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When we started our Exotic Wine Travel YouTube channel, one of the first wines reviewed was an inexpensive Bull’s Blood (Bikavér) from Egervin Winery. It is a decent wine, but far from impressive. After posting the video, we received comments from several Hungarians urging us to try higher quality Bull’s Blood wines. Their passion piqued our interest in Bull’s Blood and Hungarian wine at large.
You can check out our review of that wine below (feel free to laugh about how bad we were with video back then).
Two years later, Charine and I found ourselves Hungary. Our friends from Wine a’More Travel and WineSofa organized visits to several wine regions within the country. Our second trip in Hungary was to the Eger wine region.
In Eger, we were on the hunt for a high-quality Bull’s Blood. During our time, we found what we were looking for and much more. In addition to delicious Bull’s Blood blends, we stumbled across beautiful examples of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Syrah. You can check out our trip through Eger condensed down to one and half minutes in the video below.
Eger – Bikavér and Much More
In Eger, we visited three producers: Gróf Buttler, St. Andrea, and Kovács Nimrod. All three wineries own vineyards on the prestigious Nagy-Eged-Hegy. This hill is considered the Grand Cru of the region and boasts some of the highest vineyards in Hungary. Nagy-Eged-Hegy tops out at over 530 meters and has over 33 hectares of vineyards planted on its south-facing slopes. It’s an area where hot air from the great planes meets the cooler air from the Bükk Mountains. The hill’s soil consists of sedimentary limestone.
All three wineries are producing Bikavér blends as well as other interesting wines. Gróf Buttler makes varietal Viognier and Chardonnay. Kovács Nimrod produces some fine varietal Pinot Noir and Chardonnay while St. Andreas focuses mostly on blends, with the exception of their delicious Pinot Noir.
Find out more about our thoughts on Eger in the video below (~9 Minutes).
Exotic Wine Travel’s Picks
(You can find out more about our scoring system on the START HERE page.)
Gróf Buttler, Kadarka Superior 2014
Made from grapes are infected with noble rot, the Gróf Buttler Kadarka Superior is a unique late-harvest dry red wine. The fruit is from the Nagy-Eged-Hegy. It’s full of red fruit, honey, fall leaves, and a touch of wood flavors. For a light red wine, this has a tawny color and tastes a little like a raw natural wine. It’s for the adventurous palate. 3.7/5
Gróf Buttler, Egri Bikavér Superior 2009
The Gróf Buttler Egri Bikavér Superior is a blend of Kadarka, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot from Nagy-Eged-Hegy. The Gróf Buttler Egri Bikavér Superior has flavors of pencil lead, tomato leaf, black cherry, plum, and capsicum. The acidity is high and the tannins are a little green but the mid-palate fruit is intense, and the wine has a long finish. Medium bodied, juicy and serious red wine that is both complex and delicious. 3.9/5
Kovács Nimrod, Monopole Egri Bikavér Superior 2013
The Kovács Nimrod Monopole Egri Bikavér Superior is a blend of Kékfrankos, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. It’s aged for three years in oak. Full of violet, blackberry, white pepper, black cherry, and sweet cedar flavors. Big bodied wine with a smooth mouthfeel and a long finish. It’s the most full-bodied Bull’s Blood blend we tasted. 4.3/5
Kovács Nimrod, NJK 2011
NJK are the initials of Mr. Nimrod Kovács. The Kovács Nimrod NJK is a blend of Kekfrankos and Syrah from the Nagy-Eged-Hegy. The Kovács Nimrod NJK is full of savory black fruit, soy sauce, meat, and tomato leaf with sweet tobacco. It’s full-bodied and smooth with a great mouthfeel. Rich and dense with a peppery finish. 4.4/5
Kovács Nimrod, Grand Bleu 2012
The Kovács Nimrod Grand Bleu is made of 100% Kékfrankos. The Kovács Nimrod shows a different side of this grape (fruit is grown on the Nagy-Eged-Hegy). Flavors of nutmeg, raisin, plum, cedar, and black plum. The palate is fresher than the nose suggests. Big bodied and smooth with a peppery, long finish. This tastes like a big Central Italian red. The palate is silky making this delightful to drink. 4.3/5
St. Andrea, Mária 2015
Blend of barrel fermented Chardonnay and Furmint from the Nagy-Eged-Hegy. The St. Andrea Mária is the cru white wine from this producer. It has flavors of lemon, melon, pineapple, white peach, and yogurt from the lees contact. This wine has a big bite on the mid-palate. Great fruit but this needs time in the bottle for the wood to integrate a little more. Smoky and spicy finish leaves you wanting more. Only one barrel is made of this wine from a one an half hectare plot. 4.3/5
St. Andrea, Nagy-Eged-Hegy (Egri Bikavér Grand Superior) 2012
The St. Andrea Nagy-Eged-Hegy is a blend of Kékfrankos, Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Kadarka aged for 18 months in large oak casks. This is the second vintage of the St Andrea Nagy-Eged-Hegy. The grapes are the top of the Nagy-Eged-Hegy. Flavors of plum, pepper, black cherry, earth, and baking spice emerge from the glass. Medium bodied wine but the fruit is bright and the finish is long. This is a subtle wine that needs time in the glass to reveal its secrets – it’s a brilliant effort. 4.4/5
St. Andrea, Brut Nature Kadarka 2015
The St. Andrea Brut Nature Kadarka is a white, methóde traditionelle sparkler made from Kadarka. It has flavors of honey, lemon, biscuit, white pear, green apple. There is a good balance of sugar and acid here. The bubbles are fine and aggressive. This is fun and a little bit serious. The St. Andrea Brut Nature Kadarka is not Champagne but it’s darn close and available at a friendlier price point. 4.0/5
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Thanks to Piroska Koltai of Wine A’More Travel and Daniel Ercséy of WineSofa for organizing the visits. The opinions expressed in this article are unsolicited and have not been paid for in any way. We do not sell editorial content as that would destroy the legitimacy of our reviews and the trust between Exotic Wine Travel and its readers.