When the weather is almost unbearably hot, rich, creamy desserts remain untouched. Why not enjoying a chilled icewine instead of the full of sugar cakes? Icewine is 100% natural, its sweetness is given by nature.
Hard to make, easy to enjoy
Icewine is really risky to produce, because the berries should be left on the vines much longer than for any other other wines. According to European regulation, harvest must be carried on when temperature falls below – 7 Celsius (19.4 Fahrenheit). In Canada, from where 75% of the world’s icewine production comes, this temperature is even lower: – 8 Celsius (17.6 Fahrenheit). In Europe it usually takes place in January – however, berries might be attacked by rot or eaten by animals by this time. If God is gracious to the winery, berries remain ont he vines, not even affected by noble rot (botrytis), the water content is frozen in the berries, so harvest can begin. In many cases harvest takes place during the night, because grapes should be picked immediately when the temperature reaches the required minus 7. When the berries are pressed, the frozen water cannot be pressed, therefore the resulting must is much more concentrated, and the wine is fresh, acidity is kept, flavours linger on and pamper our tasting buds.
Tornai Icewine and ’Golden Tear’
Tornai Winery in Somló wine region released its 2015 Icewine in April. They are proud to announce that finally in 2015 they could make this risky wine, because the weather conditions were appropriate. There was a sudden frost in November at dawn, and the grape Zeus was in perfect condition, nicely shirvelled (for more information on Zeus grape, read our earlier article). The resulting icewine called Somlói Jégbor is most attractive and intensive on the nose with dried apricot, fig and Christmas spices. Its sweetness is nicely balanced with its acidity, and on the palate it shows the dried fruits again, plus walnut, coffee and spices in its long finish.
Another dessert wine of Tornai was released as well in April, it’s called Aranykönny (Golden Tear), a late harvest wine also from 2015. Harvested on 10 November, bottled a year later this wine is a blend of Furmint and Hárslevelű. Honey, caramel and ’dobostorta’ (a traditional Hungarian pastry) on the nose, ripened grape, refreshing acidy, exciting spiciness on the palate – a lovely dessert wine.