GRAPE VARIETY: FOCUS ON Hárslevelü

Hárslevelü is a native Hungarian grape variety, known for producing excellent white wines. It is the second most commonly planted grape variety in Hungary after Furmint, and makes up approximately 18% of the vines in Tokaj. Outside Hungary, Harslevelu is grown in Germany, Slovakia and a little in South Africa.

The name Hárslevelű translates as “Linden Leaf”, and good examples of Hárslevelű wines are powerfully aromatic, rich, green-gold, with Linden honey flavours. It is a late ripening  grape and requires warm climatic conditions.

It is most famous as one of the three grapes that make up the sweet wines of Tokaji, where it is added to Furmint and Muscat to bring floral aromas and richness to the blend. Hárslevelü is also capable of making excellent dry varietal wines, which are full bodied, with a very appealing texture and display an intense aromatic quality. Despite their dense structure they can be quite bright, with medium to high levels of acidity, making them very good food wines. You can expect aromas of lime tree blossom, elderflower, apple and honey, followed by citrus and stone fruit flavours of lemon, gooseberry, peach and pineapple, together with lychee and ginger, while many can also display a pronounced mineral quality. Some of these wines are oak aged and when yields are kept low, they can be well structured and very complex.

To discover this grape variety, we suggest Kikelet Lónyai Hárslevelű 2015. A vineyard-selected wine from the Lónyai vineyard in Tokaj, made from only the best Hárslevelű grapes. Rich and juicy, with hints of pears, tropical fruits and lime, combined with the minerality of the volcanic soils the grapes grow in. The fresh acidity blends subtly into the wine, giving it a nicely rounded and rich style. Well-balanced and intense, it has a very long finish.

Amsterdam, February 6th 2020