Four times International Wine Challenge trophy winner
Winning an IWC trophy is no mean feat, but to do it four times is nigh on impossible. Yet the Tornai Pinceszét from one of Hungary’s smallest wine region’s, the emblematic Somló, has managed just that. Of the 15,000 or so wines entered, there is only generally a handful in each category which are awarded gold and the trophy winner is selected from among these, so kudos to Tornai and Somló!
Somló wines are renowned in Hungary for their unique, mineral character and in the past their reputation was known all across Europe and it seems that the region is stepping up to take its rightful place again.
Tamás Tornai presented the trophy-winning wine, the winery’s Top Selection Grófi Hárslevelű 2017 at the Kóstolóm Borbár in Buda along with its other gold-winning wine Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2017, which was pipped at the post by its sibling in winning the Hungarian white wine trophy. He pointed out that it was not just an honour for the winery, but also helped to bring the region of Somló and its indigenous varieties into the spotlight too.
If you want to get your hands on the wine though, you’ll have to subscribe via the winery. They only produced 3000 bottles and are laying half of those down to see how they age, with the rest only being available via subscription.
The Tornai Pincészet is one of the key wineries in Somló. Founded in 1946, they now have around 65 hectares in some of Somló’s best vineyard areas. So, are consistently producing top-notch wines and helping to raise Somló’s image around the world. They’ve not only scooped up numerous golds at IWC but also at Decanter World Wine Awards as well as many other competitions.
We also had the chance to taste a flight of their award-winning wines on this occasion, including some older vintages, including their Grófi Juhfark 2013, IWC trophy winner in 2016, which showed just how well Somló wines age.
Friss Zenit 2018 (MUN-DUS gold, MTA wine)
Fresh, aromatic and fruity with balanced acidity, Lovely peach and zesty lemon fruit.
Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2017 (IWC gold – 2019)
Textured wine with lovely honeyed peach and quince fruit and mineral notes. Opens on the palate, revealing layers of flavour before a lingering salty, mandarin finish.
Top Selection Grófi Hárslevelű 2017 (IWC gold and trophy – 2019)
Complex, structured wine with zingy lemony acidity and notes of sweet spice, yellow flowers, honey and a touch of tannin, underpinned by salty minerality. Long savoury finish.
Top Selection Apátsági Furmint 2015 (IWC gold – 2016)
Perhaps a little closed at the moment, but attractive zesty acidity, with honeyed flavours of dried fruit, peach and almond marzipan and a long salty finish.
Top Selection Grófi Juhfark 2013 (IWC gold and trophy (2016)
Lovely combination of honey and saltiness with zesty grapefruit acidity. Rich and textured with notes of fragrant quince, marzipan, herbs and dried apricot.
Top Selection Aranyhegy Juhfark 2011 (Prestige Reserve gold, Wine of Budapest, Bayer gold – 2013)
Beautifully textured wine with lovely bottle aged notes of honey, nuts and caramel. Savoury and long.
Made from shrivelled grapes with no botrytis. Lusciously honeyed with plenty of dreid fruit, spice and yellow flowers.
*photos courtesy of Kóstolóm Borbár