Reviewed in The Times by Jane MacQuitty on Saturday 8th March, 2019 in her round-up, "Fancy a Furmint"? (see blue link below).
Tokaj is a region bordered by the rivers Bodrog and Tisza in the northeastern corner of Hungary, 120 miles from Budapest. It consists of 28 villages spread over the Tokaj hills at approximately 220 metres above sea level. Founded in 1869, the Dobogó estate is in the centre of Tokaj and today belongs to Izabella Zwack, the youngest member of the Zwack family (the producers of Hungary's famous liqueur, Unicum).
Grapes were grown in the 35-year-old vineyards of Betsek and Szent Tamás in Mád. Both vineyards are planted with three of the permitted Tokaj grape varieties - 60% Furmint, 30% Harslevelú and 10% Muscat Lunel, although for this wine, only Furmint was used. Yields were restricted using short spur pruning which ensured that the vines did not yield more than one kilogram of fruit per vine. Soils in this area are volcanic.
The grapes were harvested by hand. Fermentation took place using natural yeasts in three and four-year-old Hungarian oak barrels of 300- 500 litre capactiy. After undergoing battonage, or stirring of the lees, for a period of six months it was aged for one year before bottling.
This, according to winemaker Attila Domokos is one of the most lean and mineral Furmints in the history of Dobogó dry whites. It captures Mád, Tokaj and the philosophy of Dobogó excellently all in one. It is pale golden in colour and sparkles in the glass. The minerality of Tokaj appears undeniably on the nose, embroidered with fresh citrus and hints of orange peel. Rich and characterful on the palate.
Rich honey flavours, restrained by the dryness. Mint/aniseed and almond/nutty notes, fruit flavours mainly of stewed pears and stone fruit. Has biting acidity, balanced by its richness and just a modicum of sweetness.