Wine of the Month July: Somodi Chardonnay

Csongrád is the warmest wine region of the Great Plain, and the number of hours of sunshine is the highest here. It is no coincidence that the selection of varieties favors blue grapes. Its soils are of Tisza origin, alluvial soils poor in lime, acidic sandy soils and black soils of Tisza origin, partly calcareous sands of Danube origin, accumulated by the wind, and in some places sandy soils mixed with loess and loess. Sandy soils are generally poor in humus and nutrients.

Csongrád wines are generally drinks with medium or high alcohol content and – made from ripe grapes – relatively low acid content. 

Sándor Somodi has long been a solid and pillar member of the Hungarian wine scene. The family vineyard mainly covers Chardonnay and Rhine Riesling plantations. But they also buy grapes from demanding producers, and their most exciting wines are usually made from the Cabernet Franc variety year after year. They also started bottling relatively early, since they have been offering bottled wines since 1994. The quality of their wines often exceeds the average in the wine region, which is also why the winery was accepted by the Pannon Winery Guild in 2003. They deliver their products to many restaurants, which for years were almost the only Csongrád wine family in this category. 

Their wines are clean and decisive, the character of the place of production can usually be found in mild acids. 

In the farmer's personal words: "(...) For us, making natural wines is not an alternative, but the only method that can be followed. There is a serious set of conditions for such a wine to enter our glass. First of all, the given geographical landscape, the grape variety, the method of cultivation, the determination of the time of harvest. But the vintages, the applied grape processing and winemaking technologies and operations are of great importance. That's not all, because at the end of the line is the person himself. (…)”

Chardonnay is the most widespread white grape variety among the world varieties. Its origin in Burgundy would require a cooler climate than that of Csongrád, but we know very well: excellent wines are made from chardonnay in the world's warmest growing regions (California, Australia, etc.). Its good adaptability even on the sandy soils of Csongrád allows it to make a well-structured wine. It seems that Sándor Somodi has an excellent relationship with the variety, as Chardonnays are usually among the best. This wine is pale lemon yellow in color and has a friendly citrus-floral aroma. It's as if we can feel a hint of barrel aging in traces, along with a little nutmeg and vanilla spiciness. Sipping the wine, you are greeted by surprisingly lively and lively acids. This, as always, is the key to good structure and ripeness. Although Csongrád wines are usually consumed young, there are exceptions. This light, yet firm chardonnay is just such an exception. The vintage was not too hot, so this also helped the acids. We only feel traces of tannins in the wine, but the sip itself is substantial and long. It can be an excellent companion for a Dorozsma carp.

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