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What can we expect from the wines of the 2023 vintage?

The 2023 vintage stands out for its excellence. Our dry wines boast fruity, fresh flavors, wonderfully balanced, while our aszú wines, enriched by superb botrytization, offer a rich and intricate taste experience.

Weather Conditions of the Vintage

Cool, wet spring with late bud break

We had a chilly, damp spring that took its time to get going, with buds breaking out later than usual on April 19. Following a winter that seemed to favor rain, especially in January, we found ourselves greeted by more cool, wet weather until May, slowing down the growth of our young vines.

Summer warmth and September sunshine

Things took a turn for the better come mid-May, when the weather turned dry and sunny. By June 1, the first blooms were out, right on schedule. The blossoms lingered until June 17. Despite the dampness that seemed to stick around, our grapes managed to dodge the worst of it, with black rot being more of a nuisance than a disaster. However, as June waned into July, we had highly high temperatures, causing some damage from powdery mildew in several of our plots. Bunch closure occurred around mid-July.

As August rolled in, so did the heat, with the last two weeks bringing temperatures hitting 37-39°C, nudging our furmint grapes into ripeness by mid-month. The beginning of September brought beautiful weather again, making it the warmest September on record.

Autumn’s arrival with rain and botrytis

With autumn came the rains, and high temperatures, abundant rainfall, and plenty of humidity provided the perfect recipe for fine botrytization. October kept the good weather going, letting us  the selection of aszú berries. However, from the end of October, heavy rainfalls prevented concentration in the already botrysed grapes. In November, fine weather alternated with heavy rain, diluting the grapes’ concentration further.  

The Harvest Experience

Between September 13 and 22, we embarked on the exciting journey of harvesting healthy grapes for our beloved dry white wines. With meticulous care, we ensured that already botrytized clusters remained on the vines, preserving their unique character. Despite the ripe skins and seeds, we noticed a slight dip in sugar content, a delightful quirk of nature.

Simultaneously, we delved into the enchanting task of gathering aszú berries from our zéta grapes and furmint parcels nestled atop the hills. The warm embrace of October’s gentle rains bestowed upon us a bounty of high-quality aszú berries. During this period, only a handful of berries in each cluster bore the mark of botrytis. Thus, in our initial selection, we painstakingly handpicked these finely botrytized, high-quality aszú berries.

While the yield of our selected aszú berries met expectations, their quality mirrored that of great vintages like 2013.: very clear aszú berries with a distinct purple hue, luscious, jammy and fruity flavors, and the delightful crunch of their brown seeds.

As October bid farewell, we commenced the second phase of our selection process in our furmint and zéta parcels. This time, entire clusters were harvested, with keen eyes selecting only the finest aszú berries. The remaining grape bunches gracefully transformed into the backbone of our aszú wines, serving as base must and wine.

By November the berries boasted exquisite botrytization, but  frequent and heavy rains prevented complete shriveling crucial for aszú wine production.  Thus, from clusters containing well-botrytized but sufficiently juicy berries, we made Édes Szamorodni and Late Harvest wines. The grand finale of our harvest unfolded on November 14, with the tender gathering of hárslevelű.

Summary

2023 brought warmth and rain. While the rain was good for aszú grapes, towards the end of harvest, the shriveling of botrytized grapes was hindered, resulting in the average concentration of sweet szamorodni lots falling short of previous years. Quality can be likened to the greatest aszú vintages, such as 2013, where ripening took its time, but botrytis developed late on already ripe grapes rich in acids.