• Furmint, what the grape?

    Many of you are probably wondering – what kind of grape is furmint? 

    I didn’t know much about it myself before I travelled to Tokaj, the region where the grape has its capital seat in Hungary, and where it is a key ingredient in the world-famous sweet wine Aszú – that Louis XV called “the Wine of Kings, and The King of Wines” historically.

    Furmint has hundreds of years of tradition in Tokaj, however, in the past 15 years the grape has been rediscovered and spreading all over Hungary. In 2016 it was planted in 20 wine regions out of 22.

    landscape_tokajI often get the question which grape it is similar to, and I don’t believe there is an easy, straight answer. However, experts say it has the structure of Chardonnay, the fruitness of Chenin Blanc and the acidity of Riesling..

    Matt Walls, british wine consultant and writer; “it’s got everything you could desire in a grape, being a rare combination of powerful aromatics, minerality, richness and body. It deserves to be held in the same esteem as better known varieties such as Pinot Gris, Chenin Blanc and Grüner Veltliner. So if you haven’t discovered it yet – start drinking Furmint.

    You can read his full article here: http://www.timatkin.com/articles?511

    Matt also believes it is one of the most versatile white grapes on the planet, great for everything from sparkling wine to complex dry whites, to sweet wines with great longevity (often blended with Hársleveü and Yellow Muscat) thanks to its high acidity and sugar content.

    Sweet Tokaji wine was extremely popular at the time of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (1867-1918), when Furmint increased its grown area significantly. The variety can still be found in the empire’s former lands, for instance in Austria, Slovakia and Slovenia.

    The dry furmint wines can have great complexity and concentration, and as the grape adapts well to its surroundings, it  expresses the terroir beautifully. In the mouth it has a delicate fruity character of peer and quince, some exotic spices like clove, white flowers and of course minerality if the soil is rich in minerals. As it ages, Furmint wine takes gold, copper and amber-like colors and nutty, spicy flavors. Sweeter styles are rich and luscious, with complex apricot, marzipan and black-tea flavors backed by aromas of brown spices and honey.

    Apparently 2011 and 2015 were exceptionally gorgeous, harmonious vintages, and now we are about to find out if 2016 turned out as good!

    Synonyms include: Mosler, Sipon (Slovenia), Moslovac (Serbia), Zapfner, Posip (Croatia).

    Hungry Wines Furmint Barrique 2009, an aged wine that has been matured in oak barrels 17 months

    Furmint Barrique 2009, an aged wine that has been matured in oak barrels 17 months – delicious with a creamy pasta carbonara!

    Food pairings:

    Dry, unoaked younger wines: Chicken, fresh, herbal dishes, mozzarella and parma ham salad (possibly also with figs)

    Oaked, matured furmints – Buttery dishes, duck and roasted pork, smoked ham and cheese

    Sweet wines – A traditional suggestion is the Hungarian fruit cake but the truth is most sweet desserts are delicious pairings, not to forget strong blue/green cheese like roquefort is a dream match!

    We naturally suggest you to try our own special treat to your favourite dessert; The Golden Cuvée – it has yet never disappointed.

    Hungry Wines The Golden Cuvée - Sweet wine from Tokaji on the base of Furmint and other local grapes, and pannacotta topped with berries

    The Golden Cuvée, Sweet wine from Tokaji on the base of Furmint and other local grapes, and pannacotta topped with berries