DANCH & GRANGER SELECTIONS
Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe
Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe

Bodrog Borműhely, Tokaj, Hungary

Website: http://www.bodrogbormuhely.hu

By maintaining tiny parcels of vineyards in historically great sites, Hajdú János & Farkas Krisztián are making pure, modern, yet classically inspired dry wines.



Hajdú János & Farkas Krisztián
Hajdú János & Farkas Krisztián

The Appellation

In North-Eastern Hungary, Tokaji - Hegyalja warranted the world’s first appellation system over 100 years before Bordeaux. For nearly 400 years, it has served as a diplomatic tool to court foreign powers, inspired countless artists and philosophers, and has become so ingrained in Hungarian identity that it’s part of their National Anthem. One of the key features of life and history in the region is the Bodrog River. It runs from the village of Sárospatak in the north east all to the way down to Tokaj Hill in the south. The name “Bodrog” dates back to the first Magyar conquest and the very first kings of Hungary. It’s also responsible for the moisture that along with a unique confluence of grapes and terroir, makes Botrytis so prevalent.

Today, only 20+ years after the reestablishment of private and family wineries Hungary is in the midst of a wine renaissance. Bodrog Borműhely, or “Bodrog wine(bor) workshop” started by János Hajduz and Krisztián Farkas is emblematic of this new era. By maintaining tiny parcels of vineyards in historically great sites, they are making pure, modern, yet classically inspired dry wines. Knowing when to pick and where, avoiding Botrytis, and then fermenting with native yeasts in local oak barrel are the means to this end.


Bodrog river
The Bodrog river

Vineyards

On the west side of Tokaj Hill near the village of Tarcal lies the historic Deák Vineyard, classified as a 1st Class site in 1798. The soil is thick with loess, rich in minerals, and with a solid bedrock of dacite. Most of the Furmint is located on a steep slope about 100-150 m above sea level.

The Dereszla vineyard has a Southwest exposure about 120-150 meters above the village of Bodrogkeresztúr and the Bodrog River. Its climate is temperate and very breezy. The soil is loess (3-5 meters) that the rhyolitic volcanic debris and richly grained perlite. The base rock is andesite. János and Krisztián work a small 0.65 hectare area planted in the early 1980’s with about 70% planted to Hárslevelű and the rest Furmint.

The Lapis Vineyard is near the town of Bodrogkeresztúr and looks down onto the Bodrog River and its floodplains. Despite being near to all of this moisture, Botrytis only hits certain parts of the vineyard. The 0.7 ha that they farm is 155m up and in a breezy spot making dry wines possible. The soil is a mixture of rhyolite with strong brown clay soil and tufa. If there were to be reclassification of the Tokaji vineyards, this would be a strong contender for a Great Growth.

The Halas (Fish) vineyard is just southwest of Lapis near the town of Bodrogkisfalud. The vineyard is covered with a think layer of Nyirok - a rich reddish clay unique to Tokaji over a base of hardened rhyolite (volcanic) rock. The microclimate is relatively warm compared to other parts of the appellation, but the vines are 40-50 years old and well adjusted. In addition to Furmint, there is also a small plot of Pinot Noir, which will soon be ready to make wine for the very first time.


hajdu and farkas
In the vineyard

Winemaking

All wines are hand picked and sorted in the vineyard and then again in the winery. After settling for at least a day after crush, wines are barreled down into local Szerednye Oak Barrels (3-4 years old) and left to ferment on their own yeasts. After regular batonnage, full malolactic fermentation and 9 months of aging sur lie, all wines are gently filtered and sulfured before bottling.
 
Bodrog BorműhelyDry Tokaj 2018
White Wine
Furmint; Hárslevelű;
12.5%
3 g/l
5.6 g/l
We’ve been importing the single vineyard dry wines since the 2011 vintage. These are barrel fermented, often have some degree of botrytis and or extended maceration and at least 6 months on the lees in barrel. This 2018 Dry Tokaj represents the first vintage of something new. In 2017 the Halas vineyard was largely destroyed by hail and what was left went to their Aszú production. We had room for something else and Krisztián proposed we try their new all stainless steel Dry Tokaj. It’s difficult to find an organically farmed value driven dry Furmint that isn’t then overworked and or made according to a consistent recipe in the cellar. This still has the Bodrog signature although nothing like their single vineyard offerings. 30%Hárslevelu and 70% Furmint, it as the name suggests is a dry, low alcohol, fresh and great place to get people onto the Furmint train.

Bodrog BorműhelyFurmint Lapis 2016
White Wine
Furmint;
13%
2.8 g/l
5.9 g/l
Although fermented and aged in Hungarian oak, it’s mostly the breathing nature of the wood and a little texture that’s imparted. The mixture of clay and volcanic tufa also lends a mineral richness that makes this the most creamy of the Bodrog wines. Furmint from the Lapis vineyard is to Tokaj what Chenin Blanc planted in the Montlouis-sur-Loire is to the Loire Valley. For a furmint with very little age on it, the wine drinks incredibly well right now. Sweet aromatics, spicy on the palate, and a weighty texture balanced with enough acidity for pork, umami like sauces, and anything smokey.

Bodrog BorműhelyFurmint Lapis 2017
White Wine
Furmint;
12.5%
3.7 g/l
7.6 g/l
Lapis is an iconic vineyard in Tokaj. Located near the town of Bodrogkeresztúr and looking down onto the Bodrog River with the Várhegy (Castle Hill) volcano to the east. Despite being near to all of this moisture, Botrytis only hits certain parts of the vineyard. The 1 hectare that they farm is 155m up and in a breezy spot making dry wines more feasible. The soil is a mixture of rhyolite with strong brown clay soil and tufa. Where the Várhegy has aromatics at the forefront, the Lapis has texture. Only 5-6 hours of maceration, left overnight to settle out, then barreled down for 6 months. Bottle conditioning is always key with these wines hence the current release being the 2017. There’s a smidge of RS but balanced by ripping acidity and everything is happening in a 12.5% package. Furmint from the Lapis is creamy without being flabby, and is like honeyed stone fruit rolled in the spice trade.

Bodrog BorműhelyFurmint Várhegy 2017
White Wine
Furmint;
11.6%
2.9 g/l
7.4 g/l
Rising on the north-eastern border of Bodrogkisfalud, the volcano dominating the landscape near the Bodrog River is Várhegy (Castle Hill). It’s impossible to miss on your left as you drive north towards Olaszliszka. Layers of rhyolite dominate along with a rich top soil of volcanic stones and clay. Tokaj Nobilis has her Barakony vineyard near the very top of the hill, and down towards the foot of the volcano is the .5 hectares where Bodrog recently replanted Furmint in 2013. The 2017 Várhegy is the lightest in weight, lowest in alcohol, highest in acidity, and the most aromatic single vineyard from the vintage. Only 5-6 hours maceration, barrel fermented and on the less for 6 months. This has ionically charged acidity.

Bodrog BorműhelyNarancsbor 2013
White Wine
Furmint; Hárslevelű;
14.8%
8.5 g/l
7.2 g/l
This wine has been a long time coming. This is the first commercial skin contact wine from Bodrog. Deák is a historic first-class vineyard since 1798 on the western side of the Kopasz Hill in Tokaj near the border of the village of Tarcal. The soil is thick loess on top of jet-black volcanic andesite. Their 1.5 hectare holding is on a steep slope about 150 meters up. They’ve been farming it since 2011. After 20 days on the skins the alcohol was nearing 10% and the tannins were getting a little too intense so they barreled down for 10 months. They then bottled without filtration in August. It took until just recently for the bottle conditioning to get everything resolved. The numbers are a little intense and she needs some air, but just as Tokaj can balance insanely high acidity and sugar, so can it balance with tannins. A unique offering from Tokaj.

Bodrog BorműhelyTokaji Aszú 2013
Dessert Wine
Furmint; Hárslevelű;
9.5%
184.3 g/l
9.9 g/l
Aszú refers to the dried hand picked botrytis infected grapes. Puttonyos (literally baskets) refers to the ratio of Aszú berries to base wine. These Aszú berries are then mashed into a super sweet thick black paste and macerated in a finished dry wine for a month. The wine was aged in barrels for a couple of years then bottled after fining and filtration. it shows a medium golden color and delicate aromas of dried apricots, figs and tobacco. Its rich sweetness is well balanced by its high acidity and complexity. Enjoy it with foie gras, blue cheese and chocolate.