The little known Hungarian grape Juhfark never fails to instigate a few laughs around the tasting table. Such unfortunate phonetics shouldn’t derail our attention though. There’s plenty to like about it.
Grown mainly in the volcanic soils of Nagy Somló, and on the highly acclaimed Somló hill, that stands lonely in western Hungary between the higher peaks of the Bakony Mountains on east and the long plains of Kisalföld to the northwest, it is capable of producing intriguing wines.
The best seem to deliver concentrated notes of apricot as well as a whole myriad of floral aromas. Sadly, many of the examples I’ve tasted recently seem to suffer from a lack of acidity. They were by no means bad wines, I just couldn’t help wishing they were fresher. Despite this, winemakers throughout the region continuously reference its high acidity and ability to create white wines that have some time to evolve in the bottle.
Fekete Winery cultivate the variety on the southern slopes of Somló Mountain. They harvest and sort by hand, before providing two to four hours of skin contact. Spontaneous fermentation takes place in 500 litre Hungarian oak casks. It then spends a further twelve month in used 500 litre Hungarian oak barrels, and eight months reductive maturation in stainless steel tanks before bottling. The result is a floral wine that takes on complexity with age.