We have done Hungarian wines from time to time. For the first time we review a Harslevelu (sorry, no accents) a Hungarian grape found in Tokaji Aszu, a world-class dessert wine. This white variety refers to a lime tree. Actually it has dozens and dozens of names. The wine itself carries a Protected Designation of Origin and is produced by the Szent Korona Pincészet winery that has no English-language website. The companion wine is a Greek white at about twice the price.
OUR WINE REVIEW POLICY All wines that we taste and review are purchased at the full retail price.
Hungarovin Debroi Harslevelu Cuvee AOP 2010 12.5 % alcohol about $8
Let’s start with the marketing materials “Tasting Note: Golden straw color; spicy, citrus, grapy, floral nose with a hint of mint; barely off-dry; with juicy grapy flavors, crisp and refreshing with citrus and apricot fruit notes. Serving Suggestion: Serve with chicken paprika, light meat dishes, Asian stir fry. ” And now for my review.
At the first sips the wine offered pleasant sweetness. Its acidity was excessive and I noted some citrus. Japanese rice crackers rounded this libation and tamed its acidity. Then came a boxed Baked Ziti Siciliano that I doused with grated Parmesan cheese. Now the liquid’s acidity was refreshing and the citrus was light. Fresh strawberries rendered our Hungarian friend weak with a metallic taste. Häagen-Dazs mint chip ice cream gave this liquid a bit of acidity and really nothing else.
My next meal centered on barbecued chicken. In response the libation was sweet and citrony; its light acidity did a fine job of cutting the grease. The Tuscany Three Bean Medley with Sundried Tomatoes shortened the liquid and took away its sweetness. Dessert consisted of Swiss Dark Chocolate with Orange Flavor and Almonds. This pairing led to lots of citrus in the wine but its acidity was slightly unbalanced.
My final meal was an omelet spiced up with crushed red peppers, sliced garlic, and dried basil. Now whitey offered refreshing acidity and was somewhat sweet. Mediterranean olives reduced my glass’s acidity while intensifying its sweetness. A pickled garlic morsel sweetened the liquid but took away its acidity and fruit. A slice of Greek-style Feta cheese rendered the wine light with citrus. Fresh raspberries made it very weak.
Final verdict. I have no intention of buying this wine again. But I am tempted to taste this grape once again in its Tokaji Aszu incarnation, unfortunately priced well out of this column.