Deep Dive - Kardos Mád Tokaji Tundermese Late Harvest

Deep Dive - Kardos Mád Tokaji Tundermese Late Harvest

Let's delve a little deeper into Kardos Mád Tokaji Tundermese Late Harvest wine. It's our newest sweetie on the blog and we're obsessed with it for a number of reasons. Grab a glass and let's get stuck in!

What's in a name?

There's a lot going on in the name here, so let's break it down. Kardos is the producer, a tiny, family owned one from the oldest wine region in Europe (established 1737) Mád is the village in Tokaji, which is the region in Hungary where the wine is grown and made. Tündérmese means fairy tale, the "brand" name of the wine, and Late Harvest is when it was picked. This is important for a number of reasons. It lets us know that these grapes were left on the vines for longer than most, allowing them to soak up as much sun (and therefore sweetness and flavour) as possible. Nine times out of ten it indicates a sweet wine - which is what this is! Tokaji (the region) has beautiful clay soils which lock in moisture, and sunny south facing slopes. Perfect conditions for its infamous sweet wines!

What's in it?

Contrary to popular belief, Tokaji is not the name of the grape. The grapes in this wine are Furmint, Hárslevelű (hash-level-oo) and Muscat Blanc. The former two are indigenous to Hungary, and are the ying to each other's yang. One time at a wine awards ceremony I heard an MW say that Furmint was the new Albarino and that became my mantra for a few years. Furmint is minerally, crisp and savoury. Hárslevelű is fruity and floral. Muscat Blanc is just here for a bit of fun really.

Vintage Report.

Although it doesn't make a big deal of the vintage, this is a 2018 wine. *Cue godly music and angels singing* All over Europe 2018 was a stunner, and Hungary was no exception. They had above average yields which were excellent quality. The unusually warm weather in spring introduced early budding and flowering by 2-3 weeks, followed by the dry and warm summer without major weather extremes, resulted in an an early harvest across all wine regions in Hungary. Even though Tundermese is a late harvest wine, the harvest ended early because the season was so good, so it was actually hand harvested around the normal time for LH in early November. 

Matchy matchy.

Although all the wines used to make this beautiful wine can be made into dry wines, make no mistake that this is a sweetie. Chill this right down to make it perfect to enjoy on its own or with a tropical fruit dessert. You could even try it with a fruity Middle Eastern savoury dish, an apricot tagine would be amazing!!

But what does it taste like!!

Rich intense mandarin flavours with a honey note suggesting botrytis fruit. Textured with a vibrant acidity that prevents the sweetness from becoming cloying. And did we mention that she’s vegan??

Why is it a fairytale wine? We don't know. And perhaps that's part of it's charm... Leave your theories in the comments below.

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