This is Hungary's answer to Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley. The sec offers piercing acidity with a little bit of cheesy funk. Best enjoyed with food, it shows what's possible from the dry wines of Tokaj.
- Variety: Furmint
- Region: Tokaj
- Vintage: 2013
Master Sommelier's notes
Hungary's Tokaj had been a prestigious wine region for hundreds of years, but fell into neglect during the 20th century. After the fall of communism, numerous groups invested in rehabilitating this nearly forgotten region. The most sagacious of these investors was Tony Hwang. In 1997, he partnered with the region's most eminent winemaker, István Szepsy, and, together, they rebuilt the historic Királyudvar estate into possibly Tokaj's finest modern practitioner. Tony Hwang’s purchase of Kiràlyudvar resulted from a visit to Budapest that year, when he drank a Tokaji Aszú recommended by a sommelier. The wine, with its profound identity and razor-sharp balance, made such an impression that Tony drove more than 200 kilometers the next day to Tokaj, where he discovered Kiràlyudvar (pronounced Kee-RYE-oohd-var). Just a few months after his visit, Tony purchased this estate, which for centuries had supplied Imperial wine to the Hapsburgs. The famed Tokaj winemaker Ivan Szepsy became Tony’s partner,helping him rehabilitate the vineyards, while the château itself was rebuilt.
With time, Szepsy departed, and Tony assumed the reins full-time. Along the way, he was counselled by Noël Pinguet of the Loire Valley's greatest Vouvray producer, Domaine Huët, of which Tony is also a partner. Noël’s collaboration would prove invaluable, particularly his advice to convert the estate to biodynamic viticulture. Today, Tony is rekindling the legacy of this providential wine region. But he’s not stopping there, having recognised, that Tokaj’s historic grape varieties, with their viscous intensity and bright acidity, could produce world-class dry, demi-sec, and sparkling wines "My enchantment with Tokaji wine and its renowned place in the history of the wine world led me down a wonderful path to Királyudvar. Together with my family, I made a commitment to the Tokaj region and secured the company's first ten hectare parcel, which eventually led to our first vintage wine, the '98 dessert Aszú." - Anthony Hwang