Everyone knows that Zeus was the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympos, but how many of you have heard of Zeus, the Hungarian grape variety? If not, no wonder, Zeus is grown only in a small amount (less than 20 hectares) in a tiny country. It is crossing between Ezerjó and Bouvier, introduced by Ferenc Király at the University of Pécs, Hungary in 1951.
Zeus has quite high yields, and it gives a white wine with relatively high acidity – thanks to one of the parents, the Ezerjó. If harvested late, amazing dessert wines can be made of Zeus. The grape is grown mostly in Badacsony wine region, Szeremley Winery made probably the most well known Zeus in 2002, a late harvest, amazing, complex dessert wine. Endre Szászi, an organic producer on Szent György mountain, Badacsony wine region also makes remarkable wines of Zeus.
Szászi Szent György-hegyi Zeusz, 2013
Golden yellow colour. An obviously great wine made from fully ripened grape. It was harvested manually, fermented spontaneously in stainless steel, then aged in big barrel for 6 months, and it was released after 2 years of bottle ageing. Both high acidity and high alcohol content have been nicely integrated during bottle ageing. The salty mineral tones run parallel with the sweetish flavours of dried fruits. Only 1500 bottles were made and the ex cellar price is only 8–9 euros.
Wine with a view
Szent György mountain is not the Olympos, it does not belong to the highest mountains in Europe with dramatic slopes, but it has volcanic soil, and from Szászi winery you can get an amazing view of Lake Balaton, the largest lake of Europe. The winery has a restaurant as well with great local food – an ideal place to eat if you are on holiday at the lake!