Posted by: tomciocco | January 19, 2011

OUT FOR KEKFRANKOS

I recently posted about a Greek wine, and mentioned that Greece was one of the wine countries that was ready to “bust out”,  but for many factors rather petered out. Well here’s another one. Hungary. Unfortunately, many of the same reasons that Greece hasn’ t lived up to its potential, go double for Hungary: an already crowded market, a scarcity of global capital for wine investment (and a basically zero available domestically), a still not fully modernized wine culture, not to mention names like “Takler Noir Gold Szekszardi Kekfrankos Reserve” – and that is indeed the name of the wine on the tasting table today…

So to just briefly unpack the name, Takler is the producer’s name (“Takler Pinceszet” most fully, with the second word translating roughly as “winery”), “Szekszardi” means “from Szekszard”, one of Hungary’s most important red wine regions, which is located in the country’s extreme southwest. “Kekfrankos” is a direct Hungarian translation of the German “Blaufrankisch” (“Blue French”), which despite the name is a grape that probably isn’t French, and that is today is most closely associated with Austria, and a bit more recently western Hungary too. The other words are just questionable marketing verbiage. For those of you who were paying strict attention in Hungarian class in high school, or just like to look at pictures, you can visit Takler here.

I served this wine with an egg-drop chicken noodle soup with toasted bread, and then my own lightened-up version (minus some ground pork and bacon) of Transylvanian baked sauerkraut (with onions, paprika, tomato paste, rice, kolbasz (kielbasa), sour cream, etc.) with some really nice rye bread.

Takler Noir Gold Kekfrankos Reserve Szekszard 2006

Medium dark blackish violet color. Layered nose of black cherry and red currant, tree bark, boiled blood sausage, and savory dried spices. The medium-bodied palate is sleek and smooth, just veiling a well-honed acidity beneath, with a complex blend of dill, cocoa, cherry, hints of black raspberry jam, and well developed and integrated oak flavors well supported by stemmy but still fine tannins that provide a long, dry finish. A nice fusion of generosity and austerity.

 

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