In September of 2019, we also included a visit with the intensely focused and dynamic Demeter Zoltán, who’s reputation in Tokaj for perfection as a “one man show” in viticulture and winemaking precedes him. Zoltán resides with his meticulous cellar 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 passionate and devoted to understanding the terroir of Tokaj as well as the firm belief that Tokaj is one of the most important wine cultures in the world.
Zoltán now focuses entirely on his own 9 single vineyards spread over 7 hectares, including the Lapis vineyard in Bodrogkeresztúr. All of the single vineyards are 40 years and older and classified as Frist Growths. Soils range from Loess to heavy clay to stony volcanic. Pesticides are not used, no fertilizer, some still plowed by horse, and sulfur only when absolutely needed is sprayed by hand. Zoltán spends an inordinate amount of time in the vineyards and is one part student while admitting to his weakness to understand Tokaj’s unique mystic!
The entire winery is designed to be run by one man. Every hose, tool, pump, valve, and drain has an exact place and purpose. Zoltán ferments just about everything in steel tank, ambient yeasts are preferred but commercial yeasts are employed when needed to get the wine fully dry. All aging takes place in old oak barrels.
The 2019 is 100% Hárslevelű (HARSHlehveh-LOO) from the hillside sloping Rhyolite with brown clay and tufa soils of the Lapis Vineyard. 13.2%. 8.8 g/l. 6.3 g/l.
Demeter Zoltan’s 2019 Harslevelu from the “Grand Cru” Lapis Vineyard is masterful….the aromas are floral and spicy….and you can sense the wine unfolding like a stretched accordion releasing notes of savory intrigue. The acidity provides laser beam-like tension. WORTH IT! Nobody rates these wines, but those who know ….. KNOW!