What to drink this week
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.