Every now and again you come across a producer that might be special. I met Hungarian winemaker Zoltán Heimann on a visit to Dublin last year. He is obviously a very bright and capable winemaker, and he is making some fantastic wines.
The Heimann winery was established by his parents, his mother making the wine and his father, also Zoltán, involved in the viticulture. They are based in Szekszárd in the southern part of the country, red wine country I am told. Zoltán studied winemaking at Geisenheim, Montpellier and Bordeaux before returning home.
The family has a passion for Kadarka and Kékfrankos, two indigenous grape varieties. Zoltán senior has been working with the local university to produce better lower-yielding clones of both varieties to improve the quality of their grapes.
Kadarka has a long history in Hungary, and was an important constituent in the legendary Bull’s Blood/ Bikavér. Handled carefully, it can produce mouth-watering fresh wines with crunchy dark fruits.
Kékfrankos is the Hungarian name for Blaufränkisch, a variety grown all over central Europe. There are several leading proponents in Austria producing great wines. The wines are typically low in alcohol, medium-bodied, with pure fresh fruits. I love them.
I tasted three wines from Heimann and was blown away by them. All had an amazing purity, lively acidity, and perfectly ripe fruits combined with a beguiling freshness.
Hungary has been making great wines for decades now; we just don’t see them here in Ireland. The Heimann wines, along with some from other interesting Hungarian producers, are imported by Balázs Rakamazi of Vinifinesse. JN Wines also import wines from the Sebestyén winery also in the Szekszárd region.
Kadarka Szekszárd 2021, Heimann
Fresh reviving red fruits and morello cherries with nicely balancing acidity and a touch of spice. A lovely vin de soif. 16/20 €26.75 – €26-28.
Kékfrankos 2018 Heimann
Dried rose petals, leafy developing leafy smoky notes with red fruits and a mineral bite. 16.5/20 €26-28
Kékfrankos Bati Kereszt 2019, Heimann
This is a seriously good wine; lovely fresh nose, dark fruits, plums and blackcurrants and floral notes; the palate has the same bright, ripe, rounded fruits and a chalky dry finish. Classic Kékfrankos / Blaufränkisch. 17.5/20 €35-37
The Heimann wines are available from the following outlets: The Corkscrew, D2; 64Wine, Glasthule; Blackrock Cellar; Clontarf Wines, D3; Pinto Wines, D9; Pete’s Provisions, D5; Elm Epicurean, D4; Margadh, D13; Provender Stores, D8.