Top 10 Wines 2011 (#2) Hungarian Harslevelu
Once you get the pronunciation down (harsh-lev-aloo), you’ll be buying this wine every chance you get. Typically this grape, which is indigenous to Hungary, is a vital component in Tokaji wines – both sweet and dry. However, on a recent trip to Budapest and numerous wine tastings, our favorite example of this grape comes from the Lake Balaton region of Somlo.
The best versions of this wine (two of which are tied for our favorite wines this year) taste like a mythical love-child of dry Germany riesling and Chablis. Weird, right? But it’s so unique there isn’t any other real comparison in terms of texture, color and flavor. Plus, because this is a relatively “undiscovered” region, the top wines can be had for very reasonable prices. In fact, you’ll be pretty hard pressed to pay more than $20 for a bottle of this stuff, with most bottles available for around $15.
So, the harslevelu producers that tied for our number two wine this year were Gyorgykovacs Imre and Laposa. In case those names don’t stick in your mind, here are some photos of the labels that might be easier to recognize.
As a side note, Laposa also has a pretty fantastic wine facility which does receive visitors. More information on that can be found here.