Furmint is the grape that makes Tokaji, the luscious sweet wine of Hungary. It can also make a lively, distinctive and compelling dry white wine, as the forward-thinking winery Királyudvar has shown. My colleague Matt Kramer showed it at one of his Wine Experience presentations. The dry white reminds me a bit of Chablis in structure, with a ripe flavor profile but the same tangy balance.
So I was not surprised when the sommelier at Ria, a fine restaurant in Chicago, suggested Királyudvar Furmint Sec Tokaji 2007 ($15 by the glass, usually around $23 a bottle at retail) to match with a dish I had ordered, wild striped bass with razor clams, watercress and a jus flavored with Spanish jamon Ibérico. “It’s great with the razor clams,” he enthused. His recommendation hit the mark. The pineapple and mineral flavors in the wine (89 points, non-blind) cozied up perfectly with the slices of the clam, neatly stacked on its long shell as a garnish to the white-fleshed, meaty-textured fish.
WineSpectator.com members: Get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated dry and sweet wines from Hungary.