Szepsy Istvan. Everything is coming up roses honey.

When Tokaj was created? Millions years ago! That was then when seismic activity changed the landscape of Tokaj.
While more than 1000 volcanoes are located in the area, about 380 are in the very heart of wine regions.


Other wine regions located in such places like neighbouring Somlo, with Juhrfark, insular Santorini with Assyrtiko
or italian Etna with Nerello or Pompeian with Greco di Tufo long ago discovered potential for creating dry whites
and reds. Meanwhile Tokaj was so focused on making sweet wines, that only recently at the beginning of this century, the winemakers from Tokaj were to face new challenges of shifting consumers gusta towards dry wines. Szepsy was also at first quite suspsicious about potential of white dry wines from Furmint. It was hard to believe for him, that in the kingdom of Aszu it makes sense to experiment with dry Furmints. But he would not be himself if he would not have taken the risk of making dry wines. The first vintage was 2002. Now he specializes in small parcels wines, very terroir driven. He experimented with more or less oak, maloactic fermentation and other techniques. But the most important thing for him is the quality of fruit and vineyard management. He is man of the land, not a magician in a winery. He adapts his plans to the weather conditions: in more difficult 2008 grapes were picked at the middle of October, while in sunnier 2007 in last week of September. One can feel the difference. 2007 more hedonistic, 2008 more classic and fresh. The ideas are raging. Sometimes we do not agree, he says, even in family, they ask me: why you do this or that? But if you do not bottle the wine you would not know what would be the outcome. Here we are. We can feel tasting his dry wines, that sometimes they have more sulphur like personality, sometimes oak is more evident, we are sure that we are on the way... to excellence. It is where he is right now with his sweet wines, more oldschool older vintages, more fruit oriented the newer ones. Asking him about terroirs is risky, you should have at least spare hour to learn the difference between clay, basalt, quartz lees or zeolite, his favourite topic, combining some water absorbtion with good drainage, allowing roots to go deep. Asking about parcels is also time consuming. He talks about them as about children, higly affectionately and does not favourize Szent Tamas over Urban or the others. But he distinguishes them by terroir and location. Unfortunately in the pricing as he is aware of marketing, though not very fond of. I wish him good luck and his polish importer as well:) It is hard to imagine the history of winemaking without winemaking stars. We consumers dream about their wines and admire them. Other winemakers follow them, imagine to be in their position. Because the stars have the ability of sparking up enthusiasm and promoting the ideas.


Wines of the Star (StarWines;):

Furmint 2008 Tokaj reduced dreams for future

Kiraly Harslevelu 2008 Tokaj freshmaker

Kiraly Harslevelu 2007 Tokaj burgundylike

Szent Tamas 2008 Tokaj oak lover

Szent Tamas 2007 Tokaj burgundylike

Szent Tamas 2006 Tokaj neverending story

Szamorodni 2008 Tokaj rich and voluptious

Daniel Szamorodni 2003 Tokaj character

Aszu 6P 2006 Tokaj fruit bomb

Aszu 6P 2005 Tokaj sheer hedonism

Aszu 6P 1999 Tokaj classy oldschool


Tokaji grape varieties

More than thirty used to exist, now winemakers concentrate on few: Furmint, Harslevelu (not: Harszlevelu, although it is closer to polish pronounciation, when s is sz, and sz is s, thanks Wein.r for correction), Zeta and Muscat Ottonel.