Heimann, Birtokbor, Szekszárd, 2011, red wine from Hungary

4,5 points

My friend Gabor Kereszty brought me a box of six different wines from the Hungarian winery Heimann.  Although I thought I would know more than others about Hungarian wine, I must admit I didn’t know of Heimann, from the southern city of Szekszard.

Like all really good Hungarian wine, this is a cuvée! Birtokbor contains Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Syrah – according to the website of Heimann (http://www.heimann.hu/en/menu/wines). It is the very well-balanced combination of grapes that makes it very notable and, simply speaking, good.

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I am always a little bit afraid of too great a dominance of Cabernet Franc because this grape delivers a rather inflexible, cold and inelegant experience.  This wine is the exact opposite of this: it is very well-balanced and has a very clear taste. All of the grapes apart from the Cabernet Franc are strong and influential enough to lend this wine a variety of flavors and aromas.  The taste is surprisingly nice, masculine and rich with – let it me call – “northern” flavor of a great wine. It is somehow really dry (due to Merlot I guess), really Hungarian / Austrian because of Carbernet Franc but also because of Kékfrankos. Then the Syrah lends a southern French note.

Although it’s not especially dominant, a significant part of the taste does come from the wooden barrel. This wine is spicy, also fruity like blackberry marmalade, but not sweet.  The tannin is pretty strong but not primary in the tasting experience. The aftertaste makes me think of a very bitter chocolate, but is also a bit like the sweet tobacco of a pipe. (I hate pipe smoking!)

It is really impressive how well the winemakers have combined and assembled real dryness and fruitiness in one wine. Although perhaps ladies would call it a heavy wine, I would prefer to call it uncompromising, in the best sense of the word!

This wine will likely improve during the next two or three years. You can drink it now, but it will probably even get a bit better if you store it for some years. The only real disadvantage is the volume of alcohol which is unreasonably high  at 14,5%.

See here more review of wines of this winemaker: https://avdwineandfood.net/2015/05/03/barbar-heimann-2011-szekszard/