“The wines of Tokaj are the product of over 1200 years of melting together different cultures, religions, and ethnicities over a truly unique combination of geology and climate. In a way, József and Judit Bodó, both originally from Csallóköz, an ethnic Hungarian region in Slovakia are perpetuating this tradition of cultural exchange.
Following her love for wine Judit went to work for a producer in South Tirol who later hired her onto a project in Tokaj managing the affairs of a small artisan winery: Füleky. Heeding the dream of his wife to have their own winery in Tokaj, József took on the labor of actually looking for vineyards. Upon discovering Csontos, Judit said, “he could not sleep at night.” After the birth of their son, they focused solely on their own family winery with József in the vineyards and Judit in the cellar. In 2005 they bottled wine from just 1 ha, the first vintage of “Bott,” an homage to Judit’s maiden name.
Today the couple organically farms about 9 ha spread over five vineyard sites mostly near the village of Erdőbénye. Wines are made exclusively from indigenous varieties. Despite making very small quantities of wine, Judit and József have made Bott one of Tokaj’s most respected new producers, not just in Tokaj, but all of Hungary.
Csontos was originally a family name as found in a local document dated back to the 1470s. The south facing vineyard has rich brown forest top soil, but with a substrata of slate rhyolite formations (combining clay and volcanic). The old terraces on the hilltop are identified as the finest parcel, There are also excellent 40-60 year old vines in the lower area near the renovated stone press house.
Furmint has the triple threat of balancing incredibly high acidity, the weight of residual sugar, and being highly susceptible to Botrytis. The mixture of clay and volcanic soils also imparts a chalk-like texture coupled with dried fruit, honey, spice and a mineral backbone. 100% Furmint is fermented slowly with native yeasts at uncontrolled temperatures in used 220L Hungarian oak. The 2016 has a resulting alcohol of 12.4%, and balances the residual sugar of 4.1g/l with 5.1 g/l acidity.
READ recent competitive writing entry posted at Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages.
Click here to learn more about Furmint grape variety.