A new Hungarian retailer: wines from Best of Hungary

I recently tasted through some wines from a new UK retailer of Hungarian wines, Best of Hungary. Hungary’s wines aren’t well known in this country. These are my notes – some were lovely, and a couple were a bit problematic.

Kreinbacher Birtok Classic Brut NV Somlo, Hungary
12% alcohol
£20.59 Best of Hungary
Traditional method sparkling wine. This is crisp and taut with some toasty development and real finesse. There’s good concentration with some pear and apple richness, and a lemony finish that tapers nicely. This has a delicious crystalline character and lovely purity to the fruit. Some generosity, but also some tension. A superb wine. 92/100

Gróf Buttler Kadarka 2015 Eger, Hungary
14.5% alcohol
£22.59 Best of Hungary
Palish cherry red in colour. Supple and grainy with sweet cherry and plum fruit. It has a nice texture with elegance and spiciness, showing red fruits and fine herbs. Nicely elegant with a twist of sour cherry and orange peel adding balance to the smooth, sweet red fruits. It’s like Pinot Noir meets Cinsault. Drinking beautifully now. 93/100

St. Andrea Hangács Dűlő Cru Egri Bikavér Grand Superior 2017 Eger, Hungary
14.5% alcohol
£23.95 Taste of Hungary
Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) is a famous Hungarian red wine style from the Eger and Szekszárd regions, involving blending at least three varieties. This is a blend of Kekfrankos, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir and Kadarka. It has an aromatic nose of blackberry, blackcurrant and some nice green leafy notes. The palate has ripe, lush berry fruits, but also some freshness with a green edge to the sweet berry fruits. It has some warmth, and some meaty, savoury richness as well as appealing spice, tar and green herb characters as a side note. 91/100 (£23.95 Taste of Hungary)

Balassa Villo Mézes-Mály Furmint 2016 Tokaj, Hungary
12.5% alcohol
£40.79 Best of Hungary
This is quite delicate with a nice acid line, and a crystalline minerality. But there’s also quite a bit of toasty, vanilla oak. Real finesse on the fruit side: let’s hope the oak integrates better with time. 87/100

Figula Balatonfüredi Olaszrizling ‘Sáfránkert’ 2017 Balaton, Hungary
14.5% alcohol
£20.45 Best of Hungary
This has a slightly rubbery reductive edge to the sweet pear and citrus fruit, with some waxy notes. There’s nice acidity with some herby notes. Juicy with some spicy notes on the finish. If it wasn’t for the vinyl-like reduction, this would be a really nice wine. 84/100

Figula Bella Róza Cabernet Sauvignon Rosé 2018 Balaton, Hungary
12.5% alcohol
£19.79 Best of Hungary
Nicely packaged, this is bright and fresh with red cherry and citrus fruit. It’s juicy and linear with nice precision, showing a stony edge to the bright fruit. 89/100

Website: Best of Hungary