west, on the border with Croatia, the Villány-Siklós region is fast developing a reputation for excellent wines, and in the north-east is the Eger region, modern home to the famous and sturdy Bull’s Blood, arguably Hungary’s second most famous wine though not necessarily the origin of the widely exported brand of the last century.Although many international varieties such as cabernet sauvignon and franc, pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc have been planted and are making excellent wines, the Hungarians have retained many native central European vines. Kadarka, kekfrankos (aka blaufränkisch), irsai oliver and the aforementioned furmint and harslevelu have a long history and can make characterful wines.The Hungarian authorities have developed an appellation system modelled on the French and Austrian versions and 22 regions are currently recognised.
"A very enjoyable drop. Good with cheese and spicy food. Will be buying again."
I would recommend this wine
"Quite complex and subtle. Fresh red fruit with spice and a good length. A decent Bikaver."
I would recommend this wine
"I really enjoy this wine. It is an improvement over the 2016 which was also very good for a Bikaver. I always try to keep one or two in the rack."
"I see this has now reappeared as 2017 vintage. Previous comments apply, we actually did drink this vintage.
Well done WS I'll be buying some!"
"A very enjoyable drop. Good with cheese and spicy food. Will be buying again."
There are no press reviews for this product.
"I enjoyed this wine recently on a visit to Budapest. It was by far the best we tasted.
It was so good that I took all the details, telling my friends that it was good enough to be on the WS list!
Well it was until recently so I'm most disappointed it is not now. Beautifully supple, round and fruity, I can only agree with previous descriptions of this
cracking wine. Restaurant price in Hungary was approx £20.
I will be suggesting to the East European buyer to stock it again - with promotion, it'll be a great success.
Mr Laurence Hunt (26-Sep-2019)
"Just the one bottle as part of a lateral drinking case.
Equivalent to a Tuscan red says the description. Colour me sceptical, let's have some with pizza.
Yes, it is, it really is!
At this price point is it "better" than a Tuscan or Sicilian bottle?
I don't think I'd buy a case but if a bottle or two came in a mix then it would be tempting.
Mr Colin P Smith (08-Apr-2019)
Mr Richard Simon (16-Mar-2019)
"Really enjoyed this. Would definitely buy again."
Mr Dominic Murphy (25-Feb-2019)
"I think this is the best Bikaver I have tried to date. It smells amazing and it's taste is very good. The dark cherry comes through in the taste and smell. "
Mr Paul Filep (05-Feb-2019)
"Colour: Ruby red with a purple rim.
Aroma: Starts ripe, sweet and fruity; cherry, raspberry, blackberry and vanilla underpinned by earthy aromas of mushroom, clay pot and leather.
Taste: Medium-bodied, sappy, modest tannin and a silky smooth texture. Good mid-palate, core flavour of red berries with a touch of spice on the med- finish.
Overall: Very enjoyable, nose and texture stand out. Fruit and oak work well together, good balance, a well made wine. Fairly priced and I would recommend "
Mr Gabriel Higgins (30-Dec-2018)
Foodism (27th Mar 2019)
"Cedar and bay bring
balance to the smooth sweetness of dark cherry in this lightly oaked blend."
"It's average, nothing more and somewhat overpriced. Tasted rather raw and sharp to me and I didn't get the promised silky palate. A blend of eight grapes which ends up tasting of nothing in particular."
Mr Richard Morris (02-Mar-2018)
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