“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.
Kulcsár is situated at the foot of an ancient volcano where supposedly a large layer of lava flowed over. After millions of years of erosion, it’s extremely nutrient poor (little to no loam or humus), always gives a high extract and forces the roots to go deep. Planted 45 years ago, it was so rocky (tons of rhyolite) that the local wine council extracted stones to help build a local road. Both the soil and the produced wine have a typical flint-like fragrance here.
100% Hárslevelű is sorted and then fermented slowly with native yeasts at uncontrolled temperatures in used 220L Hungarian oak. The 2018 has a resulting alcohol of 13%, and balances the residual sugar of 7.6g/l with 5.7 g/l acidity.
Click here to learn more about Hárslevelű
READ recent competitive writing entry posted at Jancis Robinson’s Purple Pages.