#WineWednesday Spotlight #12: Tinon Dry Szamorodni

Photo: Matthew Gaughan
Photo: Matthew Gaughan, Matthew’s World of Wine & Fine Drink

Bordeaux vigneron Samuel Tinon, settled in Tokaj with his family after making wine all over the world. His wife, Mathilde, a wine journalist, tells their extraordinary story in a matter-of-fact way, but even her words are soaked with the beauty of Tokaj. “Wherever we were in the world, we always just thought about Tokaj, coming back here. The botrytis is perfect here, and we were fascinated by the aszú. We were on a quest, to discover the aszú berry”. In fact, “aszú”, the Hungarian word for the noble rot, botrytis, does enjoy the climate of Tokaj. Nights of thick fog are followed by warm sunshine in the fall, allowing the healthy development of botrytis.

Samuel's wife Mathilde with their dog, Doris in the cellar
Samuel’s wife Mathilde with their Vizsla, Doris in the cellar

Today’s wine is dry Szamorodni. Partially botrytized bunches are picked as a whole (versus berry-selecting for an aszú wine) and fermented, resulting in Tokaji Szamorodni. Being really popular in Poland, the name “szamorodni” comes from the Polish word “as it is”, or “as it grows”.

Samuel Tinon. Photo: Colm FitzGerald
Samuel Tinon. Photo: Colm FitzGerald, The Paprika Project

What makes this particular Szamorodni so unique and wonderful, is that Tinon went back to the original, traditional way of making this wine: aging it in partial barrels and allowing flor, the surface yeast to develop.
The result is extreme complexity: aromas from the indigenous grapes furmint and hárslevelű, mingled with those from the botrytis and flor aging, not to mention the tertiary aromas that come from bottle aging!
Nutty, earthy, mushroom notes lead to flavors of apricot, honey, and green apple.

This 2007 Szamorodni is lively, and still has years of life left in it for us to enjoy this incredible wine of Tokaj.