Our latest wine, the recently debuted St. George, is making a splash. It’s a genuine terroir wine, made from organically grown Riesling, Olaszrizling and Furmint. Its first outing from the cellar took the wine to four sommeliers, who are close to our hearts, to seek their professional opinion. And they penned for us what they thought about the wine and Mount St. George, from where it comes.
Máté Horváth, two-time Hungarian champion sommelier, who holds the ASI gold-level diploma and is also the husband of one of Hungary’s best female sommeliers, summed up our wine this way.
The wine at first glance:
I like the look of the bottle – it’s youthful and powerful. I think the choice of name is terrific. It’s obvious that there’s a proper terroir wine waiting inside the bottle.
The blend of the three varieties sounds promising from the outset – Riesling, Olaszrizling and Furmint are probably going to work well together. The low alcohol level of 12.5% inscribed on the label, and the small green leaf further add to the air of anticipation.
Tasting notes of St. George:
The nose is not overpowering, but rather restrained, pure and pronouncedly citrusy with minerality also coming forth, while the palate is also defined by minerality. This is a zesty, precisely made wine with good acidity and freshness. The grape varieties are in perfect balance and none of them stick out.
I increasingly appreciate it when a wine is harmonious and refined, but at the same time also has good drinkability. For me that’s what makes a BIG wine.
I recommend enjoying it at a not too cool temperature (12 -14 C). If for any reason, it doesn’t get guzzled on the day of opening, it shows an even lovelier side the next day.
Ilona Mácsai, sommelier of Tokio Budapest, one of the most successful Hungarian woman wine experts, and also the wife of sommelier Máté Horváth
From Budapest to Mount St. George:
The first time I met Robert was at one of Bortársaság’s vintage previews. I’d already known his wines for a few years. He was interested in how things were going on the – back then – busy Budapest gastro scene. He really wanted to hear what our guests were looking for, and what feedback they gave about his wines. It was great to see that he was open to the opinions of the sommeliers.
Then a few years had passed by the time my husband and I finally managed to get to Mount St. George. We toured the vineyards with Robert, tasted his wines and had a good chat. That’s when he showed us the latest member of the range, the St. George.
Blends are exciting from several perspectives. At the Gilvesy Winery, single varietal wines are the norm, except for the Bohém cuvée, which is a tasty Balaton wine. I think a blend that tries to seize the style of the magical Mount St. George can be compelling.
My tasting notes of the St. George: Freshly opened, the bottle oozes inviting acacia flower and ripe citrus aromas. On the palate, it’s just like biting into a fresh piece of fruit, like a delicious pear. The mineral notes complement it beautifully – just like the scent of a wet stone after the rain. Unsurprisingly, the fruity notes keep lingering on – we tasted the opened bottle again after two days – with time the minerality became more dominant, accompanied with a salty touch on the finish.
The backbone of St. George is given by the Riesling, which is the winery’s main variety, and I think that’s what makes it remain so fresh for a long time. The Riesling is joined by the Olaszrizling and the Furmint, two varieties that are really good at articulating the terroir – they really bring along basalt notes. With the wine’s elegant, 12.5% alcohol, refreshing, not too pushy acidity and delicious fruity notes, you can have a glass or two of it without even noticing. While they have been pursuing sustainable viticulture for years, the 2019 vintage was granted organic certification, which is a key buzzword of an ever-growing movement. This wine will surely have a place in our wine fridge at home.”
The opinion of Gábor Becker, head sommelier of Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace about the terroir and St. George
Mount St. George for me:
Within the Badacsony wine region, Mount St. George is one of my favourites. Owing to the volcanic soil, the wines made from the grapes grown here are richly flavoursome and have long ageing potential. Out of the white varieties, the Riesling and the Furmint are great prospects for this region. The Badacsony terroir is also great for some red grape varieties. Pinot Noir is by far the best, but we can also find refreshing examples of Merlot, Cabernet and Kékfrankos.
The wine as I see it:
St. George is a very pure, rich wine with nice drinkability, medium body and acidity. Apple, tropical fruit, melon, medicinal herbs, limestone and volcanic notes appear on the nose and the palate. It’s characterised by a medium-length finish and medium complexity.
Finally, here is a quote from my favourite book about the relationship between Badacsony and Mount St. George:
‘And finally we come to the wine of BADACSONY and SZENT GYÖRGY-HEGY (Mount St. George), both of them and all their varietals masculine. They encompass every nuance of masculinity, from self-admiring Narcissus to self-mortifying ascetic, from regal airs and graces to bohemian informality. This is important. Because each of these hills is an entire cosmos unto itself.
BADACSONY is like a world-famous artist, while SZENT GYÖRGY-HEGY is like one who has scarcely stirred from his room in all his born days, yet whose output is superior in quality to that of his fêted colleague.
Both are possessed of greatness, but I would call the greatness of one Olympian and of the other Chinese, the greatness of the Tao…’ – Béla Hamvas: The Philosophy of Wine (1945).
Sommelier and gastronomy consultant Péter Blazsovszky’s tasting notes about St. George
St. George tasted on January, 18, 2021:
The slightly restrained nose at the beginning is soon accompanied by tropical fruit (lychee, green banana), melon, hazelnut and a touch of horehound. On the long palate, Mount St. George’s minerality, which is built on the solid acid backbone, is complemented by the bitter almond of the Olaszrizling, creating a complex, authentic terroir wine.
The Riesling, the Olaszrizling and the Furmint can equally show the place of growth, thus by further bottle ageing, the already existing complexity will become even more evident.
"A wine with gorgeous drinkability that also encourages contemplation of the iconic terroir of the Badacsony wine region."
/photo: Attila Boldog/