Furmint – a thousand-faced variety
If you had to draw a picture of the average Hungarian wine (which, as it is known, doesn’t exist), you would undoubtedly depict a barrel-aged, aromatic, but not aggressive white wine with a good structure made from ripe grapes. This is the kind of wine allowed for by the qualities of the Carpathian Basin and the centuries-old tradition of winemaking.
But actually, that’s what we prefer when we want a really nice white wine. It should have excellent acids, a smooth feel to the touch, preferably with a hint of tannins, and a long, persistent finish. As for great white wines, some residual sugar doesn’t hurt either. And if this somewhat idealistic image should be associated with a grape variety, it would put many people in mind of Furmint.
For us Hungarians, Furmint is synonymous with serious, dry white wine. However, this variety has an entire range of different wine potentials imaginable, except red wine, of course. Similarly to its large international peers and partly relatives, Riesling and Chenin Blanc, it can be made into an excellent raw material for sparkling wine, a light, almost insubstantial, attractive, quiet dry wine with outstanding acids. But a serious, terroir-focused, great, full-bodied, and complex dry wine, barrel-aged for a longer or shorter period, also belongs here. And, of course, we have sweet wines, too. In our opinion, these are globally best-of-class.