May 02 2016

The beauty and diversity of dry furmint

Published by at 10:18 am under Hungarian Wine,Tokaj Wines

The beauty and diversity of dry Furmint

Just a month after the successful ProWein 2016 where a number of seminars were organized amongst them with some focus on the variety, Furmint as well I finally manage to post my long due notes on the Great Furmint tasting: Furmint February.

Another quick word on the seminar which was presented by Demetri Walters MW of Berry Brod & Rudd with the title The dry way of Furmint, life beyond  aszú; feautered a staggering number of (mainly) dry Furmint´s from virtually all the possible origins of Hungary. Credit to Demetri he managed to wiz through them within the given time limit which was certainly challenging. As the sheer diversity and high quality of Furmint needs time and attention as well.

A month before the ProWein 2016 the biggest tasting of Furmint wines took place in Hungary at the Vajdahunyad castle, the Furmint February. The first great themed tasting devoted exclusively to the variety.

Furmint it´s capable to produce everything from fine sparkling wine to light and full bodied white and some of the greatest natural sweet wines of the world, the Tokaji aszú. I use to say it can make everything but red wine. 

And since a few months there is also a Riedel Furmint glass as well. And of course the best possible event to savour from the new glass: Furmint February. While I tried it out myself and more than proud that the variety received one more global recognition, however it would be interesting to do a non biased blind tasting with consumer when it comes to glass preferences. Happy to participate of course. 

If I have to summarize Hungary´s currently fourth most planted variety, the Furmint is still shares a great diversity along the region and even within as well. Said that the typicity and styles are getting more defined. I believe Furmint from Somló tends to have less alcohol vs. from Tokaj. Also the type of acidity is less racy in Somló with a certain depth of stony, mineral flavour as well as certain rusticity. Tokaj tends to be more diverse due to the bigger area as well as influence of loess soil around Tokaj and Tarcal yielding more perfume, fragrant and certain lightness compared to the other areas which tend to be heavier and fuller in style. Would love get more general descriptors on commune and vineyard level but I personally – and I believe everybody else too- need more tasting experience wines showing consistency, focus on village and individual sites.

But the future is bright passing a lesser 2014 vintage, the 2015s look very promising. Great concentration of fruit, ripeness and not too alcoholic, good balance in the structure. Not sure if the wines will age very long, but they will drink lovely in a certain drinking window offering plenty of joy and fine fruit concentration.

Tasting notes 4.2.2016. (they are all Furmint if not otherwise indicated plus info vineyard site if single vineyard)

Basilicus Estate

Lapis 2012

Honey, marzipan and elderflower perfume on the nose. Dry, nutty, spice, almond and marzipan note on the palate. With supple mid palate and firm finish. Touch of oxidative note with aged/developed notes in hot pursuit.

Drink now

Kikelet Estate

Lonyai 2015

Cloudy colour not yet bottled. Juicy full bodied, rich spice, ripe and exotic fruit on the finish. Elegant fairly full on the palate, very good indeed. Matured in 5 hl Hungarian oak barrel.

Drink 2017-2023


Pale lemon colour. Perfume fresh dried floral notes and quince on the back. Honey fresh style on the nose, bright. Fresh lean bright dry finish on the palate. Some notes of lemon grass and juice horse radish in the background. Juicy grapefruit.

Drink now

Dorogi Testvérek (Brothers)

Mézes Mály 2011

Floral notes with some oxidative style. Fine yet robust on the palate with fruit and smooth texture in combination. Fleshy citrus fruit, lime and lemon grass. Juicy finish it showed more palate concentration as it was fairly sulphurous on the nose.

Drink now – 2018

Myrtus Pince


Very pale colour. Lemon, citrus fresh bright zesty clean fruit driven style.

Drink now – 2017


Sec 13

Lemon colour. Fresh quince “natural” style with some funkiness going on. Citrus, lime fresh apple. Juicy bright notes lime zest lemon complex on palate good finish and length. Fine focus and it performs well -better- on the palate. Good depth.

Drink now – 2018

Demi sec 2012

Floral and honey notes of nectarine. Coming mainly from the Betsek vineyards. Gorgeous perfume dash of honey on the nose. Off dry (20 g/l RS), elegant, delicate note rich smooth fine fruit good depth followed by marzipan, exotic sweet fruit combo medium finish.

Drink now – 2020

Lapis 2010

Golden colour. Smoky spice, attention needed. Spice, apple, quince, ripe fruit combo. Rich good sweetness but balanced all over the place. Ethereal, light notes on palate yet focused. Fine sweetness, 50 g/l RS, plenty of acidity but all integrated. Good finish pleasant indeed.

Drink now -2030

Tornai Winery

Apátsági Selection 2012

Lemon colour. Quince fresh jam white stone fruit on the nose. Ripe fruit, led by stone fruit, peach, apricot, pear and quince, smooth finish, fine touch on the mid palate.

Drink now – 2020


Fine fruit smooth note, ripe and elegant. Crisp juicy fruity on the finish. Plenty of action going on but foremost clean bright fruit of quince with dash of peppery spice.

Drink now – 2018

Kolonics Winery


Fiery smoky cool fruit on the nose. Fine precision followed by ripe fruit, delicate stone fruit and pine flavours good depth and body.

Drink now – 2020


Spice  on the nose followed by ripe fruit quite powerful and pronounced. Juicy on the palate with richness and some boldness. Lacks the finesse but still elegant despite the raw power.

Drink now – 2021

Barnabás Kézmüves Winery


Floral spice and smoky in combination with some floral character. Slightly closed, recently bottled. On the palate it opens with juicy, lemon and citrus. Vanilla and creamy style in the background, good amount of oak fills up the wine but still delicate.

Drink now – 2018


Floral smoky perfume pear quince notes. Crisp vibrant fresh juicy floral lemongrass grapefruit on the palate. Hint of sweetness of fruit on finish, quite appealing. Vibrant, vibrant and once again vibrant.

Drink now – 2018


Extra dry 13

Slightly closed on the nose. Floral, quince aromatics.

Dash of sweetness yet very juicy and elegant note with a fresh clean lees note at the end.

Drink now – 2018


Closed nose.

Fresh crisp juicy perfume note. With a distinct stony stony slightly sturdy linear mineral texture. Quince and pear on the finish high acidity.

Drink now – 2020

St. Donat

Birtok 2013 (Estate wine)

Coming only from limestone. Slightly sulphurous nose. Sturdy palate and linear style in combination with grapefruit and citrus on the finish.

Drink now – 2018

Márga 13

Lemon colour. Rough smoky hint of sulphurous character. Crisp juicy lemon citrus with some peach and floral touch. Zesty mineral and linear style. Good depth of fine fruit.

Drink now – 2019

Skrabski Winery


Fruity pear drop fresh style. Wild yeast ferment. Simple fresh finish with good fruit some delicate pear, quince and peach.

Drink now

Katona Winery

Betsek 2014

Golden colour. Still in oak. Honey, smoky, quince pear on the palate. Lean and fresh texture with bright zesty finish.

Drink now – 2018

Kôporos 13

Quince, fruity simple linear fresh style. Pear fruity style. Juicy fresh elegant notes easy to drink.

Drink now

Chateau Cloche

2015 bottling in March

Lemon colour vibrant yet ruffled nose. Quince, pear moderately intense. Ripe, smoky spice fine fruit full bodied good depth and richness. Finishes slightly raw with bold fruity flavours.

Drink 2017-2022

Szamorodni 2008 dry

Dry szamorodni is a rather tricky task Ch. Cloche makes only in certain vintages dry szamorodni. 2008 only 1650 bottles were made. Cold soaking took place for 36 hours, pressing and straight to fermentation in barrels (225 L oak), one racking bottled in March 2011. The key to dry szamorodni is checking SO2 levels levels regularly during the 4 months fermentation and afterwards too. Usually there is a one year of floor layer and 25 litre lower amount of wine in the barrel.

Deep golden colour. Floral, tangerine, mandarin on the nose with hint of exotic fruit. Fine fruit but it´s the almond, spice character which is dominating.

Drink now – 2020

Czemiczki Winery

Petrács 2014

Lemon colour. The nose shows buttery pear and some lightness. Dry, fresh fruit with bright pear and quince, ripe fruit on the finish.

Drink now – 2019


Barakonyi 2015

Lemon green colour. Fresh fruit quince bright style and clean. Touch of co2 crisp refreshing, bright simple flavours.

Drink now – 2019


Birtok (Estate) 2013

21 kmw. Ripe fruit good richness plenty of intensity. Bold style with 8 g/l rs and high acidity fine fruit smooth ripe finish.

Drink now – 2020



Degorment took place in 2015 November. Small bubbles, closed nose. Fresh lime and juicy crisp kick off linear style. Followed by citrus and lime hint of quince on the finish.

Drink now


Nyerges 2013

Lemon colour. Coconut, smoky cool fresh fruit. Ripe fruit good depth vanilla cream note. Finishes with almond, spice citrus notes. Slightly heavy on the finish.

Drink now 2019

Bodrog Bormühely

Mesés furmint 2013

Sweet late harvest, complex fresh elegant built up of natural sugar. Elegant and long finish with pear, peach quince fruity notes dash of spice in the background.

Bott Frigyes


Lemon colour citrus zest floral light nose. Similar freshness is coming through the palate, bright and crunchy zesty quality of fruit.

Drink now – 2020

Super Granum 2013 (blend of Furmint)

Lemon colour. Smoky perfume linden lime tree on the nose. Zesty rich on palate long and fill style with the combination of vibration and focus elegant good finish.

Drink now – 2020

Nagy sagmeister

Szigeti 2013

Floral spice smoky notes. Raw spice clayish nose kick off. Followed by horseradish sweet spice marzipan and caramel.

Drink now

Tokaj Nobilis

Csirke 2015

Clean citrus grapefruit elegant nose. Moderately intense on the palate, yet very pure and crisp with a lovely juicy style indeed.

Drink now – 2022

Barakonyi 15

Citrus fresh floral elegant nose. Dry, crisp feminine citrus fresh grapefruit. With smooth texture and dash of perfume. Long finish well balanced, graceful.

Drink now 2022

Bott Winery

Csontos 2014

Spice smooth ripe juicy mineral note. Fine fruit on the palate despite the vintage still full bodied and rich style. Very likeable.

Drink now – 2019

Orsolyák Attila


Citrus lime fresh nose. Fresh zesty lime and elegant oak use on palate with good focus and concentration, bright. Fine smooth finish.

Drink now – 2020

Erzsébet Winery

Birtok 2012

Spice tangerine horseradish nose, spice linear. Fresh citrus crust and lime squeezed, bright picture very elegant with vibrant mid palate and moderately long finish.

Drink now – 2018

TR Mûvek

Nyári 2014

Pale lemon colour. Citrus fresh and brightness. Followed by similar palate of juicy lemon grass, tangerine. Hint of grassy green herbaceous note on the finish. Lean (vintage) but still good.

Drink now


Smoky spice fresh juicy nose. Medium body yet elegant with some sunny character. Lemon grass and dash of grapefruit. Zesty fairly long finish.

Drink now – 2020

Gizella Winery

Szil völgy 2013

Lemon colour. Spice fresh fruit linden leaf and lime notes, elegant yet still and explosion on the nose. Very rich indeed, plenty of layers and depth to discover. Rich and ripe flavours fine notes elegant, expressive mouth feel. Finishing with caramel and candy fruit, exciting.

Drink now – 2025

Balassa Winery

Betsek 2011

Smoke spice rich nose. Plenty of vibration starting here already, multi layered fruit. Full bodied with quince, mineral character dash of saltiness and hint of caramel, dark chocolate touch of bitter almond on the finish alcohol seems to be heating the action.

Drink now – 2021

Barta Winery

Öregkirály 2013

Perfume on the nose spice followed by apricot and stony aromatics. Ripe juicy kick off some rs look ok. Tangerine, bold fruit, brisk style the touch of sweetness welcomes the freshness and shows some balance.

Drink now – 2024

Zombory Winery


Smoky spice some floral touch. Quince in combo with some pear and fresh honey. Caramel hint of bitterness and cough syrup, medicinal note on the finish.

Drink now

Anna Estate


Golden colour. Citrus marzipan touch followed by cured fresh meat and smoked meat on the nose. Caramel slight bitter touch on the finish, easy finish.

Drink now

Bihari Winery

Kishegyi 2015

Very pale colour. Citrus fresh bright notes elegant style. Juicy on the palate, lots of grapefruit and dash of lemon grass. Zesty fine finish.

Drink now – 2020

rwz revolution

pirkad 2013

Abrand tends to be the fresher and much more easy drinking of the two. Pirkad full bodied, rich almond, spice smoky finish. Fairly rich abv yet good freshness coming through.

Drink now


Király 2013

Smoky nose there is some popcorn buttery character to be followed. Dry fresh style with caramel and buttery popcorn on the palate, almost sweet structure of fruit shining through with nutty elegant yet full bodied finish.

Drink now – 2022

Tokaj Grand (formally Trade House Company/ Kereskedöház)

Premium Furmint 2015

Fresh fruity nose. Quince, Williams pear and some pear drop. Bold fine fruit with youngish notes, crisp finish.

Drink now – 2018

Dobogó 2010, 6 p aszú

Nice to go out with a bang. Not yet bottled (still in barrel) the 2008 is coming soon to the market but the 2010 will be also very good. Nothing less you expect from Attila Domonkos head winemaker of the property Dobogó in Tokaj. Golden colour, great layers of fruit apricot, quince, ripe pear. Asian exotic spiciness followed by some tangerine and lemon zest. Sweet but remarkably fresh, such a vibration on the palate it makes you just sip, drink and consider how good it is.

Drink 2020-2060

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