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Árvay Pinceszet
by
Kathy Sullivan

Arvay PinceszetSummary: Visitors to Árvay Pinceszet, a family owned and operated winery with vineyards, will feel warmly welcomed in the Árvay Pinceszet tasting room. The winery focuses on tradition but adds a modern touch to their impressive winemaking.

Árvay PinceszetOn a sunny day, upon reaching Árvay Pinceszet, we traversed a wide ceramic-tile walkway to the winery tasting room. The rectangular tasting room had a long, large table with a red and white checked tablecloth. A couple of comfortable seating areas add to the comfort of the room as well as does the tall, gold color ceramic stove. After meeting Angelika Árvay we learned that she crafts two of the Árvay wines, conducts wine tastings, markets wines and and is involved in wine sales.

Almost as soon as we entered the pleasant tasting room, we saw a table filled with rocks, stones and fossils. These are representative of the Árvay vineyard soils. The majority of the stones and fossils have been collected and are treasured by Angelika’s father, János Árvay, During our visit János took time to demonstrate that some of the rocks were porous and absorbed liquid.

During our visit, we asked about the Communist influence on the industry. Angelika talked about how for a time her grandfather and father had to work for a collective state owned farm. Eventually her father was able to purchase vineyard land.

Árvay Vineyards

Árvay PinceszetThe vineyard soils, with volcanic stones, date back 15 million years ago. The volcano was formed under the sea. Upon closely examining the rocks, visitors will see leaves and fish fossils. The type of stones and rocks included jasper and quartz crystals. Petrified wood was present in some of the stones. Angelika commented that today these rocks are on the surface of the vineyard soils.

The Árvay vineyards consist of 17 hectares (42 acres) and include Furmint, Sauvignon Blanc, Hárslevelü, Chardonnay, Muscat Blanc and Sárga Muskotály (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains). The grapevines are 35 to 45 years old. Organic methods are used in the vineyards including the use of orange oil and baking powder rather than systemic chemicals. The international grape varieties were added to the vineyards as a way to increase yield. However the Arvays believe the wine and vineyards still have the character of the Tokaj region.

Winemaking

János Árvay produces the majority of the Árvay wines. However his son, Szabolcs and Angelika also craft Árvay wines.

In 1975 Árvay was producing wine for themselves and also sold wine to the state-run wine company. Angelika’s grandfather made wine. By 1990, Árvay was no longer forced to sell to the state. In 1995 they began to bottle their own wines. Angelika commented that at first János thought he had oaked the wine too much and had ruined it; however, as time passed the oak emphasis dissipated and the wine was good.

In 2004, Árvay produced a Sauvignon Blanc. Today, Árvay Pinceszet is producing 30,000 bottles of wine.

Wine Tasting

Our wine tasting began with the 2016 Sauvignon Blanc. This yellow colored wine had an aroma of tropical and citrus notes. The taste included citrus, tropical fruit and mineral. The crisp finish had fruit yielding to mineral.

The 2016 Sárga Muskotály with 11.5% alcohol was a yellow color with a gold hue.The wine had a floral aroma with yellow stone fruit. The taste reminded one of blossoms, yellow stone fruit, roses and honeysuckle. The finish was long with evolving layers of flavors including roses, daisies, citrus and some yellow stone fruit.

Árvay PinceszetThe 2014 Tokaji Isten-hegy (vineyard) was a Furmint with a gold color and an aroma of mineral and flowers. The taste also had mineral and floral notes with yellow stone fruit on the aftertaste. The finish was complex with multiple layers of flavors that last several minutes.

The 2015 Tokaji Isten-hegy Furmint with 12.5% alcohol spent 18 months in barrel. The gold color wine offered notes of mineral, flowers and a hint of olive oil. The taste was of roses, citrus and some yellow stone fruit. The finish began with citrus and was followed by yellow stone fruit and flowers especially roses.

The 2015 Tokaji Padi-hegy Furmint also spent 18 months in barrel. The gold colored wine had an aroma of flowers with some tropical fruit notes. The taste was of roses and yellow stone fruit. The finish was citrus and followed by a long aftertaste of different flavors including roses and yellow stone fruits such as apricots.

The 2015 Hárslevelü with 12.5% alcohol was a bright yellow. This wine offered an aroma of citrus with some floral notes. The mouthfeel was soft and accompanied by citrus, yellow stone fruit, honey and mineral. The finish was crisp with fruit and a long aftertaste.

The 2017 Tokaji Édesem (My Sweet) was 10% alcohol and was crafted with Sárga Muskotály. The wine had a residual sugar of 92 g/L and 6 g/L of acidity. The aroma was of flowers and jammy fruit. The taste included honeysuckle and apricot jam. This delicious wine had layers of flowers and fruits on the finish.

The 2011 Tokaji Késõi Furmint with 12% alcohol had a residual sugar of 101 g/L and acidity of 6.1 g/L. The dark gold color wine had an aroma of flowers with jammy fruit. The taste had honeysuckle and apricot jam notes. The finish was sweet and the wine was delicious.

Árvay PinceszetThe 2013 Tokaji 6 Puttonyos Aszú was a light gold color. The residual sugar was 160 g/L and the acidity was 8 g/L. This wine offered an aroma of floral notes with dried fruits. The taste had honeysuckle and dried apricot notes. The finish had some crispness with honey and apricot notes. This wine was simply delicious.

The 2013 Edes Hárslevelú had a residual sugar of 165 g/L with 8 g/L of acidity. This dark gold colored wine had 8% alcohol. The aroma included floral and jammy fruit notes and the taste was of honey, roses and apricots. The finish was crisp and delicious.

At the end of the wine tasting, we enjoyed a cold plate lunch with Angelika. The lunch included the well-known Pogacsa (Hungarian cheese biscuits), slices of radishes and cucumbers, sliced meats, cheese and bread. All of these paired well with the additional Árvay wines to taste.

When planning to visit Árvay Pincezet for a wine tasting, contact the winery in advance for an appointment.

Árvay Pincezet
Rátka, Széchenyi tér 13, 3908 Hungary

 

 

Article written April 2019.

 

 



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