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Tóth Ferenc Pincészet
by
Kathy and Terry Sullivan

Tóth Fernec PincészetSummary: Tóth Ferenc was our first winery to visit in Hungary’s Eger wine region. A visit to this family owned and operated winery included a visit of the cellar and winery plus a tasting of several wines. Tóth Ferenc wants to be known for producing local wines with local varieties. The emphasis is on two local varieties Leányka and Kadarka.

Upon reaching the Tóth Ferenc winery in Eger, we learned that Tóth Ferenc established the winery and that today he loves spending his time in the vineyards. Ferenc Tóth received the Winemaker of the Year award in Eger 2012. His daughter, Kata, is also a major figure in the winery. Kata is the CEO, and does marketing and online work for the winery.

The Tóth Ferenc winery was started in 1983 with six hectares (15 acres) of vineyards. It was commented that at that time it was possible to own “some” land. In 2019 Tóth Ferenc has 30 hectares that includes 27 hectares (67 acres) of vineyards. Forty percent of the vineyards are planted with white grape varieties and sixty percent is planted with red varieties. Varieties include Leanyka, Muscat Ottonel, Grasvina (Welschriesling), Királyeányka, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Kékfrankos. During World War II most wineries were growing Kadarka but the variety basically disappeared during the time of Communism. Tóth Ferenc has been making great efforts for years to protect this varietal grape. Vineyards in Eger have deer and boar to contend with during the growing season.

Tóth Ferenc Winemaking

Tóth Fernec PincészetThe winemaker, György Markovics arrived at Tóth Ferenc in 2009. His previous experience had been as an expert in the vineyards. György also crafted a few wines. He had made wine while in college. He learned about winemaking by crafting small lots of wine. György began working for a large business in Eger and today he is producing wine at Tóth Ferenc.

György commented that he does not like too much rain for the vineyards. While tasting the Kadarka grape varietal wines, he noted that most winemakers do not like to work with the Kadarka grape variety.

Tóth Fernec PincészetEvery year new Hungarian oak barrels are bought for the winery. During the winemaking process, György usually ferments wine on the the skins four to twenty-eight days.

The Tóth Ferenc cellar was built in 2011 using a mining machine. In this cellar the temperature remains a constant 12 Celsius (53.6 F). Currently the cellar has 100 barrels and the cellar is also used for bottle storage. Barrel sizes range from 20 to 83 hectoliters (528 to 2193 gallons). In addition the stainless steel barrels hold 70 hectoliters (1849 gallons). In only eight years the cellar mold has covered the walls of the cellar. György uses stainless steel to start the fermentation. Late harvest wines are produced in barrels.

Tóth Ferenc Wines

Tóth Fernec PincészetAfter our tour of the winery and cellar at Tóth Ferenc, we were escorted to an upper level where we tasted several of the Tóth Ferenc wines.

The 2016 Egri Leányka was a late harvest wine. The fermentation process took a long time, approximately six to eight weeks. The wine was in barrels for four to five months. The resulting wine had 13.5% alcohol; the acidity was 5.8 g/L. The wine was a dark yellow color with a gold hue. The aroma was of flowers with some tropical fruit notes. The full-bodied wine, with a silky mouthfeel, offered notes of daisies, some roses, honeysuckle, melon and papaya. It had a crisp finish.

Tóth Fernec PincészetThe 2017 Egri Leányka Superior Késöi Szüretelésü was made entirely from Leányka grapes. Leányka means young girl. The wine had a residual sugar of 80 g/L and an acidity of 6.9 g/L. The wine with a gold color and 12.9% alcohol offered an aroma of tropical fruit. The mouthfeel was very velvety and was full bodied. The wine offered notes of melon, papaya, honey and peach jam. The finish was very long.

The 2015 Kadarka had 12.5% alcohol. The wine was a translucent ruby color with a red hue. The wine had a cherry aroma. This wine was medium/full bodied and had medium tannins. It offered cherries and spices.

The 2016 Kékfrankos had 13.5% alcohol. This translucent ruby colored wine with a red hue had an aroma of red and black fruits. The taste offered cherries, blueberries and baking spices. The wine was full-bodied with bold tannins. The finish was crisp with lingering cherries.

The next two wines were Egrí Bikavér or Bull’s Blood. The wine has three classifications: Classic, Superior and Grand Superior. Thirty to sixty percent of the blend has to be made from the Kékfrankos grape. The Classic has to age in barrel for 6 months. The grapes in the blend can have a yield of 13 tons per hectare. The Superior has to age in barrel for 12 months. The grapes in the blend can have a yield of 8 tons per hectare. The Grand Superior has to age in barrel for 12 months. The grapes in the blend can have a yield of 6 tons per hectare.

The 2016 Egrí Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) was 13% alcohol. The wine was a translucent ruby color with a red hue. This wine was a blend of Kékfrankos, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Kadarka. The aroma was of black fruits. The full-bodied wine with bold tannins had notes of cherries, blueberries, black raspberries and spices. The finish was fruity with baking spices.

The 2016 Egri Bikavér Grand Superior Tornyos Dülö had 13.5% alcohol. The wine was a translucent ruby color with a red hue. This blend included Kékfrankos, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir. The wine offered notes of blackberries, blueberries, black cherries and baking spices. The full-bodied wine had bold tannins. The finish was fruity and spicy.

When visiting the Eger wine region of Hungary, be sure to consider discovering the Tóth Ferenc winery.

Tóth Ferenc Pincészet
Eger, Kistályai út 40, 3300 Hungary

 

 

Article written April 2019.

 

 



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