Sanzon Rány Hárslevelü Tokaj 2018
Suitable for Vegans: Yes
Suitable for Vegetarians: Yes
Food pairing: Carrot and ginger soup or charred chicken thighs seasoned with smoked paprika and fresh garlic.
This beautiful Hungarian wine showcases one of Tokaj’s most important white grapes at one of the region’s finest vineyards: Rany. Created by winemaker Erika Racz, owner of the boutique SanzonTokaj winery in the village of Erdőbénye in the heart of Tokaj. The wine is fully organic and aged for six months on lees in the tank. The resulting wine is deep and complex with a lean acidity, floral and sweet clementine aromas, and a textured palate of peaches, honey, orange zest, ginger spice and citrus.
Hárslevelü is a richly-flavored grape variety from Hungary. It is best known for its supporting role in sweet Tokaji wines (where the better-known Furmint variety rules), but is sometimes made as a varietal wine, in both dry and sweet styles. Hárslevelü often displays honeyed, smoky characters and its name, which means “linden leaf” in Hungarian, refers to the linden-like aromas that the wine takes on as it ages.
Together with Furmint, Hárslevelü is one of Tokaj’s most planted varieties, and the two take up around 90 percent of the region’s vineyard. In Tokaj, a warm mesoclimate and the convergence of two rivers creates humidity, which in turn encourages the development of botrytis cinerea. Loose bunches and thin skins make it susceptible to this noble rot, which concentrates the already-high sugars in the grapes and leads to the production of Tokaj’s famous Aszú wines. As part of the Tokaji blend, Hárslevelü adds flavors that are often described as spicy or smoky, usually with honey pollen and elderflower aromas
Hárslevelü can also be vinified dry, making a more herbaceous, full-bodied style of wine. This is a more modern approach to the grape, and vignerons have been known to experiment with barrel maturation and wines aged using flor (in the style of Sherry or Jura’s Vin Jaune).
While Tokaji is undoubtedly the variety’s spiritual home, there are plantings across Hungary, and there is a relatively high proportion of Hárslevelü in Somló (although the region is so tiny that the actual volumes are small). Outside Hungary, the variety is grown in Germany, Slovakia and a little in South Africa.
Not the Tokaj you were looking for? We also stock this thing of beauty if you’re after something more typically sweet.