The meeting with Attila was something new for us, before our visit we had only come across his wine in an Olaszrizling test. As it had stood out in that flight of wines, we decided to go and get to know him during our trip to Gyöngyöstarján. The winery is still so new that they are also still in the middle of building their brand and establishing a sales chain. Most likely, all plans relating to this will be successfully completed at the beginning of 2016. The winery – which has already outgrown its small operation - was founded by his father, Balázs Kiss. At the moment, they produce 100,000 litres of wine annually, from ten hectares (plus they also buy in from three to four hectares). Of this, they only bottle 20,000, at least until their points of sale are established or until the winery is also known by a wider circle of people.
There are about 480 hectares of vines surrounding the town, so there is certainly plenty with which to excel, only some kind of cooperation on a community level is lacking. The Mátra is regarded as one of Hungary’s coolest regions, blessed with the right amount of rain. These characteristics are particularly valuable in hot, dry vintages, as the region is capable of producing much livelier wines with exciting acidity. Those making wine in the Mátra are also in a favourable position regarding protection – the Mátra mountain range protects them in the north, whereas the vines are located in the south, opening out towards the Great Plain (Alföld).
Since 2011, Attila has taken on the role of winemaker, while his father manages the viticultural activities. This should come as no great surprise, unless we add that Attila graduated from university in viticulture and oenology in December, and thinks and talks about his plans in a way belying his obvious youth. Professional dedication and the spirit of continuous improvement are united in the young man from Gyöngyöstarján, who would like to concentrate mainly on white wines, and in particular, make Olaszrizling their flagship wine. In addition, we can also expect to see a Hárslevelű, a dry Sárgamuskotály, a Kékfrankos rosé and a sparkling wine made from an aromatic variety.
You have to make good wine, as it sells itself.
I think that Attila is Mátra’s hope for the future, which the wines we tasted also proved. Continuous development , the result of his search for the right way and the neighbouring winemakers’ similar attitude towards their work, I trust, will lead the Mátra region back onto the Hungarian wine map.
Sárgamuskotály 2015 I 82-84 points
Bright, fresh, varietal character with a lot of flowers, citrus fruit and sweet undertones. On the palate, light and taut with vibrant acidity. Easy-to-drink summer wine with a slight prickle of carbon dioxide.
Tramini 2015 I 84-86 points
Varietal aroma, with beautiful acidity and a firm structure. On the palate, flowers, pear, quince and a little lemon. It will be worth seeing how this develops!
Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 I 80-82 points
Aromas of red berry fruit, a little pepper and green pepper. On the palate, medium to full-bodied, with lovely acidity, firm tannins, green pepper, pepper and perhaps a little bit under-ripe red berries.
Olaszrizling 2014 I 85-87 points
Aromas of citrus fruits, peach and a little bitterness. Rounded acidity and medium body, with white-fleshed fruit, Mediterranean citrus fruits and bay leaf. Medium finish with a slight fizzy tingle at the end. Classic!