What to drink this week

Dry Fur­mint

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country Notebook -

This grape makes tremen­dous sweet Tokay and dry white wines, ex­plains Harry Eyres

Se­ri­ous wine buffs among you will know that Fur­mint is the grape used to make the lus­cious Hun­gar­ian Tokay, the wine of em­per­ors. Left on the vine well into au­tumn, close to the banks of the Bo­drog River, Fur­mint grapes at­tract the at­ten­tions of the no­ble rot, which con­cen­trates their baked-ap­ple and spice flavours and aro­mas to al­most un­bear­able lev­els of in­ten­sity.

Why you should be drink­ing it

A less-well-known fact is that Fur­mint, in the same re­gion, also makes su­perb dry whites, which for some rea­son have not—at least for the past few cen­turies—had the re­known of the sweet wines. The com­bi­na­tion of the fiery, high-qual­ity, high-acid grape and com­plex vol­canic soils makes for se­ri­ous, food-friendly wines, which com­bine spice and min­er­al­ity as very few whites any­where in the world can do.

What to drink

Royal Tokaji Dry Tokaji 2015 (below, £9.99; www.ma­jes­tic.co.uk) has an at­trac­tive green­ish colour, a sub­tle bit­ter-herb char­ac­ter on the nose, good vi­nos­ity and length with barely per­cep­ti­ble oak. Ore­mus Man­dolás Fur­mint Dry 2015 (www.bbr.com; £13.75), from a win­ery un­der the same own­er­ship as the cel­e­brated Vega Si­cilia in Spain, has fas­ci­nat­ing aro­mat­ics on the nose—green ap­ple and mus­cat grapes—with super spici­ness and char­ac­ter on the palate, and a slightly stronger touch of oak. Best of all is the sin­gle-vine­yard Royal Tokaji Mézes Mály Dry Fur­mint 2010 (£28.70; www.he­do­nism.co.uk): smoky, spicy and fiery on the nose and in­tense and saline on the palate, with great depth, it’s a Hun­gar­ian grand cru.

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