The Kreinbacher Estate is tucked into the mineral rich Somló hill in western Hungary. It is a relatively young wine estate, the final plantations having been completed in 2005 next to St. Ilona Chapel, the namesake of the wine. They currently cultivate approximately 25 hectares of grapes, and their head winemaker is Zita Horváth.
I’ve enjoyed many wines from this particular region, especially Olaszrizling and Furmint. Somló has volcanic soil that covers basalt rock, which add to the rich mineral quality of the wine. The area’s microclimate of long sunny days and cool breezy nights only enhance the rare quality of these uniquely Hungarian wines, many of which you will never try outside of the region and country.
Earlier in the summer I tried a St. Ilona Olaszrizling, which I thought was fantastic. I had never tried a Syrah Rosé before. But as I was telling Gyorgyi a few weeks ago, this really was the summer of Rosés because we tasted many and were so pleased with almost every one. Kreinbacher’s was no different. St. Ilona’s 2010 was bright, alive with minerals and balanced acids. Based on the recommendation of the local wine shop I served it extra cold so that the Syrah would draw out the flavors of the terroir, that sunny, basalt quality found only in Somló.
The wine was on sale at the shop for 1300 HUF, which is about $6. An excellent deal for a really pleasant summer wine.
I had the pleasure to be taken on a tour of one of their vineyards and facilities on Somlo this past summer. It’s owned by German with Hungarian roots who made it big in the construction industry and is putting forth a very professional effort that you would expect to find in more traditionally well-known wine regions. Lower down on the mountain they’re building a facility that will be devoted to pezsgő sparkling wine, which could be an excellent ground-breaking move by them. Of course we sampled all of their wines and found them of high quality.
I’m really excited about the whole region. It sounds like you had a really nice experience there and I would love to visit their vineyard and winemaking facility. And if the pezsgo is anything like the rest of their offerings, we’re in for a treat!