My friend and walking wine encyclopedia Cliff Batuello promised to bring some wine made from juhfark, a Hungarian grape. Cliff works for Michael Skurnik wines and the company has an employee, who is Hungarian and is starting to expand their Hungarian portfolio. Needless to say the wine sold out immediately. So he showed up with a white that is 60 percent harslevelu, 30 furmint and 10 percent juhfark. The first two varieties are used to make the most famous Hungarian wine, the sweet Tokay, named after the region.

To tell you the truth, we had a little trouble deciphering the label of this wine.

We know Nagy-Somlo is the region, in western Hungary approaching the Austrian border. It’s a subregion of Lake Balaton, Europe’s largest lake.

From the OCW:

On the slopes of an extinct volcano north west of Lake Balaton is the once historic wine region of Somló, whose wood-aged, blended wines once enjoyed a similar reputation to those of Tokay. Juhfark was once prized here, along with Furmint, but today Olaszrizling, Hárslevelű, and Traminer are in the ascendant. The small wine region of Somló is attracting increasing investment as its potential for elegant, age-worthy wines with a distinctive mineral character becomes evident.

A Google search reveals Szent Ilona means Saint Helena, and I got this from a page written in Hungarian. Further investigation proved borhaz means winery, or winehouse, as bor means wine. (Side note: Hungarian and Greek are the two languages where the word for wine is not derived from the Roman.)

Tradicio must be the name of the wine, as it uses traditional varieties.

Cliff said it’s wine for people who like to drink chardonnay but don’t want to. It has some apple peel, with meaty minerality in the back, crisp mouthfilling and tangy. Long on the palate.

As for juhfark. it means sheep’s tail. What else can I add?


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