No, I hear you say, that’s not possible, a red wine from Tokaj.Tokaj only makes white wines.
Well, at a tasting of rather a lot of Pinot Noir on Friday, most of which was from Hungary, one of the other participants had brought along something a bit unusual for us to try – a Dobogó Pinot named Izabella utca, after the road in Budapest just around the corner from where I live.
A bit sceptical, despite having tried a Dobogó Betsek Furmint at a Furmint tasting earlier in the week, I sniffed the minerally Pinot Noir in my glass. Pure Tokaj on the nose, mineral and salty.
A sip confirmed the Tokaj minerality. A cool, elegant smoky wine, bursting with red fruits.
The grapes for this unusual wine came from the ‘Urágya’ vineyard, which literally means the ‘Lord’s bed. Well, these low-yielding vines certainly have produced an interesting wine.
I quote from their website: “It symbolises the Dobogó way, which is to reach down to the depth of the Tokay tradition, like the vine searching for water, while bringing to life something new and exciting, that keeps us up at night”.
Strictly speaking though, it can’t be classified as Tokaj wine as Pinot Noir is not one of the grape varieties permitted in the region, so it has to be classified as country wine.
Am now looking at where in Budapest I can get my hands on a bottle for myself.