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

Bott Frigyes, Južnoslovenská, Slovakia

“We believe in the outstanding qualities and uniqueness of our region that lies next to the Garam. We would like for our wines to help the wine region reestablish its position on the European wine map.”—Bott Frigyes

Winery map

At a Glance

http://www.bottfrigyes.sk/
Južnoslovenská
Continental (hot summers & cold winters)
Clay on top of volcanic bedrock
250m
Southern slopes of the Mužsla Hills
Furmint, Hárslevelű, Juhfark, Kékfrankos, Kadarka, Tramini, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sárfahér and Olaszrizling
10 hectares
Organic


Bott Frigyes and his son Frici
Bott Frigyes and his son Frici


The People

After WWI, Hungary lost around 71% of its territory to Romania, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia (Slovakia), Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia) and Austria. Over 3 million ethnic Hungarians found themselves outside of Hungary with significant outcome on the grapes and traditions that never stopped or are now coming back to life beyond the present day borders of Hungary. On the southern slopes of the Mužsla Hills in Slovakia surrounded by the river Garam, Danube and the Ipoly rivers, is one such example: Bott Frigyes.

Even the neighboring village of Béla is where Judit and József Bodó of Bott Pince began their winemaking career (ethnically Hungarian but born in Slovakia) before moving to Tokaj. Long story short, a whole bunch of things all came together with Bott Frigyes coupled with great farming, honest winemaking, and delicious wines.


Vineyardi
Photo: Bott Frigyes Winery

Vineyards

Bott and his son Frici cultivate 10 hectares of vineyards next to the River Garam, at 250 metres above sea level. They are growing Furmint, Hárslevelű (Lipovina in Slovakia), Juhfark, Kékfrankos, Kadarka (cuttings are incidentally from Balla Géza in Romania who is also ethnically Hungarian), Tramini, Pinot Blanc, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Sárfahér and Olaszrizling. The soil is clay on top of volcanic bedrock, which is also rich in limestone and minerals.

Winemaking

The winemaking is certainly structured in terms of technique, although all fermentations are native, there’s zero temperature control, longer lees aging, natural settling, all oak barrel (some amphora), and bottling unfined and unfiltered with a small amount of SO2 at bottling as the only addition. For the reds, they do use the “Hamberger” method which is essentially alternating layers of whole cluster (foot stomped), topped with whole cluster, then topped with a destemmed and hand crushed layer. This achieves a semi-carbonic quality to the wines without developing too much of the banana or bubble gum often associated with carbonic. For the skin contact whites, it’s often no more than a week, and they are careful to keep it worked over to prevent VA and other flaws. The winemaking overall is tied to tradition but with a nod to modern hygiene in the cellar.
 
Bott FrigyesJust Enjoy White 2019
White Wine , Organic
Gewürztraminer; Welschriesling;
13%
1.6 g/l
6.6 g/l
I want everyone to sit on the deck overlooking the Danube River at the Bott Frigyes household and drink wines like this. This is from vineyards planted on the southern side of the Mužla hill and in between the aforementioned Danube river and nearby Hron river. Made by the 3 layered “Hamburger method.” This is basically 10-15% foot trodden, 50% whole cluster, and the rest if destemmed. Kept in these layers, everything is macerated for about 6 days in open vats and just kept moist enough to manage VA and contamination. Gently pressed, everything complete fermentation and ages in neutral oak barrels. Extended lees time is really important for this style as well. Unfined and unfiltered, this is unmistakably Gewürztraminer dominant, but in a juicy, smooth, acid driven and hyper mineral fashion.

Bott FrigyesKadarka 2019
Red Wine
Kadarka;
13%
2.1 g/l
6.41 g/l
This is the most dark fruited and botrytis free Kadarka in the portfolio. Still late ripening and thin skinned, but half was left whole cluster on the skins for nearly a month. There’s no dominant enzymatic/carbonic quality, but all that skin contact leeches out the spice and tea. It’s easy to see how a Kadarka like this would be a required blending component in Bikavér (Bull’s Blood). One half was fermented as whole bunches on the skins but the other half was destemmed. Both fermented separately for 3-4 weeks in open vats. Both lots were then combined in 500L oak barrels and aged 9 months on the lees. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Bott FrigyesPinot Noir 2019
Red Wine , Organic
Pinot Noir;
13.5%
2.5 g/l
5.65 g/l
The Kékfrankos wasn’t ready in time for this container, so we revisited the Pinot Noir. Much like our experiment with Losonci’s Pinot Noir, we were pleasantly surprised. As many of the Bott Frigyes wines, this was open vat fermented in three layers: foot trodden, whole clusters, and destemmed. Minimal punchdowns and no pumpovers and just under 4 weeks. Basket pressed into 500L barrels it then aged 8 months. Bottled unfiltered and unfined, this has a ton of energy and is slightly richer in weight and texture than the Kadarka.

Bott FrigyesUnfiltered Hárslevelű 2018
White Wine , Organic
Hárslevelű;
13.7%
4.4 g/l
7.22 g/l
This is a rare one off in that half of the production is going to a Michelin starred restaurant in Hungary and the other half is coming to us. The wine itself is also split 50/50 in how it’s made. One half was fermented for 3 months in amphora (mostly whole berries), and the other half was macerated for 2 weeks on the skins before barreled down Hungarian oak for 7 months. Hárslevelű was the first wine we ever imported from Bott Frigyes, and every iteration we’ve had since has been remarkable.

Bott FrigyesUnfiltered Juhfark 2019
White Wine , Organic
Juhfark;
13.2%
1.7 g/l
7.17 g/l
Every other Juhfark in our portfolio is from the Basalt crumble soils of Somló and the similarly volcanic Northern shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary. They either had lengthy élevage with botrytis, or were pure free run made fresh. This is a whole other side of Juhfark. One week on the skins, little to no Botrytis, fermented and aged 8 months in Hungarian oak. This is more on the tea spectrum than fruit, great acidity, more creamy weight than tannic, and dry.

Bott FrigyesUnfiltered Kékfrankos 2019
Red Wine , Organic
Kékfrankos;
14.1%
2.5 g/l
7.57 g/l
Kékfrankos as Frigyes puts it is, “The main message from our region.” It has the history and flavor that make it inextricable from the area. Through clonal selection, controlling vigor with cover crops, and farmed with Biodynamic principles, the berries are small and thick skinned. They then use the “Hamberger method” for 4 weeks which is foot stomped whole clusters, topped with whole cluster, then topped with a destemmed and hand crushed layer. It’s then aged in Hungarian oak for 10 months and bottled unfined and unfiltered with a small amount of SO2. There’s a touch of that whole cluster fruit, aromatics from the stems, plenty of spice from the skins and a calling card for the family.

Bott FrigyesUnfiltered Olaszrizling 2019
White Wine , Organic
Olaszrizling;
13%
3 g/l
7.14 g/l
Half of the 2019 was made using the hamburger method (open vat fermented for a week in three layers: foot trodden, whole clusters, and destemmed), and the other half was whole bunch pressed and aged 1 year in Hungarian oak. It was then blended together and bottled without filtering and fining. The label is unique in the winery’s lineup showing the biggest tree in their vineyard sandwiched in between the Gran River, Danube River and the Esztergom Basilica (the seat of the Catholic Church in Hungary). Since Olaszrizling shows great fidelity to place, they are making it crystal clear where you area and what you’re drinking.