Hungarian Wine in the Pink
by Elizabeth Gabay MW
Every region in Hungary, apart from maybe Tokaj, makes rosé wine. Although no strong regional characters have yet to emerge, there are a few indicators to local styles.
The northern regions of Eger, Mátra, Pannonhalma and Sopron have vibrant fresh acidity and crisp red fruit. The warmer vineyards around Lake Balaton, Szekszárd and Villány have softer riper fruit flavours, sometimes with a creamy finish. The volcanic soils of the northern shore of Balaton, Somló and parts of Eger have some extra mineral character.
Few Hungarian rosés use oak or make weightier ‘gastronomic’ styles, but these more gastronomic styles are growing in number. The majority focus on the pure fruit character of single varietal, or the occasional blend rosés, made with a range of international and local varieties.
As a general guideline, Kékfrankos, Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon can make rosés with leafy fresh acidity and mineral structure. Kadarka and Pinot Noir make fresh cherry fruit rosés with elegant silky structure. Zweigelt, Blauerportugeiser, Merlot, Gamay and Nero (a new Hungarian cross) can also be found.
Drunk fresh, or as a spritzer, and sparkling rosé are popular throughout the summer in Hungary. Just look for the fruit.