2017 Losonci Nyitnikék Mátra
Region: Mátra< Hungary
Grapes: Magyarfrankos (cross between Muscat Bouschet + Kékfrankos)
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organic farming; soils are andesite (volcanic), tons of iron/red clay, and chalk, one week of skin contact, left to settle naturally before bottling unfined/unfiltered with <20ppm SO2; 11.5%
Winemaker: Bálint Losonci
Bálint Losonci entered the wine business as a writer for a wine magazine and was exposed to a whole world of Hungarian wines in the late 1990s that was just waking up after Communism. After learning the ropes, he joined a few other like-minded small producers who believed in the future potential of the Mátra appellation, which has quietly become Hungary’s second largest appellation (7500+ hectares),but has been dominated by just a few larger industrial players – a Soviet cooperative era hangover. Bálint doesn’t spray anything of any kind – he doesn’t have to, as the vineyard has the right exposure and is protected from harsh weather on all sides by the tallest mountains in the country. Deep color despite the low alcohol, thanks to the red-fleshed Muscat Bouschet grape. Tart plums, sour cherry, orange peel and nutmeg, somehow all working harmoniously together in a light, bright summery package. Chillable red that isn’t simple glou glou, this wine is fantastic on its own or with pretty much any combination of foodstuff – the rare red wine that works as well with veggies as it does with a burger or a sloppy burrito. 30 minutes of chill brings out the aromatics and the lovely quirks.