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Kikelet Pince (Cellar)
by
Kathy Sullivan

Kikelet PinceSummary: Kikelet Cellars, in the Tokaj region, offers visitors the opportunity to taste wines in a vibrant, sunlit tasting room adjacent to a large patio. The hundreds, year-old cellar reminds visitors that wine has been produced in the Tarcal area of Tokaj for centuries.

Kikelet PinceWe were quickly greeted at Kikelet Cellars and escorted to a room where three clear covered drawers showcase stones, fossils and artifacts from the Kikelet vineyards. After examining the artifacts in detail, we visited the old cellar located under the winery and tasting room. On one area of the cellar wall, coins are imbedded in the black cellar mold, put there by visitors to the cellars. We noticed that black mold partially covers many of the coins. The cellar is estimated to be about 250 to 300 years old. In addition to oak barrels, the cellar also houses stainless steel tanks and riddling racks for sparkling wines.

Kikelet PinceStéphanie Berecz and Zsolt Berecz are the owners of Kikelet Cellars. Stéphanie, who is from France, is the enthusiastic and exuberant winemaker and Zsolt is the vineyardist. Kikelet Cellars was started in 2002. The name Kikelet means springtime in Hungarian.

While speaking with Stéphanie and tasting her lovingly crafted Kikelet wines she commented that she wants to produce sensible wines that are close to natural. Her goal is to produce elegant wines, and that at Kikelet Cellars, they will “Try to do our best.”

Stéphanie grew up in France. Her parents are involved in agriculture. Early on, Stéphanie was interested in plants and landscaping. However, she had a friend - a baker, who also made wine. In addition, her brother likes wine. The combination of an interest in plants and enjoying wine led Stéphanie to pursuing an Oenology degree in Bordeaux.

Kikelet Vineyards

Today the winery has seven hectares (17 acres) of vineyards in several nearby locations. Stéphanie believes that the different locations of the vineyards allows her the ability to add complexity to the Kikelet wines. The vineyards are located in the Tarcal village. The Kekelet vineyards are located on higher land, some within view of the winery tasting room. Grape varieties planted in the vineyards include Furmint, Hárslevelü, Sárga Muskotály (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains) and Zeta.

Kikelet PinceKikelet Cellars Tasting Room

The tasting room at Kikelet Cellars is located on an upper level of the building. With floor to ceiling windows on three sides, the room is filled with sunlight. Adjacent to the tasting room is a large brick-paved patio for wine tastings and more. A small demonstration vineyard was recently planted next to the patio. The vineyard will feature grapevines growing in the Tokaj wine region.

Current production of wines at Kikelet Cellars is 14,000 bottles. Stéphanie hopes the number will increase to 25,000 bottles. Currently Stéphanie only uses natural yeast during the winemaking process.

Wines

Kikelet PinceOur wine tasting included the traditional Hungarian cheese biscuits known as Pogásca. The first wine we tasted was the 2011 Késöi Szüretelésü Late Harvest wine. The wine had 12.5% alcohol with a residual sugar of 70 g/L. The wine was a blend of Hárslevelü, Furmint, Sárga Muskotály and Zeta grape varieties. The wine spent six months in oak. The wine was a light gold color with an aroma of jammy fruits. The mouthfeel was velvety. The taste included peach jam and honeysuckle. The finish was of fruit and was crisp. This late harvest wine was refreshing. It is sweet but with good acidity.

The 2017 Tokaji Furmint Birtok was an estate wine. The wine had 12% alcohol. The yellow colored wine spent four months in oak. The aroma was of tropical fruit and citrus. The taste was smooth with notes of rock and grapefruit. The finish offered racy crispness and was very dry on the aftertaste with hints of rocks. Minutes later sweetness was noticed.

Kikelet PinceThe 2017 Tokaji Hárslevelü Lónyai Dúló was in oak for five months. The wine with 12.5% alcohol was a yellow color. The wine offered an aroma of flowers including daisies and citrus. The taste was smooth with citrus, grapefruit, daisies and a perceived sweetness. Dúló refers to a single vineyard; Lónyai is the vineyard name. The wine had a very long aftertaste.

The 2017 Tokaji Hárslevelü Váti Dülö had 12% alcohol. The yellow colored wine spent five months in oak. The aroma included notes of flowers and citrus. The taste was of flowers, grapefruit and chalk. The crisp finish lingered with fruit.

The 2012 Tokaji Szamorodni édes was a blend of four grape varieties: Hárslevelü, Furmint, Sárga Muskotály and Zeta. The wine had 12% alcohol with a residual sugar of 105 g/L and the acidity of 8.5 g/L. The wine was a gold color with a dark yellow hue. The wine had dried fruit, honeysuckle and some citrus notes on the aroma and taste. The finish was fruity and floral with a long fruit aftertaste.

The 2013 Tokaji Aszú had 11% alcohol with 152 g/L residual sugar. The aroma was of dried fruits. The mouthfeel was velvety and the taste included dried apricots and honeysuckle. It was delicious.

When planning to visit Kikelet Cellars, contact the winery in advance for an appointment.

Kikelet Pince (Cellar)
3915 Tarcal, Könyves Kálmán u. 62., 3915 Tarcal, Hungary

 

 

Article written April 2019.

 

 



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