2020 Kékhegy Pince Piroska Siller
Region: Mátra < Hungary
Grape: Cabernet Sauvignon
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Certified organic farming; old vines on clay soils with andesite tuff, of volcanic origin; 50% of the 2020 fruit was crushed and spent two days on the skins in open vats while the other half got a head start on fermentation. Pressed to tank and blended to finish fermentation before being bottled, unfiltered; 12.5% ABV
Winemaker: Tibor Piroska
Our first "Siller", a super fun short maceration style that is the Hungarian take on chillable red!
Sírva vigad a Magyar.' This more or less translates to a Hungarian is only happy when they are miserable. I’ve also heard it described as a “melancholic intermingling of joy and sorrow” a sentiment acutely felt while walking around the various Pincefalu in the Mátra appellation. A Pincefalu is a village dedicated entirely to small family cellars dug into the hillsides with a connected press house on top and often a small living space above that. While largely abandoned today (WWII, Holocaust, Communism etc…), you can easily close your eyes and imagine what harvest would have been like here at its historical peak in the late 1700s early 1800s. Hundreds of families all cooking, harvesting, and celebrating together. While only a handful of these cellar houses are still actively used by hobby winemakers today, a few families are doing something really special and bringing these wines to the market like Szilvia and Tibor of Kékhegy Pince in Gyöngyöspata. This is the first time these wines have made their way to the US. They are not a part of long lineage in the Mátra and are a first generation winemaking family on top of that. They actively chose this place because of its massive potential and freedom to pursue what they want. Often unfairly pigeonholed as just producing fresh mass-produced aromatic white wine, it’s one of the most underestimated appellations in Hungary. It has remarkable andesite riddled volcanic soils, a wide range of varietals and is ideal for organic farming.
The Siller comes from the Katona-berek dűlő just south of the village of Szűcsi overlooking a small lake. Their plot is just .55 hectares on the south-eastern side of the hill. There’s remarkable and ever present airflow here and it’s warm enough to afford a long growing season for the Cabernet Sauvignon. The acids are ripe and there is ripeness with remarkable aromatics. This style is essentially somewhere in between a light red and a rosé. It’s also a perfect foil for traditional flavors like Paprika and Caraway. It’s what Tibor and Szilvia would call a “smart rosé,” in that it has some grip from some light maceration along with plenty of aromatics and freshness."
We call it a delicious, highly drinkable baby red. showing Cabernet's classic spice, with bright red fruit and the freshness/acidity of a Loire Cab Franc. Chill slightly and drink with anything, as this is a very versatile and easy food wine.