Taste: Full and luscious with aromas of honey, apple, lemon, spicy oak and occasional nutty tones are followed by flavors of honey, baked apple, citrus fruits, pear and apricot, with mineral notes on the finish.
Dry / Sweet: Usually dry (can be off-dry)
Acidity: Medium to high
Age: Drink within a few years, but the best wines have greater aging potential.
Aka: Also known as Šipon (SHEE-pon) in Slovenia. In Austria it is know as Mosler and Zapfner.
Other: Tends to be high in alcohol
Furmint (FOOR-mint) is a very high quality grape variety that may be indigenous to Hungary, although it could possibly have been introduced there in the thirteenth century. Either way, it has a long tradition and is most famous for the leading role it plays – along with Hárslevelü and Muscat Lunel – in creating Hungary’s legendary Tokaji sweet dessert wine, which is one of the world’s greatest.
It is also capable of making excellent dry varietal wine (note: some are off-dry). These wines are rich and full bodied with a luscious texture, whilst also retaining good acidity. Aromas of honey, apple, lemon, spicy oak and occasional nutty tones are followed by flavors of honey, baked apple, citrus fruits, pear and apricot with mineral notes on the finish. They are generally fermented and aged to some extent in Hungarian oak. At their best, these wines display great complexity and can age for several years.
During the forty years of Communist rule, from 1949 to 1989, winemaking in Hungary went into serious decline. Fortunately, there has been a great revival since then with significant internal and external investment in vineyards. Hungary’s great wine tradition is being restored with some very exciting wines in prospect over the coming years.
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