Furmint is, of course, the main grape in the production of Tokaj, the unctuous sweet wine from Hungary. However, that country does not have the monopoly on this grape. It is grown in other nearby countries, Austria being one of them. Heidi Schröck was one of the pioneers that reintroduced the grape and now produces some of the best Furmint wines in the world. Her dry Furmint is elegant and filled with spice and quince. Her sweet Furmint and blends incorporating Furmint are truly astonishing and need to be tasted to be believed. I would urge everyone to become a believer.
At the end of 2012, Matt Walls commented on two of our Austrian Furmints.
“Very pale green with some little silver hints. Not much on the nose to begin with, a bit of pear, a touch herbal, maybe even some seaweed. Lean, and fresh like a just-ripe green apple. Medium length, with zingy acidity and a keen minerality. (Triebaumer)
“Pale yellow/green with silver hints again. Green apple, but with a pleasing vegetal hint. More apple and kiwi in the mouth. Fresh, with a silky texture and mineral finish.” (Heidi Schröck)
Furmint originates in Hungary with the first references found in documents from the late sixteenth century. It is no surprise that it comes from the Tokaj region whose eponymous wines have made it famous and given so much pleasure. Other origins have been suggested but are without substance.
Furmint is related to Gouais Blanc and therefore to a vast number of well-known varieties such as Chardonnay and Riesling. It is a parent of the other main grape in Tokaji wines, Hárslevelü and the Swiss Plantscher.