Recognized and acclaimed internationally, Demeter Zoltan is the superstar of the region, and the supreme leader in everyway for his integrity and meticulous “one man show” hands on approach. His passion and discipline result in the highest quality wine which continues to set the bar higher than anyone else. He is responsible for leading the current renaissance to produce dry white wines in the region.
Zoltán’s one-man cellar rests inside a historic house built in 1790 just a few blocks from where the Bodrog and Tisza Rivers meet in the town of Tokaj. He’s fully committed to his own race against time to rediscover the terroir of Tokaj as well as the firm belief that Tokaj is one of the most important wine cultures in the world. After working abroad in Napa Valley (Stags Leap Wine Cellar), and Beaune to study viticulture and enology, as well as larger estates in Tokaj, he has arguably the most experience making dry Tokaj wines in Hungary next to Isvtán Szepsy, whom together are responsible for the success of the renown Királyudvar brand.
As of 2008 Zoltán now focuses entirely on his own 9 single vineyards spread over 7 hectares: Szerelmi vineyard in Tokaj, Veres and Becsek vineyards in Mád, Holdvölgy and Újhegy vineyards in Rátka and the Kakas and Lapis vineyards in Bodrogkeresztúr. His selection of dry, Főbor (Original Hungarian word for Szamorodni), and Aszú are broadly considered benchmarks. They clearly reflect the complex geology of their site, the character of their varieties and Zoltán’s intensive cerebral nature. Multifaceted, crystalline, and enduring. According to Zoltán, “Wine is not the sound it is the instrument.”
Szerelmi is predominately loess soil with 65 year old vines on the southern side of Tokaj Hill. It was first mentioned in 1798 as a 1st Class Vineyard and roughly translates to “lovely.” Although Hárslevelű is often used as a blending agent or a fresh base wine for Tokaj Aszú, when it is planted in the right place and cropped back, it is every bit as powerful and reflective of site as Furmint. The 2016 Szerelmi is extremely aromatic, stony, and showing all of the ripeness and structure you’d expect from 15% alcohol with absolutely none of the heat. However, this wine weighs in a just 13% alcohol.
We went nuts for the 2017 which has not yet been released! We can’t wait. In the meantime, know the 2016 will be mesmerizing!
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