We spent the first warm weekend of this summer in the Balatonboglár wine region, on the south bank of Lake Balaton. We visited Géza Légli, who is attracting more and more attention both in the media and in gastronomy circles.
Since we arrived without previous booking, the host was occupied with a group of tourists. We sat down on the welcoming verandah until the host saw the guests out.
We did not wait long to Géza, who appeared with a bottle of sparking wine. We settled down and while tasting the wine, we talked about his history, his styles of wines and his future plans.
Originally he was a potter before turned to winemaker. He harvested his first grapes in 2006. By now the gradually reached the planned size of the vineyard; at present they cultivate 18 hectares, sixty percent blue grape.
While we were listening to the history of his family, Géza poured an excellent Siller (light rose) called “Pirosbor” (Pink Wine), which was very suitable for keeping us cool. Being a light kind of rose, Siller is the best choice to accompany light Hungarian dishes. Needless to say, the bottle did not last too long.
Szőlőskislak Siller 2012
Intensive cherry color. Red and black berries are dominating the aroma. This light body wine is dry, ruled by acid taste. The palate is the mix of tasty fruits and flowers with a long aftertaste.
Between sips of „Matacs Chardonnay”, Géza told us that he believed in making well balanced wines. He is committed to more and more accurate winemaking methods with emphasizing the importance of finding the best harvesting date. This later is aimed to reach the required ripening stage with lower alcohol content.
Szőlőskislak Chardonnay 2011
This chardonnay is the first wine made from vines planted by Géza himself. Medium intensity yellow hue. The aroma reflects the taste of fine fruits. This is also a dry wine ruled by acid taste.
The winemaker believes that the wine is born when the grape is harvested. He emphasized the importance of making wines from local, specific grapes. In support of this statement, Géza offered a Rajna Riesling from 2011.
Jánoshegy Rajnai Rizling 2011
This golden white wine was produced in limited quantities, bottled after fermented in wooden casks. The aroma is dominated by honey and citrus. The creamy, mineral taste well balanced in them medium body. This is an excellent example of explaining why we like this type of Rajna wines. This wine was one of the most exiting ones of today’s tasting.
In order to illustrate the versatility of local conditions, the winemaker, instead of traditional Hungarian varieties, selected specific, word-known specialties, such as Rajna Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet and Merlot.
In order to challenge the general misbelieve that Balatonboglár is the region of white wines, we were offered two kinds of red wines; first a Pinot Noir. This was an exciting experience, because only few Hungarian winemakers produce this type of wine.
Pinot Noir Selection 2011
The aroma of cherry dominates this ruby red wine. Well balanced and concentrated dry wine with plain tannin. The long aftertaste offers an excellent finish.
Evening was closing and we arrived to the last wine of the tasting, to the “Jánoshegy Kékfrankos”, the first wine made of Géza’s own plantation.
Jánoshegy Kékfrankos 2011
Nice lilac color with fruity aroma. Dry wine with lively acids, well-structured fruity taste with a lingering, spicy aftertaste. This is a complex wine, to be kept for several years.
In summary, we tasted harmonic wines. We did not listen to empty phrases; the taste of wines clearly supported the philosophy Géza Légli. We are convinced that with a bit of more fine-tuning he will produce wines with international success. We wished him much success in the future.
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