Affinitás & Evolúció
Affinitás & Evolúció come from the Tokaj region in Hungary. Tokaj is synonym of dessert wines and takes its name from the town of Tokaj-Hegyalja in the northern part of the country. Tokaj is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2002. It also has the world's oldest classification system which started in 1730, several decades before Port wine and 120 years before Bordeaux. The classification system was completed by national census in 1772. Tokaj Aszú was one of the Sun King Louis XIV’s favorite wines; he famously called it the "King of Wines, and Wine of King's".
Tokaji vineyards are located near the border with Slovakia and Ukraine and cover around 5000 ha, most planted against the south facing slopes. The area stretches over 85km long and 4km wide. The Bodrog and Tisza rivers dominate the plain and create the ideal conditions for Furmint and Hárslevelü to ripen and develop noble rot. The climate of Tokaj is continental with relatively high temperature variations. On the plain the average yearly temperature is 9 to 10ºCentigrade, 21 ºC in July and -3 ºC in January. On the Mountain slopes the average annual temperature is higher by half a degree, yet winters are slightly colder. The average change of temperature is 13 ºC throughout the year; this coupled with long, sunny summers and dry and sunny early autumns allow for growing healthy and ideally ripened grapes. The humidity from the two rivers brings the autumn fog and therefore allows botrytis to develop. The average annual rainfall is 591 mm, due to the proximity of the Great Plain to the south, winters are relatively cold. Tokaj Vineyards are blessed with a wide variety of volcanic soils. This diversity of soils, with riolit, andezit, riolittufa and andezittufa, not only retain heat beautifully to ripen grapes evenly, they also develop the rich fruitiness in the final wine and impart a remarkable mineral character. This combination of fruit and minerality is the ideal combination to make exceptional wines with a good aging potential.
Affinitás & Evolúció are made from the white Furmint grape. The name Furmint is taken from the word ‘Froment’, for the wheat gold color of the wine it produces. It is widely believed that the grape originates from Hungary; however it seems most likely that it was brought in the area in the 13th century. In recent years, DNA profiling conducted at the University of Zagreb has shown that Furmint could have a parent-offspring relationship with the modest Gouais Blanc grape, which similar research elsewhere has shown to be a parent of numerous other varieties, including Chardonnay. Furmint has also been confirmed to be the same grape as the Croatian white variety Moslavac.
Furmint is mostly grown in the Tokaj region where it is used to produce dry wines as well as the famous sweet Tokaj wines. To make Aszú Furmint is blended with Hárslevelü and Muscat Lunel. It is also grown, to a much lesser extent, in the region of Somló, in the Great Central Plains of Hungary. Furmint is found in other countries such as Slovakia where it takes a similar role as in Tokaj, in Austria, where it is known as Mosler, in Slovenia, Croatia, Romania and the former republics of the Soviet Union.
Furmint is an early budding late ripening grape and particularly prone to botrytis. Its naturally high acidity level adds to its aging potential. Furmint can be produced in a variety of styles ranging from bone dry to extremely sweet wines.
Affinitás & Evolúció are two examples of dry Furmint from the Tokaj region; Evolúció being a classic example of dry Furmint while Affinitás has a low percentage of Muscat which adds to the richness and texture of the wine. Dry Tokaji can be ranked minőségi (‘quality’) or különleges minőségű (‘special quality’). The latter designation may be added on the label when the must has a sugar level of at least 19 g/l.
Furmint is an exotic grape which has become an alternative to other classic white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay.