Kovacs Nimrod: Blues in My Wineglass
Nimrod Kovács is, first and foremost a businessman. Following a successful career in the States, Nimrod returned to Hungary to follow his dream and create his own wine domaine.
A love of history (he collects antiques and old books) led him to Eger, with its long tradition of wine production. Rather than building a brand new modern cellar, he has renovated a row of seven old cellars in the town, retaining as much of the traditional character as possible.
A modern business approach means that Nimrod has moved away from the folk tradition of marketing the traditional Bikaver wines of Eger as Bull’s Blood, and instead uses his own clear brand image. Closely following the appellation levels of classic, superior and grande superior. Inspired by his love of jazz, the stylish labels for the Monopole range (classic and superior) bear names such as Soul, Rhapsody and Blues and come in burgundy bottles. The Grande cru wines, in Bordeaux bottles, refer to their terroir with a drawing of the steep limestone hill of Nagy Eged, where the vines grow.
This same focus on international and local can be seen in his varieties and winemaking. The wines have a modern touch with an appealing purity of fruit and balanced structure with restrained oak character from the use of Hungarian oak and minerality from the local volcanic soils. Nimrod feels Eger has a strong affinity to Burgundy and the northern Rhone, and has accordingly planted Pinot Noir (Burgundy clones) and Syrah (northern Rhone clones) and Chardonnay (aged on the lees) bottled as varietals which clearly show the quality of the region and winemaking. Hungarian varieties such as Furmint (taken from cuttings from renowned Tokaj producer Istvan Szepsy) and Kékfrankos (NJK and Grande Bleu) are a great introduction to traditional Hungarian wines.
As Nimrod says – Cheers!
Elizabeth Gabay MW