by Peter McCombie MW
Bull’s Blood aka Egri Bikaver is a name that for some might trigger memories of cheap student drinking. These days Eger in northern Hungary has more to offer the inquisitive drinker. Its cool climate and diverse soils produce aromatic red and white wines with freshness and drinkability. Family-owned Ostoros is the largest producer in the area. Owner Soltész Gergő says that’s a winning combination, allowing them to produce a wide selection of outstanding price-quality ration wines. Egri Csillag is a new style of white blend, that must contain local ‘Carpathian Basin’ grapes, usually partnered with international varieties. Ostoros’ 2016 is appealing, grapey and fruity but dry. It is very quaffable and lingers in the mouth. Soltesz Egri Bikaver 2015 offers fresh, primary, dark, earthy fruit aromas, then youthful, soft tannins; it’s gluggable and chillable too, when the sun shines.