Awarded 92 points and Highly Recommended status by Decanter (www.decanter.com) in their August 2019 edition expert review of dry Hungarian Furmint (see blue link below).
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.
Could these vineyards be some of the oldest in the world? On the same latitude as Chablis, Tokaji experiences a much warmer climate because of its central European location and the sheltering Carpathian Mountains to the north, west and east. This, together with the influence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers, produces the magic combination of humid nights and warm, fine autumns which result in such fantastic sweet wines from botrytis grapes, similar to Sauternes.
Patricius is very much the new kid on the block, bursting onto the scene in 2005 with a succession of medals, awards and rapturous endorsement. Deszö Kékessy was a Hungarian exile during Communism, who returned to his beloved Tokaji having established a successful business in Switzerland. Little by little he has acquired 150 hectares of the very best vineyards, built a fabulous new winery and employed top winemaker Péter Molnár. Deszö’s daughter and son-in-law run what he has established as a true legacy for his family. The attention to detail is breathtaking: re-planting and even re-orienting rows of vines where necessary, and upholding a standard of perfection in both vine-growing and winemaking which is evident in the quality of the wines, which display exquisite elegance and class, with a fine tension between complex fruit and honey flavours, minerality and rapier-like acidity.
This wine is 100% Furmint.
To see an informative tasting note and technical sheet for this wine, please click on the blue link below.