Searching for a new wine grape to spice things up this spring? We’ve got one for you that’s just starting to hit in a big way. Shake off your winter blues and start quaffing a wine that’s crisp and light, like a wicker basket filled with cut green apples drizzled with honey. Add a squirt of lemon and a small handful of hazelnuts and you’ve got your new favorite white wine grape. Maybe she’s new to some, but to others she’s a very old friend. In fact, she’s been around for centuries. She is first mentioned in an ecclesiastical document dated 1611. Today she is grown over 10,000 acres in her home country. She has a few aliases: Mosler (in Austria), Sipon (in Slovenia and northern Croatia), and Zapfner (in Germany). Have you already met? Her name is Furmint, and she hails from Hungary.
You may remember Furmint from your last glass of Tokaji, Hungary’s famed sweet wine. As you would suspect, the grape is late-ripening and prone to botrytis. Thus her dry manifestations are all the more special. The careful attention and care that goes into dry Furmint wines afford them a great deal of esteem. Fortunately for you, they are packed with value. Look for a dry Furmint to replace some of the more overhyped and overpriced white grapes and regions. It’s hard to find this level of quality in the under $20 to $30 range. Your wallet, and palate, will thank you.
A few dry to try:
Grassy green lemon notes in the nose with a touch of an oaty note and a whiff of honey. This carries a lot of acidity and zesty citrus peel, is full and fruity, with notes of green melon and a pronounced line note on the finish.
Light pineapple and soft melon aromas with lightly floral tangerine notes. Nice green acidity in the mouth and showing some healthy lemon lime notes and a nutty creamy finish.
Light lemon aromas with a floral hint. Showing soft and mellow acidity in the glass with hints of peach and melon coming through the mid palate and a touch of vanilla coming through on the finish showing a hint of soft oak. There’s a white blossom note as well up front which carries through to the finish.
Degenfeld Zomborka Furmint 2014 ($24)
Nice steely mineral top note up front with a smooth melon note and some zesty lemon. Peach and melon note with lemon and fresh green grassy quality and refreshing zesty finish of lime.
And when you’re in the mood for something sweet, Furmint is a true champion:
Basilicus Szamordni Sweet Furmint 2012 ($30)
Gorgeous clementine and orange blossom aromas feathered with peach and lemon zest. Sweet and light in the mouth, with more orange notes that are further towards marmalade and cream while still having a fair bit of acidity holding up the palate well.
Barta Szamorodni Sweet Furmint 2013 ($47)
Delicate tangerine and rose petal aromas. Softly sweet and certainly smooth in the mouth, yet lively and full with notes of tangerine, ripe melon and fresh apple, and a long creamy finish dappled with honey.
Published on: 03/21/2016
By: Claudia Angelillo