Festival season is now over, during which time, I managed to get lounging around reading and faffing down to an art. When not at a festival, that was what I was doing. Now it’s time to get myself in hand again and be disciplined in writing up tastings and posting regularly.
So let’s rewind back to July when I went to an interesting tasting at the Secessió Café in the fifth district, close to Szabadság tér. I had been wanting to go there for ages, being a big fan of art nouveau buidlings, and this was my chance. Both a café and a museum of art nouveau, it is ornately decorated in rather an ecclectic way. Although more interested in architecture and decor than furniture, it was great to sit amongst all these treasures for the tasting.
They have regular wine-tastings on Friday nights, but seem to be taking a break for the summer. I’m not exactly sure when they’ll be starting again, but am looking forward to attending one or two more.
I first came across Sabar borház on a trip down to Badacsony in April. I went on a kind of ‘guerrilla’ wine weekend at the beginning of April, organised by VSOP Balaton-felvidék and Badacsonyi KÖR, of which the Saturday involved tasting 30+ wines from eight vineyards at five different locations (five of said vineyards) and being driven around by two car companies (no name-dropping here) promoting their cars.
Sabar was the third stop on our whirlwind tour for my group, so we were all fading a bit by then. According to my notes, still quite legible, at that point, but very brief, we tasted the Cabernet Sauvignon rosé 2013 (a lovely pale, bone-dry rosé), Olaszrizling 2013, freshly bottled (fresh and fruity, floral notes), Kéknyelű 2013 (mineral) and the Sauvignon Blanc 2013 (classic, vegetal notes). Given the brevity of my notes and my not entirely fresh palate at that point, I was glad to have chance to taste some of their wines once again in slightly more restrained surroundings.
Nádasi András, Sabar marketing, took us through the wines we were tasting. First, though, we learnt that the name comes from the hill on which the vineyard stands, that is the Sabar hegy.
Our first wine was a dry Muscat Ottonel 2013. A light, fruity wine meant for early drinking. Forward primary fruit flavours and aromas of white flowers. Ideal as an aperitif. The vines for this can be found on the Hercegföld dülő, next to Csobanc hegy.
Szürkebarat 2013 (Pinot Gris to non-Hungarian speakers) was next up. Much richer on the nose than the previous wines, it delivered up grapefruit and yellow flowers, with some vanilla, toast and nutty notes.
The final white was an Olaszrizling 2013. Yellow-green in colour, full-bodied, zesty lemon and herb notes burst on the palate, backed up by strong minerality. Well-balanced with good acidity.
On to the rosé, a Cabernet Sauvignon rosé 2013. Very pale salmon, almost onion skin in colour. An elegant wine full of strawberries, with some minerality in the background. Really enjoyed this. Still have a bottle lying in my wine-rack, awaiting my pleasure…
And the only red… Cabernet Sauvignon 2011, and indeed the only photo of a bottle of wine (taken at home later). Bordeaux style wine bursting with blackcurrants and blackberries, peppery, smokey and spicy, with some green pepper. I enjoyed it, but it could probably benefit from another couple of years in the bottle. Also enjoyed the chocolate cake served with raspberry sauce and vanilla ice-cream that accompanied it.
I had been planning to have a light snack with my imminently arriving visitor when we finished. However, most of the wines were served with something to nibble, so no room for any food after. A very good value evening with great wines and tasty snacks.