Hungary grows many standard international varieties, such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, but there are also a myriad of local grape varieties commonly found in the Carpathian Basin.
Let’s start with Ezerjó for no particular reason, except that I’ve been tasting a few of them lately, including the excellent full-bodied Pontica Pince Móri Ezerjó 2012.
This is a grape variety that is widely planted within Hungary, but little known outside the country.
Ezerjó has its place among historic Hungarian grape varieties, a true Hungaricum. It originates from the Nógrád and Hont counties, but has since spread throughout the country. It got its name from the Buda grapes, where it was once a popular variety
It has many other names, amongst others zátoki, korponai, budai fehér (Buda White), Korponai or Kolmreifler, and in Transylvania, it is known as fehér bakator (White Bakator).
The Mór district is particularly well-known for its Móri Ezerjó. Indeed many people associate the variety closely with this area. Here it yields a light, crisp, refreshing easy-drinking wine.
In the north-west of the country, it can also produce lively dry whites for early consumption
It is a early-ripening, high yield variety, sensitive to frost and rot.
Its wine is high in alcohol, often with a slightly harsh taste, with pronounced acidity, pale green in colour, dry and relatively neutral in flavour.
It can also be used to produce sweet wines, in good vintages containing some botrytised grapes.
Literally translated, it means ‘a thousand boons’.