Esztebauer, Kadarka – 2016

  • Basic info: Esztebauer “Nagyapam” Kadarka, Szeksard, Hungary – 2016
  • Type: Red
  • Price estimate: $28 (Somm Select)
  • Look: Ruby red in color with some translucence at the edges.
  • Smell: (Stay with  me, this is a little weird) Smoke, herbs, trees and plums (yes, really)
  • Taste: Red berries, especially almost ripe or under ripe raspberry. Cola and a little rose.  Nice finish.
  • Conclusions: This was one of the most unique wines I’ve ever had. It ranks up there with the strange Sicilian wine with had in December that totally changed flavor with food. This was good, very good, but unlike anything I’ve tasted before. All of the flavors were there, but hard to identify. When looking at what we said it tasted like, it sounds bad and the wine should be bad (based on those flavors) but it was good – very good. This was one of the few times I wished I had a really good palate so I could accurately describe this wine.
  • Other notes: I was intrigued by this bottle and since I had never heard of the grape varietal, I decided to try it. I like trying new varietals and while I am sometimes disappointed, this was not one of them. Both Bob and I lingered over our glasses and sipped and contemplated because we had a hard time describing the wine. The smell and the taste were also so different that it was hard to believe they were the same wine.
  • From the bottle: “Above all other wines, my grandfather (Nagyapam) loved to drink the Kadarka of Szekszard, still cool, straight from the barrel. Harvested from our oldest vines, this exuberant, jasmine and raspberry scented rendition was made in his honor. Our family has farmed the chalk and loess hills of Szaksard since 1746.” 12.5% alcohol by volume.

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