As the mighty Magyar say, “borban a boldogság”. Or in English, “in wine there is happiness”.
Hungarian wine production has seen a recent revival, with many wineries restoring ancient vineyards and reviving traditional winemaking methods. The village of Mád (apparently you don’t have to be mad to live there) regained its former acclaim as the centre of Tokaji production. Tokaj Classic Winery was born as three of Mád’s musicians refurbished an old estate and acquired vineyards in the prime locations of Király-hegy and Betsek, formerly owned by the Hungarian nobility. The region, sheltered by the Carpathian mountain range, enjoys a moist, warm autumn, perfect to encourage noble rot – essential for the production of fine Tokaji.
The winemaker, Imre Galambosi, was the local mayor for eight years, so expect a Tokaji with some authority! Made from a traditional mix of Furmint, Hárslevelű and Muscat, this perfumed, elegant and vegan-friendly Late Harvest bursts with notes of marmalade, fresh blood orange, golden sultana, honey and orchard flowers. Now with a little bottle age, this is also starting to develop beautiful beeswax, petrol and spice highlights. Discerningly sweet, the palate is lifted by a vivacious acidity and a distinctive minerality. Complex and multi-layered, this wine is perfect to pair with fruit-based desserts, Tarte Tatin, orange-flavoured chocolate, paté, hard cheeses, Stilton, festive treats or even some Sichuan and Thai dishes.