Dry Szamorodni

Tinon Dry Szamorodni 2007 (500ml)

Tinon, Tokaj (Hungary)
White (13.6%)
Furmint, Hárslevelű
500ml
$45.95
Sorry, sold out
Our Notes: Originally called Ordinárium (ordinary wine) in the 1600’s, Főbor (prime wine) after that, and later, due to the immense popularity in the Polish market, Szamorodni (as comes off the vine) became the official name (itself a Polish word) in the early 1800’s. In short, this refers to healthy, shriveled and botrytized grapes all being harvested and fermented together. However, dry Szamorodni goes a few steps further by adding Claspodorium cellare (a special mold that covers the entire cellar) and a native yeast veil (flor) that protects the wine in barrel. Not only are these yeasts specific to Tokaj’s volcanic cellars, but the evaporation rate is also the reverse of Jerez in that alcohol evaporates without water loss so the wines actually lose .5% alcohol each year. For Samuel, it was actually by mistake and luck that he realized he could make one. He had two barrels of 2001 Aszú that seemed destined to spoil and actually marked them as “throw away” in the cellar log. He happened to hold onto them over the summer only to discover that the yeasts had changed the wine into Szamorodni. Nature gave the gift and Tinon perceived it as such and is now determined to explore and preserve its production. In any case, after one night of maceration on the skins, primary fermentation took about three weeks. After 6 months on the lees, the first blending took place and the resulting wine spent 5 years in 220L barrels with both previously mentioned cellar micro-organisms at work. The final blend was made after these 5 years.

2007 was a super early ripening year (July!), which made for healthy ripe grapes before much of the botrytis arrived. Although risking losing a lot of acidity, Samuel ended up waiting all the way up until October 15th to start harvest. While he considers this an incredibly difficult harvest, the resulting wines were well worth the stress and effort. Without using a Solera or fortification typically in Sherry, the nutty oxidation immediately hints at these flavors. And much like Vin Jaune, the acid profile and the flor’s protection of the fruit from harmful oxidation also rings true. However, due to the unique characteristics of both Furmint and Hárslevelű and the fact that Botrytis plays such an important role, this is undeniably a unique wine. The food pairing options are seemingly endless ranging from dried fruit to Sushi. See also: anything Umami-like.

93 Points Wine & Spirits Magazine: “Samuel Tinon grew up in Sainte-Croix-du-Mont, a sweet wine appellation in Bordeaux, and came to Tokaj in 1991, to work at Oremus. He ended up buying a house and two hectares of 90-year-old vines in Olaszliszka, and started producing his own wines in 2000. Tinon looks to the old tradition of aging wine under a veil of yeast for his Szamorodni and ages it long enough for evaporation to drop the alcohol to less than 15 percent. It smells like an Amontillado Sherry, all nuts, button mushrooms and salt; it feels succulent with crisp green fruit, fresh radish and a scent that recalls a moist, chalky underground cellar. As easy to drink as a Fino with fried things and grilled vegetables, this will last for months in the fridge after opening, ready to incite an appetite.”

Sommelier favorite from Eastern Europe Wine & Spirits Magazine Pascaline Lepeltier pours this at Rouge Tomate in NYC is pouring it with her tasting menu—"to go with a porcini farrotto with some Anson Mills farro piccolo, a little bit of parmesan and a white asparagus espuma—you also have a little bit of white and green asparagus, and some roasted porcini.”

WineWednesday Spotlight #12: Tinon Dry Szamorodni
WineWednesday #52: Spotlight on Samuel Tinon

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