HI. WE'RE CLOSED FOR IN-STORE BROWSING FOR THE TIME BEING. (STILL DOING PICKUP, DC DELIVERY, AND SHIPPING.) HI. WE'RE CLOSED FOR IN-STORE BROWSING FOR THE TIME BEING. (STILL DOING PICKUP, DC DELIVERY, AND SHIPPING.)

Bencze

Kéknyelú 2019

$30.00

Kéknyelú 2019

Bencze

Kéknyelú 2019

$30.00

István on this wine: “‘Kéknyelű’ is a rare variety of white wine grape that is mainly found in the Badacsony wine region. It requires a lot of work in the vineyard, so the cultivation of this grape has largely been abandoned. It can have problems with pollination, is sensitive to drought, and is late-ripening, so it needs the most prominent area to grow. However, its exotic aroma and unique structure compensate the winemaker for all this hard work.”

All these efforts are aimed at one simple thing: letting the volcanic terroir of Szent György-hegy (St. George’s hill) that István has at hand speak as freely as possible. And quite a terroir it is: his cellar sits right on an extinct volcano on a famous lookout spot providing beautiful views of the neighboring landscape dominated by Lake Balaton. It’s the largest one in Central Europe, and moderates the climate around it in a way that’s very beneficial to viticulture, just like its nearby fellow Lake Neusiedl that Hungary shares with Austria. And just like there in Burgenland, Balaton is a super-popular vacation spot; no wonder the Benczes have turned a couple of old houses among their vines into picturesque rustic guesthouses. (Recommended: the view and good local breakfast are well worth it.)

In the cellar, István carefully explores the possibilities of different vessels, from his favorite terracotta to oak, concrete, or, to a lesser extent, stainless steel. But the hand is light (“I learned that the wine doesn’t get better by working it more, quite the opposite”), and is helped only by patience and… music! “I like to play my guitar to the wine here sometimes,” the tall redhead admits shyly, standing among the cute, eye-ball-shaped concrete spheres.

-Jenny & Francois Selections