Happening Now Tasting 18: Kolonics Pincészet Somlói Juhfark 2011, Somlóvásárhely

Right ... it's Halloween! As always, reason enough for another „Happening Now Tasting“! I hope it won't be as scary as last time! This Halloween I got lost on pitoresque Somló Mountain in the centre-west of Hungary. The predominant grape varietal on these volcanic slopes are Juhfark aka sheep's tail. According to some publications on the web the producer of this Juhfark - Kolonics Karoly - is described as the Somló's "pope of acid". Well, I don't know (yet)… perhaps there might be some scary potential in this wine after all!? Let's have a look how this one might fit for tonight's events …

5:22 pm (popped and poured)

Colour: stronger and lusher hue than expected; golden colour with a few sparkles of silver; all in all very clear and radiant colour

Nose: very bright, well pronounced and communicative nose; I am getting green lemon peel, a fair amount of quince, some traces of elderberry, matches (hello volcano), some very minor and probably imagined sediments of its aging in oak, fresh thyme, pimento and even some mild cloves; so far a rather complex and appealing nasal impression

Taste: on the palate it might be a bit eccentric, I suppose; there are plenty of really tart earthy flavours in combination with stern as well as expressive fruit. Quince and quince jelly seem to dominate the fruitful character of this one. The green lemon zest flavours (and perhaps some gooseberries) are standing to loose out a bit. Beside those mentioned flavours I am getting very distinct aromas of khat (without its “special effect”, of course). Well, and should not forget to mention the expected acid burst. It isn't that excessive, but I am pretty sure this. So far a rather broad scope and slightly short spectacle!

6:33 pm

Nose: pretty much the same, perhaps a bit more quince jelly pronounced and a little less precise; I guess the soil based expressions are gaining some more ground, too

Taste: tartness prevails (still, right now a little less stern), the arrangement of the fruit flavours is changing: gooseberries seem much stronger now, some pulpy khaki fruit is rising as well, quince is still present, lemon peel not so much; some indications of petroleum, mild ones, are mingling with my khat imagination, the acid seems still rather challenging

8:39 pm

Nose: the distinct fruitful scents are blurring (a bit), the soil characteristics including my impression of matches (non ignited ones) are still in a nice shape

Taste: there are a few indications that the once really excessive tartness is easing (a bit) – resulting in a pattern of slight bitter sweet (is getting more obvious in the last 30 minutes) characteristics, the fruit flavours are persistently loosing ground; finish is slightly contracting

6:01 pm (the day after)

Nose: by far not as expressive as yesterday, perhaps even a bit sleepy, the fruit characteristics seem very subdued

Taste: now it is more bitter than just tart, apparently the acid is steadily kind of integrating but still very vigorous; the mineral touch is in place and overall convincing; harmony and length is still leaking

I think this kind of wine is screaming for food. Maybe something creamy to handle the acid and something cabbage’y for the special aroma pattern. Anyway, its rather excessive acid and downright tartness makes it a bit complicated to enjoy. For me in the first three hours it was probably a very characterful so la-la*** whitey. I am pretty sure its “special” crispness might scare off one or the other winelover. For me it was still in the framework of my tummy and gut flora. But a bit challenging …I guess!

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