Péter Benedek has been one of the undisputed talents of the Mátra wine region in the last few years’. The winery rests on family traditions, in that his grandparents were already working in grape and wine production. What’s more, in 1947 his grandfather, a returning prisoner of war after World War II, started to build the cellar, where they still store the wines today. At the beginning of the nineties, Péter’s parents, János and Lívia, decided to develop the winery. That expansion resulted in today’s eleven hectares of land; they are happy with this and do not wish to expand further. The family’s favourite plot of land is the Epres vineyard (the fantastic Epreskert wines come from here), lying on the boundary between Gyöngyösoroszi and Gyöngyöstarján, where they have six and a half hectares of vines. It’s a really well-exposed place with volcanic splinters of rock and, according to Péter, is Mátra’s best vineyard.
Although originally he wanted to work in animal breeding, finally he followed in the footsteps of his family heritage and became a winemaker. After graduating from university, he was lucky enough to be able to gain further experience at some Californian wineries, which has also influenced his vision of the future. He hasn’t given up his animal-related plans though; within a couple of years, he would like to work with indigenous Hungarian breeds (for example, Szürkemarha - ‘grey cattle’). Péter doesn’t consider receiving guests top of the list, for him winemaking is his priority. At the same time, however, he relishes presenting what he has created, creating a kind of bridge between himself and consumers
I would like for us to grow only to such a size where I could always present the wines, if the winemaker stands up in front of the audience, that’s credibility...
Previously he was a big Olaszrizling fan, now he’s more inclined towards Chardonnay, he likes its diversity and thinks that he variety has found its place in the Mátra. The choice of varieties is not more or less balanced between international and autochthon varities (Hárslevelű, Sauvignon blanc, Cserszegi fűszeres, Sárgamuskotály, Kékfrankos and Pinot noir). They designed the range to have very good value for money basic wines as well as premium wines, which are in most cases vineyard selected.
The foundation is perfectly clean, technologically well-made, drinkable wine; you have to create this first of all, then you can start to interrogate the terroir. The other way round doesn’t work.
I think Mátra wines will be particularly good in cooler vintages with enough rain. This really shows the characteristics of the terror and the beautiful minerality.
The family works together supported by Péter’s expertise; he manages the wine-making while the other members of the family are responsible for the viticulture and other tasks. The family is constantly building and developing the cellar, so that a tasting room and accommodation now also awaits wine tourists.
Irsai Olivér 2015 I 84-85 points
Aromas of perfume and white flowers. Light and fresh on the palate, with flowers, fruits and an intensifying salty flavour.
Cserszegi fűszeres 2015 I 83-84 points
White flowers, nectarine and white pepper on the nose. Medium body, rounded acidity, peach, citrus fruits and fresh grapes on the palate. Attractive and very drinkable.
Sauvignon Blanc (Epreskert) 2015 I 85-87 points
Aromas of herbs, nettle and gooseberry. Medium-bodied, well-balanced with fresh acidity. Flavours of citrus fruits, minerality, white pepper, gooseberry and a little peach.
Hárslevelű (45g residual sugar) 2015 I 83-85 points
Restrained aromas of ripe stone fruit and pear. Crisp acidity and firm structure, with flavours of apple, pear and peach. Medium finish.
Rosé 2015 I 82-84 points
On the nose, a little strawberry and plenty of cherry. On the palate, medium-bodied with a firm structure and flavours of red berry fruit. Very drinkable. Citrus acidity on the finish.
Chardonnay (Epreskert) 2014 I 85-87 points
Ripe apple, peach and a little minerality on the nose. Medium to full-bodied with salty notes, roasted oily seeds, apple and a little lemon, with some nut brittle on the finish.
Pinot Noir 2014 I 84-86 points
Some strawberry and raspberry, apple and earthy notes on the nose. On the palate, light with attractive acidity and classic Pinot structure. Flavours of red berry fruit, with some oak also reflected on the finish.
Aromas of lemon boiled sweets persist, is still on the lees, so very fresh. On the palate, a beautiful structure as well as fine acidity. I have high expectations of this!