Cuvinte despre vinuri incercate, degustari si evenimente, calatorii si retete
Somló wines can be elusive and hard to find, even in Hungary, since it’s the country’s smallest wine region, and the ownership of the vineyards is very fragmented. Those who are fortunate to find Somlo wines -and especially Juhfark- on the wine list at their local restaurant or wine store, should not pass on the opportunity to treat themselves with two or three of the long-necked bottles. The regular readers of this blog are already familiar with my undisimulated enthusiasm when finding some unusual wines, and Somló Juhfark must rank among the most obscure (and fascinating) wines I’ve ever encountered.
If you manage to keep your calm and maintain your composure when articulating „a bottle of 2011 Juhfark from Royal Somlo Pinceszet” you will encounter a wine with more that just an appealing look, a distinctive label and a nice story: the wine itself is unmistakable on the palate and impossible to overlook.
Even if the name of this little-known variety translates as “Ewe’s Tail” or “Sheep’s Tail” in Hungarian, I find that the 2011 vintage is a perfect match for fish dishes (the Romanian readers may recall that I have matched the 2009 Juhfark Royal Somlo with a wok dish of lamb Szechuan).
The 2011 has a similar, reductive style, but with more acidity and finesse that the overwhelming flavors of 2009. The nose opens with a somewhat pungent aroma of tea leaves and green tobacco, getting milder after a good swirl in the glass. The incisive, zesty acidity balances a very rich, waxy texture, aided by ripe notes of orange blossom, tangerine and candied orange peel. It develops slowly and extensively on the palate, tightening up on the finish.
It is a wine that thrives paired with fish, simply demanding this match. Given the rich, pungent aromas and the dense texture, I have prepared a simple salad, with smoked trout and roasted garlic sauce for the flavor punch, and chopped baby cabbage and spring onions for a bit of crunch.
And while busy gorging into this simple yet flavorful dinner, I remembered the works of the Danish artist Per Johansen, who has -literally- put the fish in the bottle.